Home > human rights, Opinion, politics > Should Chinese be Allowed to Vote on the Upcoming US Presidential Election?

Should Chinese be Allowed to Vote on the Upcoming US Presidential Election?

Firstly, this author is not questioning whether US citizens of Chinese descents should be allowed to vote. Successive US administration has repeatedly chided the People’s Republic of China for violation of human rights. The lack of “direct” leadership election is cited as one violation. So should the US government put pressure on the Communist Party of China by allowing Chinese citizens to vote on the coming US presidential election?

In fact the countries that repeatedly called for improvement of human rights should lobby for voting rights for all of aged Chinese citizens in important world body such as UN, WTO, IMF, World Bank, Climate Conference etc. China is the most populous country in the world(for now), making up almost one fifth of humanity. It is natural that its citizens should have rights to vote on matters that affect their daily lives and that of the future generation. Is this too much to ask for? Of course this is not a call for favouritism on the Chinese. This author actually believe that to have a free and fair working of the world order, citizens of the world should be allowed to be participate. Proper representation of voting rights by citizens of the world should be given to body such as UN, WTO, IMF, World Bank, Climate Conference as a start. If one person one vote is the foundation of legitimacy of any organization, then all those treaties and law passed by those world bodies have so far been signed only by the elite and should be considered illegitimate.

As the biggest advocator of human right the US should take the lead. Setting up a voters registration for Chinese citizens should be a walk in the park. I look forward to the day when US officials visiting China stating that giving representation to Chinese people is concrete action rather than empty rhetoric. On top of that the US administration has continually claimed that the Chinese people has been oppressed and will always make the right choice if given the vote. Allowing Chinese citizens a vote on the US presidential election is just the first step. And according to the US administration claim, the election would most likely lead to the toppling of the hated CPC and usher in a China with totally pro-US policy. As we all know US policy around the world is the only one to benefit humanity throughout the globe and should be the only way. And according to them most Chinese citizens hate the CPC. So what is holding back US politicians?

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  1. Charles Liu
    March 15th, 2012 at 13:40 | #1

    Don’t be silly, of course not. That would amount to regime change, something US has long been accused of.

  2. March 16th, 2012 at 14:19 | #2

    I’m not sure I follow the reasoning in this blog. In some sense, Chinese people do vote in international bodies. The representatives of the Chinese people (Chinese delegates) do vote at bodies like the UN.

  3. Bazza
    March 16th, 2012 at 19:20 | #3

    Yeah I agree with Mele, this post marks an all- time low in the life of the blog. Is it an attempt at parody or satire?

    Epic fail!

  4. raventhorn
    March 16th, 2012 at 19:36 | #4


    At least you admit that you failed to understand parody or satire.

    But sorry, we don’t have a cure for your personal problems here, and no one here cares what your problems are.

  5. Hong Konger
    March 16th, 2012 at 20:17 | #5

    This is satire. I’m sure Ray is not speaking literally when he says the US is only country to benefit humanity or that he wants to topple the CPC — that’s sarcasm. That said, I don’t think sarcasm is very becoming or helpful here.

    The idea doesn’t make much sense. If the Chinese get to vote for anything, it should be for their own government. I don’t want to go into the very long detour of Chinese democracy, which is a whole other argument. But if the Chinese get to vote, it should be for who runs their village, or town, or province, or country, not some foreign country where 99% of Chinese have never been.

    The point of voting is that you get to choose the government you pay for with your taxes to run the place you live in.

    In HK we have the same resentments. We weren’t allowed to pick our leader under the British, and we’re not allowed to now. Those decisions were always made by people who don’t really live here. Our CE is picked up a small elite group in Hong Kong, but we all know they are directed by Beijing. And the average Joe like me has no say. But that is another tangent!

    While we’re here, I have a question for the moderators, who seem to live in America. Do you bother voting in local elections? You live in a democracy now. Do you think the same system should apply in China?

