No democracy for Hong Kong

Richard at Peking Duck has some bad news about the political future of Hong Kong.

Bad, but not really surprising.

I’ve never understood how Margaret Thatcher’s admirers squared her willingness to fight a war over the Falklands with her abject surrender of the rights of a couple of million people in Hong Kong. Holding on to the territory was clearly not an option. But Britain could have made the place much more democratic — for example, with an entirely elected, though still mostly advisory, legislature — while it was still in charge.

Update and retraction This turns out to be inaccurate. While the next-to-last LegCo election under the British included a mix of direct election and appointment by various interest groups, the final election was entirely direct. So the mainland actually had to deny the Hong Kong population voting power they had (briefly) enjoyed as a colony.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com