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chief editor

(10/09/2007 03:49:41)
  
"Alarm bells ringing over green paper" (16/7/2007)
On July 16, 2007, 21:29, a reporter requested a personal interview:

... I noticed on your website your extract from a 2003 WAPOR paper on "two cases of misrepresentation of public opinion in Hong Kong." ... We'd like to hear your opinion on the format of the Green Paper, in the context of past cases, and the present scepticism of this particular Green Paper... [signed]


On July 30, 2007, an article was published in the South China Morning Post, entitled "Alarm bells ringing over green paper, says pollster". Herewith some abstracts:

Grey areas surrounding the green paper on electoral reform could allow the government to "repeat their tricks"...

... Robert Chung Ting-yiu said "very many alarm bells have been ringing" since the green paper was released. These included the short consultation period of only three months and the "arbitrary standard" requiring the final proposal to have public support of 60 per cent.

Most crucially, he said, the government had yet to declare how it would evaluate and collate the submissions received, meaning that no matter how many signatures are obtained in support of a particular proposition, they could all be discounted as being of "low quality".
...
In a 2003 paper, Dr Chung argued that the colonial and post-colonial governments had engineered the results of two public consultations - on direct elections in 1987 and on the Article 23 national security legislation in 2002.

In both cases, the government did not explain how it would analyse the responses, he said in an interview explaining the paper's conclusions.
...
"The British government concluded in 1987 that the public was opposed to direct elections, and the Hong Kong government in 2002 concluded the public was in favour of legislating a security bill. In both cases, the government engineered the result of the analysis and lied with statistics," Dr Chung said.
...
Petitions were given less value because they were "products of mobilisation", the paper said. But "standard letters" - the method adopted by pro-government groups - were included in the higher class of submissions.

"I could see no difference in the nature of someone signing a petition form someone signing a standard letter. They should have been treated in the same category," Dr Chung said.

He said the democratic camp had shown itself to be wiser this time by issuing "recommended answers" because these would be treated as "standard letters" and would therefore be accorded higher value.
...
Dr Chung acknowledged that the "quality of opinion" of such submissions might not be as high as some original answers.

"But if the government is not going to set down the rules of the game right from the beginning, they have no right to criticise anything. What else do you expect them to do if you don't set down the rules?" Dr Chung said.
147.8.233.xxx
Edited by chief editor at (12/09/2007 12:13:09)

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