  6. March 16th, 2012 at 21:47 | #6

    @Hong Konger

    Actually I have been kind of stumped by this post. Maybe it is a satire…

    In any case, this post does inspire one thought. If the U.S. truly wants to be the “policeman” of the world, the force for “peace” and “good” – perhaps they should allow the citizens of the world some voice in the way the U.S. carries out foreign policy. I mean, if the U.S. is only after its interests – so be that – but let’s not mix words here. If the U.S. want to be a global good (god) cop – then let’s have some democratic feedback from the peoples whom the U.S. policy is supposed to benefit. Let’s have the citizens of the voice some vote in the way it sends its military around the world, it plays diplomatic games, etc.

  7. March 16th, 2012 at 23:27 | #7

    My take for Ray’s article is this:

    If ‘democracy,’ so narrowly defined by the West as one-man-one-vote, which has been conflated with ‘human rights,’ to basically mean without one-man-one-vote, you are not ‘free,’ then the logical conclusion must be – let’s truly have one person one vote.

    My take is Ray is mocking how that extremist ideology naturally chokes when you try to apply it.

  8. Hong Konger
    March 17th, 2012 at 01:15 | #8

    You can have a free society without a democracy. That’s what HK is. We have the freedoms of speech, demonstration, assembly, religion, movement, etc. but we cannot vote for our leader. This was true under the British, and it’s true today.
    I’m not saying this is good. Honestly, I think we’d have better leaders if people could have a say, but that’s a different tangent.
    You’re right that freedom does not necessarily equal one-man-one-vote. But I think Hong Kong is also quite exceptional.
    I wonder if China will develop like this someday. Already, Chinese people have more freedoms than they did before. Later, hopefully, they will have more freedom to use the Internet, to travel, etc. But there will not be widespread elections like there are in the U.S. A free but undemocratic China?

  9. March 18th, 2012 at 00:28 | #9

    @Hong Konger
    I agree with much of what you wrote. Expanding on that, we should ask how do we define ‘freedom.’?

    If a society constantly mistreats you, then one man one vote hardly represents how ‘free’ it is.

    If you are a group of aliens visiting earth, you see that advanced societies pillage other societies, then you would say that this planet is brutal and hardly free.

    Degree of freedom is also a function of power. During the height of Chinese dynasties, Chinese societies were extremely open and free, all the while with an emperor ruling over everybody.

    America is very free because she is confident nobody can take her down. Any foreign country dares to subvert her government, it gets invaded. But, with terrorism, America becomes less free.

  10. March 18th, 2012 at 01:49 | #10

    I know China do get a vote in the world body I had mentioned, but what I am trying to bring attention to is whether it is one person one vote. The gist of my piece is whether the vote China get is proportional to the population and for that matter the average citizens of the world too. Just simply take a look at the voting rights of important organization like IMF.


    Can you see how uncomfortable people like bazz get when one Chinese got one vote?

  11. March 18th, 2012 at 01:58 | #11

    @Hong Konger I am hoping this piece would generate discussion of democracy in China and the rest of the world, and what meaningful democracy would mean. If people of the world cannot get their voting rights represented in bodies such as WTO, IMF, World Bank, Climate Conference etc how real is democracy in less developed countries.

    For examples, all decisions passed by those world bodies would be apply on each signatory states but how much say does citizens of each country has on its outcome?

    And if the household registry system is considered as against human rights in mainland China would the average HK residents support the right of mainlanders to move freely to Chinese city like Hong Kong?

  12. March 18th, 2012 at 02:08 | #12


    You guys are getting close to my intention here. As we all know the US is the champion of human rights, the various US administrations have called for improvement of human rights in China. The call is not just from the US government, in fact any Tom, Dick, Harry or Mary in the US has something to say about conditions of rights in China.

    So I am simply putting forth this question to whether the US governments or its citizens want to do something proactive instead of just speaking. Conversely, does the average Chinese have the rights to voice out against or in support of US domestic or foreign policy? Because it is obvious everybody in the US has the rights to comment about China. Should Chinese citizens be accorded the same rights?

    How would people in the US feel when the voice of the average Chinese is spoken. Would they listen?

  13. March 18th, 2012 at 02:22 | #13

    @Hong Konger
    I find it very interesting that you state that HK has a free society but no democracy. Does democracy only means direct voting for leadership as stated in my writing?

    If that is your definition then how would you define world organizations such as WTO, IMF, World Bank, Climate Conference? Should citizens of the world be allowed one person one vote to decide the resolution passed by these organizations. Presently, most decisions are made behind closed doors and decided by a privileged few.

