Friday, November 11, 2005

Pitfalls of Hong Kong's Fight For Democracy

Pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong, led by the Democratic Party, are not happy with the government's latest proposal on political reform. The reason for rejecting the government's proposal is the apparent missing of a time table for universal suffrage.

Now let's see what kind of policies these folks want to achieve once democracy is attained and they are on the drivers' seat. They would like to introduce antitrust law, more welfare benefits, more expenditure on health care, more affordable housing, minimum wage, maximum working hours...

In other words, they want more not less government. And so far as economic policies are concerned, they are a bunch of socialists. As I mentioned before, a very strong reason why the democrats are not happy with the current government is simply that they are not the ones calling the shots, not that they think the current government is too expansive.

Thus one should not be surprised by the fact that the democrats are not concerned at all with how we should go about restraining the government's power once democracy becomes a reality.

If the democrats are to have their ways, we will have tyranny of the majority on our hands. As we know too well, tyranny by any name is tyranny.

Afterall, Hayek wrote back in 1944 that

"There is no justification for the belief that,
so long as power is conferred by democratic
procedure, it cannot be arbitrary...
[I]t is not the source but the limitation
of power which prevents it from
being arbitraty. Democratic control may
prevent power from becoming arbitrary, but
it does not do so by its mere existence." (italics in original)

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