Liberal Studies F4 Second term—Hong Kong Today ? Indicators used to understand poverty in HK ? ? ? ? Income Health Education ? ? ? Living conditions Employment Community / family support Section 1—Poverty Disparity / discrepancy between rich and poor ? Gini coefficient – Range from 0 to 1 0 = income distribution is absolute equal 1 = income distribution is absolute unequal ? Challenges faced by poor people ? Employment – usually contract staff, low income, lack labour protection ? ? ? ? Support – limited support channels from government Living standard – X fulfill basic needs (eg. ealthcare service) Intergenerational poverty Relationship no family time ? marital / familial conflicts ? Disadvantaged groups ? Men vs. Women – do housework + child care ? HK citizens vs. New arrivals less assistance from government discrimination (reduces HK citizens’ job opportunities) ? ? CSSA: Comprehensive Social Security Assistance HK government—positive non-interventionist approach (??????? ) ? ? ? A regulator rather than a provider of welfare programmes Free market / trade policy ? Minimal government intervention Low taxation system Liberal Studies F4 Second term—Hong Kong Today Section 2—Quality of Life ?
Measuring QoL ? Dimensions—economic; social; political; cultural; environmental ? Objective indicators (statistical data) – Income; wealth gap – Social welfare; life expectancy – Electoral system; voter turnout rate – Variety of cultural activities; museums; libraries – Living space; air pollution index Subjective indicators (people’s feelings) ? Satisfaction with economy / income Satisfaction with public health, freedom of speech, welfare Satisfaction with government’s performance Perceived human rights enjoyed Satisfaction with cultural environment, diversity Satisfaction with living / natural environment Obstacles to better QoL in HK ? HK has a pervasive culture of long working hours ? Stay until boss leaves ? Not much emphasis on importance of work-life balance ? Constant reaffirmation of good working ethics ? ? Life chances are determined by individual efforts Weak collective bargaining power between workers ? Strategies used in promoting labour rights ? ? ? Legislation and enforcement Management and regulation Education and publicity ? ? Public engagement Research ? Organisations and treaties ? International Labour Organisation (ILO) ? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) ?
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) – Right of everyone to enjoyment of just & favourable conditions of work – Safe and healthy working conditions – Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours Liberal Studies F4 Second term—Hong Kong Today Section 3—Rule of law ? Rule of Law ? All individuals are equal in front of law ? Government should act in accordance with its established statutes (?? ) ? ? ? Both the government and the citizens must act according to such statutes The independence of the judiciary institution is guaranteed to maintain rule of law
How to ensure judicial independence (???? ) ? ? Way of appointing judges should be away from external pressure Constitutions (?? ) should be written for and monitored by people ? Rule of law is actualization of constitutional democracy ? Principles of rule of law (remember!! ) ? Everyone is equal before the law ? Government should act in accordance to the law ? The law should not have retroactive effect ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Judicial independence The law clauses should be simple and easy to understand The law clauses should not be self-contradictory Filing an appeal (???? ) is allowed Judicial review (???? is allowed Legal aid is offered Should go through sufficient public consultation Assume innocence before conviction / proven guilty Law should be the lowest limit to protect individual freedom *** Police power should be limited under rule of law ? Functions of LegCo ? Enact (?? ) laws ? ? ? Control public expenditure Monitor the work of government Unfairness of District Council elections ? Not all DC members are elected directly by voters ? Some DC members are appointed by Chief Executive ? Presence of ex-officio members (???? ) Liberal Studies F4 Second term—Hong Kong Today Section 3—Rule of law ?
Functional Constituencies ? Rationale for introducing FCs – To use their professional knowledge for the benefit of the public by helping people ? analyse problems Reason to maintain FCs – To ensure balanced participation ? people, government and business sector / FCs should play an equal part in decision-making Contradiction between “balanced participation” and “direct election” – Representatives of government and FCs are not directly elected by people Fundamental flaws of FCs – Not directly elected by people – Distrust by people at the beginning – Emphasise too much on their own interests ?
Often oppose to motions supported by directly elected GC members – An obstacle to motions that are beneficial to general public Corporate votes – Encourage corporate welfare – Represent only interests of certain groups instead of whole sector – Profitability of businesses often depends on government licenses, regulations, subsidies ?? government count on support of business interests in LegCo and CE elections ? ? ? ? ? Not all practitioners working in the sector / industry can vote Split voting system ? Motions supported by GCs are often opposed by FCs ? Promote favouritism towards business sector / government?
Criteria for democratic electoral system ? Principle of universality (??? ) ? Principle of equality (??? ) Electoral Affairs Commission (??????? ) ? Ensure that elections are carried out in a fair, open and honest manner ? ? ? Geographical Constituency has a broader electoral base (no. of registered voters) than Functional Constituency Liberal Studies F4 Second term—Hong Kong Today ? Chief Executive Election ? Term of office: 5 years, renewable once only ? Elected by Election Committee (800 members) Election Committee (2008) 1. Industrial, commercial and financial sectors (200) 3.
Labour, social services, religious and other sectors (200) ? Section 3—Rule of law 2. The professions (200) 4. Political sector: members of LegCo, HK deputies to NPC… (200) Article 45 of Basic Law ? The ultimate aim is the selection of CE by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures Latest development ? EC increases from 800 to 1200 ? 75 of 100 additional seats for political sector occupied by DC members ? ? Why EC is divided into different subsectors? ? Ensure balanced participation and broad representation ? Increases the legitimacy (??? of government Expansion of EC ? Advantages – Include people from different sectors to elect CE – EC composition resembles diff. sectors in society ? Reflect views of diff. people ? People more contented ? Fairly high legitimacy level of CE Disadvantages – Not all people can cast vote in CE election – People may think that electors in EC cannot fully represent their views – Presence of corporate votes undermines the representativeness of EC ? Represent corporate interests but not general public interests No political competition in some sub-sector elections ? Weaken legitimacy of CE ? ? ? Small circle election
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