    I know HK people are genuinely hoping for betterment of rights in mainland China. However, how do you feel about special rights enjoyed by HK residents in the mainland? For example, HK residents can move and work freely in almost any part of the mainland but most mainlanders are denied this right to do the same in HK? Basically, under the one country two system rule, HK residents are treated as super citizens while most mainlanders, especially those rural dwellers are treated as 2nd class citizens. Do you see anything wrong when citizens in the same country are treated so differently by their region of origin?

  14. Lolz
    March 18th, 2012 at 18:22 | #14

    The US government on behalf of its citizens has already been trying to influence local Chinese politics by funding through “NGOs” through NED. The Chinese government on the other hand has lobbyists in DC as well. The difference is that the US operations are trying to masquerade as grassroots, while the lobbyists work from the top.

  15. Lolz
    March 18th, 2012 at 18:37 | #15

    Hong Konger :
    I wonder if China will develop like this someday. Already, Chinese people have more freedoms than they did before. Later, hopefully, they will have more freedom to use the Internet, to travel, etc. But there will not be widespread elections like there are in the U.S. A free but undemocratic China?

    There are couple of models which the Ccp can follow in order to claim democracy and to stay in power. The HK model is one, although its not a complete democracy. The Singapore model is another one, again both examples are not real democracies because one unelected person at the top can override everything but it’s nonetheless a start. Looking at Japan, it’s main political party was kept in power for over 60 years, essentially rendering the country a one party government.

    Going back to HK. I have been following the HK elections last few months and it’s becoming obvious that Beijing is getting better at this democracy game. It is out campaigning the pan democrates while maintaining party discipline. I honestly think Ccp is using HK to gain experience in democracy. This way when china does implement voting process, the Ccp will always crush the opposition.

  16. zack
    March 18th, 2012 at 22:29 | #16

    they get plenty of examples from the US-a corrupt two party system (which is in reality, one party) that monopolise power and the military, and when the hoi polloi start getting restless, they don’t mind cracking open the tear gas and heat rays.

  17. Hong Konger
    March 19th, 2012 at 00:42 | #17

    Wow — Alot of questions like me. I feel like it’s exam time in school! 🙂

    @ Ray. I mean democracy as it is specifically defined — a one-man, one-vote system, where the public chooses its leaders. Of course there are different democracies all over the world with their own quirks, some 2-party, some multi-party, some parliamentary, or the U.S. with its rather strange electoral college.
    As LOLZ said, HK is not a democracy. Free, but not democratic.

    The resident permit system doesn’t apply to HK because, for all intents and purposes, HK really is its own country. I know it’s not on paper. But it has its own border, currency, laws, police, etc. HK people pay separate taxes, which fund separate public resources.

    Travelling between HK and the mainland feels more like crossing a national boundary than traveling from France to Italy, where they don’t even check your passport. So it’s not the same issue as rural farmers needing resident permits to move to Shanghai, since that’s all within the mainland.

    Practically speaking, they just can’t open the borders because HK would be destroyed.

    For historic reasons, we just have better living standards — schools, hospitals, public safety, food safety. Realistically, HK is a small physical space. The mainland has more than a billion people, many of whom would love to come here. They are just not all going to fit.

    Even with very strict quotas, our medical and other services are overrun with rich tourists who come in for a week, use a maternity ward, and then leave again without adding anything to our society. (I’m not talking about legitimate mainland migrants who come to live and work here, and who are welcome).

    Maybe someday China will also have excellent schools, hospitals, food safety, etc., and then this will not be an issue. That is my hope.

    Before the handover, there was talk of how China would change HK. My question was always whether HK would change China, even if HK is small. It’s a way to “practice” having a free society, but in a context that is Chinese at its roots, and not Western.

    As for our elections, it’s nice that the CCP is learning about the political process. But I don’t think the point is that they will lalways “crush the opposition”. If you’re going to have a free vote, then have a free vote, honestly and openly, and let the best man (or party) win. If one side is looking for ways to manipulate to guarantee to “crush” the other side, then why bother?

