Module Code: FC015
Class/Group: Group C
Module Title: Comparative Politics
Assessment: Final Essay
Assignment Title: Choose a country and discuss the classification of its political system Tutor Name: Stephen Ashe
Student ID Number: 2089619
Date of Submission: April 8th , 2013
Hong Kong, claimed herself the ‘Asia’s world city’, has been a colony of the Great Britain since 1842 and a Special Administrative Region of China after the handover in 1997. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, hereafter referred to as HKSAR, is under the People's Republic of China’s (“PRC”) governance but with a more independent political system which is different from the system of the state itself. The institutional framework is defined in The Basic Law, a constitutional document announced by the Seventh National People's Congress of PRC on 4th April 1990. The Basic Law ensures HKSAR remains a capitalist society and maintains a high degree of autonomy. However, some politicians consider that HKSAR only has a less-than-full democracy which still cannot be clearly defined under the control of the state (Ku, 2009). This essay will state that HKSAR is more likely a liberal democracy but with some issues restricting it of being a complete democracy.
The core value of The Basic Law is ‘One country, two systems’, an idea announced by Deng Xiaoping, a politician of the Communist Party of China. Its purpose is to mitigate Hong Kong people’s agitation and fear of the handover after over a hundred and fifty years’ governance by the Great Britain, especially under the rule of the Great Britain, Hong Kong became a well-developed and financial thriving city. Most people in Hong Kong worried about the changes which may bring by the handover. The Basic Law tries to guarantee, according to article five from The Basic Law (2013), ‘The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for fifty years.’ Also, The Basic Law (2013) article two states that HKSAR has a ‘high degree of autonomy and enjoys executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.’
HKSAR is a government with an appointed chief executive (“CE”), a Legislative Council (“LegCo”) and a separate judiciary. These three departments should be equal and balance under The Basic Law. An Election Committee (“EC”) will be formed on 1st February of the incumbent CE’s expiry year, in purpose to elect a new CE. The CE should be elected by the EC and appointed by the Central People’s Government according to the Annex I of the Basic Law. The EC is formed by members from thirty-eight subsectors. Subsectors can be simply define as careers, such as medical, transportation, Education. Members come from thirty-five subsectors are elected by voters of the subsector ordinary elections. The remaining three subsectors are the National People’s Congress, the Members of the Legislative Council and the Religious subsector. The CE needs over 600 supporting votes to win the election (Electoral Affairs Commission, 2011).
HKSAR government contain a Legislative Council (LegCo). The fifth LegCo is a group of 70 members, 35 of them elected by geographical constituencies through direct elections, the other 35 elected by functional constituencies (Legislative Council, 2012). Under the provisions of the Basic Law, LegCo Members may propose new legislation, introduce bills into LegCo, and amend or repeal existing legislation (Legislative Council, 2012). LegCo is to frame laws, make public expenditure under control and monitor the Government’s work. LegCo have the power to support or remove the decisions of the Court of Final Appeal and the Chief Judge of the High Court, and the power to impeach the Chief Executive. When a Member suggests a bill or a legislation, other Members of LegCo will discuss, debate and vote to design the approval....
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