Separate Vote Count Mechanism

2815 Words Feb 7th, 2013 12 Pages
Topic: The Separate Vote Count Mechanism in the Hong Kong Legislative Council

In Hong Kong Legislative Council (Legco), the decision rule is difference for the bills by government and the bills by the legislative council members. There are different views about the Separate Vote Count Mechanism in the decision rule of Legco. Some people think that it cannot reveal public interest and some people think it has its function on resisting so called “unreasonable” or “nonsense” bills by the legco members. This essay is going to talk about the decision rules in the Legco and also it will focus on the separate vote count mechanism.

Introduction of Legislative Council and its decision rules

The Articles 66 to 79 of the Basic Law is the rules
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The apparent purpose of setting this mechanism are to control the adoption of the bills or motions proposed by individual lawmakers and to make sure the system is definitely in government-led and strengthen the executive dominance over the legislature so that the government can take the initiative ostensibly. No doubt, it forms high institutional threshold. The separate vote count mechanism applies in the adoption of bills raised by individual members in the Legco as getting agreement by both geographical constituencies and functional constituencies. That means some bills passed by geographical constituencies can still banned by the functional constituencies afterwards and thus the bills will ultimately banned. The underlying reason for having this mechanism is to control the parliament effectively in a low cost by controlling all the “unfavorable” bills with matching with the system of functional constituencies. The bills “unfavorable” or not is defined by the government in terms of its preset standpoints and economic interests. The preset standpoints may be based on the will of the Central Government of China or local government. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve democracy under the separate vote count mechanism especially in functional constituency system and the government can still control everything at a certain level.

In fact, most bills could not be passed under separate vote

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