    If you think a one-party system is the best for you, then be honest about it. If you decide democracy is not for you, then don’t claim to be a democracy when you are not. What I find strange is when people here talk about “China democracy” or “Hong Kong democracy” as if it exists. When, strictly speaking, it does not.

    Nobody asked — but I’d like to add that I think HK can handle democracy. We already have a quasi-democracy. It’s very strange — we can elect half our legislature, but not the other half. I can elect my local neighborhood rep, but not my chief executive. We don’t have issues like mass rural poverty or political unrest.

  18. Rhan
    March 19th, 2012 at 00:56 | #18

    Nobody asked 🙂

    so mass rural poverty only choice is revolution?

  19. LOLZ
    March 19th, 2012 at 06:17 | #19

    Hong Konger :
    Wow — Alot of questions like me. I feel like it’s exam time in school!
    As for our elections, it’s nice that the CCP is learning about the political process. But I don’t think the point is that they will lalways “crush the opposition”. If you’re going to have a free vote, then have a free vote, honestly and openly, and let the best man (or party) win. If one side is looking for ways to manipulate to guarantee to “crush” the other side, then why bother?
    If you think a one-party system is the best for you, then be honest about it. If you decide democracy is not for you, then don’t claim to be a democracy when you are not. What I find strange is when people here talk about “China democracy” or “Hong Kong democracy” as if it exists. When, strictly speaking, it does not.

    Well the goal of any political party is keep on winning elections, the bigger the margin the better. Because winning big means more legitimacy to carry out reforms. Crushing the opposition doesn’t mean to cheat and win, but to win big.

    Political parties, including the CCP want to stay in power. If China remains a one party authoritarian system, when the country goes through a hiccup (economy stalls or hit by multiple natural/man made disasters) the country runs into serious risks of destabilization. The problem with one party systems is that there is no one else to blame when things go south. IMO democracy is really the only way for CCP to stay in power in the medium term. However, campaigning and getting popular votes is not a skill which anyone can easily pick up. It’s a science and require multiple election cycles to understand. CCP is using HK as a platform to test out how to win people’s hearts (or manipulate people if you look at the whole thing negatively). Either way, once CCP learns how to campaign effectively it will have a huge advantage over other parties when China becomes a democracy.

  20. March 19th, 2012 at 20:49 | #20

    @Hong Konger
    Take a look at the voting right of each country.


    The US has 30 times the voting right of India on a per capita basic. That’s what I am trying to bring attention to. I am more concern about the actual voting representation in the world because ultimately what is decided there is more important than local issue.

    I would have to disagree that HK is another country because it is simply an SAR of China (one country two system sort of like what PR is to the US). You are correct in that if the border is open HK would be destroyed because of excessive influx. However, no HK person ever express they receive rights not being made reciprocal to mainland residents. This is not fair but nobody likes to talk about it. There are mainlanders who abused the system in HK but they are a small minority. Conversely, how often are HK residents abusing system on the mainland are reported? From my view, without trade privileges given to HK and influx of mainland tourists, HK’s retail and property sector would be much weaker. So in essence HK’s economical well being is very dependent on the mainland.

    As long as people in a single country experience different treatment due to their disparity in income and location, a one person one vote system is simply meaningless as it does not truly reflect reality on the ground.

    Like I have said many times, one person one vote for Chinese citizens is more a priority of the CPC in the world stage. Without economic independence of its citizens, votes for the poor would be useless like in India, Indonesia etc. I hope you can see things from a global perspective rather than from simply the view of an SAR. And because under the Basic Law, ultimately it is up to Beijing and the national congress to decide the time frame of one person one vote in HK. I don’t believe it is far off but I rather see HK rights activists fighting for the rights of China and all its citizens rather than on very narrowed topics.

    In my view, the mainstream political view of average HK politicians is simply too communal and local. HK politicians should aspire to be leaders on the mainland too and on the world stage.

  21. wwww1234
    March 20th, 2012 at 04:51 | #21


    I am surprised that so few are familiar with the common debate tactic of “reductio ad absurdum”.

