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  • The Ambivalence of Local Level Political Elites

The Ambivalence of Local Level Political Elites

Views of the 1994 District Board Election Candidates

Ernest Wing-tak Chui


English , 1995/01 HKIAPS, Occasional Paper Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: Hong Kong Studies, Politics

215 x 140 mm , 55pp ISBN : 978-962-441-044-0

  • US$4.50


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Ambivalence of Local Level Political Elites: Views of the 1994 District Board Election Candidates The Hong Kong polity is marked by the dire situation of the "poverty of political leaders" as expounded by Lau Siu-kai. Such poverty is not merely manifested in terms of their number and their lack of a favourable nurturing environment. The political leaders' poverty also lies squarely upon their intense ambivalence in striking an appropriate position amidst the various contending forces of, namely, the existing British-Hong Kong government with its administrative dominance and its bureaucracy, the Chinese government which is to restore sovereignty over the territory in the years to come, the political parties backing up the leaders themselves, and last but not least the increasingly volatile constituents who pay heed to pragmatic rather than idiosyncratic concerns. The author is basing his arguments on his survey findings from a study of the 1994 District Board Election candidates. It is put forward that a remedy for such poverty of the leaders hinges upon several crucial factors: (1) conciliation between the British-Hong Kong and Chinese governments, thus eradicating the conflicting claims to political allegiance from the leaders; (2) the leaders' own self-selection of a vocation to politics, which may shield them from wavering amongst short-run, opportunistic, individualistic concerns of their own as well as of their volatile constituents; and (3) the local people's increasingly explicit demonstration of their desire to aspire to a liberal democratic environment, which would help to foster a more open and democratic government; this, in turn, would provide the leaders with room for actualizing their political roles of interest articulation and holding the administration accountable.

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