  22. Hong Konger
    March 20th, 2012 at 09:19 | #22

    @ Ray — The reason I don’t comment here often is because I don’t like these endless debates!
    * I never said HK was its own country. I said that, practically speaking, it operates like a country as a special region.
    * I never denied that China and HK are economically co-dependent. We all know that. That doesn’t mean that we should have the same political system.
    * It’s simply not true that “no HK person ever express they receive rights not being made reciprocal to mainland residents.” I’s in the papers every day. Living right next to the border, we are very aware that we have a different political reality than the mainland. We know we have more rights. That’s why political books are published here, and demonstrations are held here, that can’t be over the border.

    I don’t understand your comment.
    Are you saying we should not pay attention to local city politics because broader national politics are screwed up?
    In HK, most people would love for there to be more freedom and less poverty on the mainland. In fact, HK is very generous in doing charitable work there.
    But, ultimately, decisions about Beijing politics are out of our hands. People can demonstrate every day here and nothing will change. So the best we can do is address our own political issues as best we can.

    As for abusing the system, many mainlanders take advantage of our social services, often through tricky means. This is just a fact, and both the HK and Chinese governments have addressed it by introducing new rules and regulations to stop it.
    Meanwhile, it is very rare for Hong Kongers to “take advantage” of social services on the mainland, since they are simply not as good.

    I’m not someone who is blindly pro-HK and anti-China. But I don’t think your criticism makes sense.
    I don’t know what you mean when you say HK politicians should “aspire to be leaders on the mainland.” Practically speaking, how can they? And why can’t they be good local leaders for the city where they live?

  23. March 20th, 2012 at 21:43 | #23

    @Hong Konger
    Don’t you see you are basically arguing that even though HK is part of China, the mainlanders are not allow to move freely to HK because it is much richer and freer on a per capita basis. The same argument, the Chinese government argue for keeping the household registry system in place, thus preventing rural folks from freely moving to cities.

    As for economical dependency. How often do you read in the free press in HK that HK’s prosperity now depended on mainland trade, tourists and investment. Please don’t see this as invalidation of HK’s help in helping mainland economical development from the early stage until the present. However, the gist of the argument is always the mainlanders who took advantage of HK. How many commentators speak about how HK residents are freely allow to go to the mainland to conduct trade, business or tour and given an advantage even against local business? So much so that if the same standard of movement of restriction(on mainlanders) is place on HK residents the economic development of HK would be adversely affected. If the press is fair why focus on the few mainlanders who abused the system but not telling the whole picture that without the mainland the standard of living in HK would be affected?

    Basically, the co-dependency is the foundation of the economical well being of both sides but why not point out that without the mainland HK might not even be able to afford the current labour, health, education, policing standard. HK might be an island and SAR but it’s very economical well being depended a large part on mainland. I am not saying that mainlander abusing healthcare services is right, in fact tougher level of enforcement should be implemented but to be fair HK press should also highlight the sacrifice of the mainlanders who made contribution to HK’s economy and well being. A simple point being that HK needed water from the mainland to merely function.

    The crux of my argument here is that the mainland gave more rights to HK residents than vice versa. However, this is base on economical and political reality on the ground. On paper universal human rights should be absolute and shouldn’t discriminate a person base on his wealth or place of origin. But the reality on the ground mean different region with different level of development would receive different rights. Imagine you, yourself as a poor labourer in Guizhou making RMB 1000/month. Wouldn’t you want to move to HK and do the same job for HK$8000/month? Again reality would dictate that you would not be allowed to work there freely, in fact you won’t be allowed to take a tour to visit HK!

    When I say HK politicians should aspire to be leaders on the mainland I mean that they shouldn’t just think about being politicians for HK only. They should looked at the big picture because what is good for the mainland affect HK too. If more HK politicians are like Justin Lin who worked for greater good for all Chinese rather than just a regional democratization process would happen faster for all. Hence in many ways, you can also imagine an article titled “Should Mainland Chinese be allowed to vote in HK election?”

    For example, technically everybody wanted one person one vote but if you know that by giving “the others” the same right would somehow reduce your superior position, you would act to deny the others of equal voting right. In many ways the veto in the UN act on this foundation, so is the voting structure in IMF, World Bank etc.

  24. Hong Konger
    March 20th, 2012 at 23:08 | #24

    Ray — I think you’ve really misunderstood my comments. I don’t want to keep repeating what I wrote above.

    This isn’t an economic question, it’s a political one.
    I never said I wanted to deny anyone their rights. I wish that the mainland Chinese could vote, whether it’s for their village, town, province or national governments. I wish that we could vote, too.

    I think that people should vote for the governments they pay for through taxes, and the governments that rule them.

    So, no. I don’t think the Chinese should vote in U.S. elections. I don’t think mainlanders should vote in HK elections. I don’t think Belgiums should vote in English elections.

    HKers should vote in HK elections. Americans should vote in American elections. When the Chinese are ready for it, the Chinese should vote in Chinese elections.

    Why would a billion people who don’t live here get to vote in our local elections? It just doesn’t make any sense.

  25. March 20th, 2012 at 23:08 | #25

    @Ray #12

    Actually you bring up a separate and very good point.

    If the development of China should bend to popular opinion of average Joe on the streets of America or the West in general, on what ground does that projection of power rest?

    To see how despicable that is – why China values independence and self determination and non interference so much – think how the average Joe on the streets of America or West would feel if at some time in the future, the development of the West should bend to the popular opinion of the average Joe on the streets of China, Africa, or South America?

  26. Rhan
    March 20th, 2012 at 23:33 | #26

    The plight with the 7 million Hkers is they don’t enjoy watching the circus show on stage now but can’t do anything about it.

    Btw, if the Chinese don’t appreciate the one man one vote system, why the argument on the voting structure in IMF, World Bank and etc?

  27. March 21st, 2012 at 01:23 | #27

    @Hong Konger
    I think you have severely erred on the ground that it is either a economical or political question. Both issues are tied together. It is definitely not possible to have the latter without the former. The biggest advancement to HK human rights condition come after improvement of economic condition. You should be more familiar with the plight of most HK workers in the 1950s and 1960s. Their rights are barely better than peasants workers in Chinese cities today.

    I have serious issue with your statement that somehow HK Chinese and mainland Chinese should have their respective voting blocs independent of each other. You seemed to miss my point that unless economical and political situation improved on the mainland side, universal suffrage would not take place in HK. You cannot ignore the fact that China’s government actually restricted the rights of mainland residents while giving preferential treatment to HK in regards to travel, residency on the mainland and business etc. Unlike the UK, the garrison stationed on HK was done on expenses taken from the mainland.

    Don’t you notice that you never put up an argument where a HK residents have more rights than his mainland counterpart by virtue of the fact that the former hold a special piece of paper. Of course this right is not denied to all mainlanders, all those who qualified got that special status too that come with an SAR passport. I don’t want to sound condescending, but HK residents and mainlanders are both citizens of China. The difference in status was due to the basic law (and history). The fate of both are tied together eventually.

    As long as the average mainland Chinese are much poorer, they will never enjoyed the better civil rights of HK residents. The present economic development there is still too unbalanced between rural and urban area to even allow freedom of residence. As for voting rights, if the economic situation on the mainland reached parity with HK I won’t be surprised if the restriction on mainlanders is lifted. By then, shouldn’t HK residents be able to vote directly for president of China too? Why limit it to direct voting for HK leadership only?

    Because according to your argument, HK people shouldnot be able to vote for mainland leadership because they don’t live there. Come on you guys all live in China! Of course you drive on different side of the road.

  28. March 21st, 2012 at 01:34 | #28

    That’s why I titled my writing this way. Is the US ready to hear the average Chinese’s voice? When will the world’s most important matter, treaties be signed when everybody’s not just the Chinese have equal voice (represented by one person one vote?).

    If democracy is the universal truth preached by the West? Why wouldn’t they start with organization like the UN, IMF and World Bank which currently have a very unfair voting?

  29. March 21st, 2012 at 01:44 | #29

    I don’t know where you get the idea that the Chinese don’t appreciate democracy? Please read comment #27 on my view of what HK people should aspire to.

    The present PRC’s government is the most aggressive in seeking voting rights for the citizens of China in those world organizations. Conversely, it is the present establishments that tried to limit the voting rights of Chinese citizens.

  30. Hong Konger
    March 21st, 2012 at 05:21 | #30

    Sorry, Ray. You’ve really lost me.
    The main block to Chinese people voting is the Chinese government, since they won’t allow a public vote — not here in HK and not on the mainland.
    This is my last comment, since I don’t want to go around in circles.
    HK people should vote in HK.
    Chinese people should vote in China.
    If there ever were a broad Chinese national vote — including the mainland and HK — then we should all be able to vote for the national government.
    But why should mainland Chinese vote in local HK elections, but not their own elections?
    It’s like saying all of America should be able to vote for Maryland’s mayor.

  31. Rhan
    March 21st, 2012 at 19:58 | #31

    Ray, you are right I have no idea if Chinese appreciate voting (democracy) since nobody asked as suggested by Hongkonger, but I presume they don’t unless they tell us. My question is if China doesn’t even have an election, what is the Chinese government justification in seeking voting rights for their citizens in those world organizations? But of course if your piece is to expose the West hypocrisy, I can sort of agree with that.

  32. March 21st, 2012 at 22:51 | #32

    As you can tell on my writing, it is the US and the various western governments that wanted one person one vote for all, especially the Chinese (but not the Saudi, Kuwaiti, Bahrain etc).They should be the one who should step up to the standard they espoused if not in their national election, at least in international bodies. I am seriously shocked when I first see the disparity in voting rights in the IMF but I never detect any outrage from any “human rights organization”.

    The CPC has repeatedly stated that China is not ready for direct suffrage. And as you can tell from my exchange with HKer, he still feel that somehow HK is still not a direct part of China and his worries are almost entirely HK based. As a results, I don’t think the CPC will allow direct in HK until they feel that the voters will vote in favour of national interest first. The same goes for different regions of mainland China. For example the county of Foshan, Guangdong would have different priority than say the entire province of Guizhou. That county alone is richer than the province of Guizhou.

    If direct provincial election is allowed at this stage, there would definitely be seriously conflict. For example, oil, mineral producing states would want to keep their revenues. The poorer counties and provinces would see all their developmental aid cut off. This is the reality in the ground!

    It is not true that China does not have elections, in fact the majority of Chinese citizens have the rights to vote. You might argue that it is just local election. However, if you think the business interest dominated voting system in the US is really free and fair and represent the interest of the average American I would say it would be disastrous for China if it is adopted. So far, for the last 30 yrs the Chinese system has proven to be workable albeit with lots of imperfections, but why introduce a radical changes like the GLF or CR? Gradual improvement seems to be the way that works.

    Thanks for seeing at least part of my reason of writing this piece.

  33. jxie
    March 22nd, 2012 at 10:37 | #33

    Why “one man one vote” (or more precisely, one adult citizen who isn’t in jail, one vote), not “one tax dollar one vote”? Thank about it, Warren Buffett pays a lot more, and hence funds a lot more of the government than a bum smoking weed in his parents’ basement. Why should Buffet have no more say of how the government is run than the bum? Think of the country as a company, and your tax dollars are your shares — why can’t you vote by your shares?

    How about people who serve the country? Why shouldn’t a person risking his life to defend the country have more say than a bum smoking weed in his parents’ basement? You can keep on going, pretty soon you will have a revised shareholder voting structure. Why isn’t it superior to “one man one vote”?

    The WTO in a way, has a revised shareholder voting structure. Its base is GDPs. However, the voting structure reform is trailing behind the actual rapid change of GDPs, with countries such as China and Brazil being under-represented and European countries being over-represented. The other factor is who has actually paid for the funding, e.g. Saudi Arabia in the past. If by GDP alone, China should have 11+% of the vote, instead of 3.81%. Moreover, China is willing to fund the European bailouts through IMF, which should increase its voting right further. BTW, both Russia and India are slightly under-represented but not by much — they have tagged alone the BRIC vote increase.

  34. March 22nd, 2012 at 11:30 | #34

    Though the truth is in democracies, people like Warren Buffett indeed has more vote. By commanding so much wealth, he can decide to invest heavily in electric vehicles or not. That could trump government policy or accelerate it. He can give money to politicians who support his views about how to advance society. He can fund think tanks espousing his views.

    The “one man one vote” is an opiate for the masses. One screams at the top of his lung, my vote doesn’t count so much, but I have my rights!

    Talking about the BRICS – looks like they are in a hurry to arrange for currency swaps for their trade with one another. I think in the coming decades, we will see the dominance of the USD gradually erode.

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