【明報專訊】Yes, hmmm... in fact, no, you guys can't win back our hearts as there is no flame to be struck between us. Any flame before? None either. Our hearts have never been deposited into your offices. You fellows are just paid representatives of our minds and wills in the legislature. You are not my maverick Romeo for whom I would love to meet outside my balcony under the moon. I don't make bed for you and you had better not to make mine. Please leave my heart alone, undisturbed and undaunted. I just feel dismayed and much disgusted when reading the A1 headline on the Morning Post the other day: "We will do our best to win back hearts of HK people". That was such an odd quote from the freshly defeated (again!) pan-democrats when they just posted themselves as a united front on the stage, before the cameras, holding hands, looking solemn, bowing deep, projecting humility and acting soul-searching while the establishment just merrily announced their consecutive victories in the two consecutive by-elections triggered by the lawful but disgraceful DQ campaigns. For the avoidance of doubt, I did vote for those losers, one after the other, in the sun and in the rain. My friends teased me, not without mischief, "You voted them with tears?" I corrected them, "Transliterally, I sucked my tears while casting my vote!" The so-called pan-democrats indeed suck. In the act of their public apologising, they only looked mesmeric to themselves, miserable to others.
They suck because they dared treat the electorates as subjects while mistaking themselves as the governing elites. They were so arrogant to have thought our votes are just like cash which is always transferable. If you can vote their Plan A, you shall vote their Plan B as told. Alas, money is nothing unless and until too many people consider it valuable, thus it has to be transferrable. However, my vote is valuable by itself even though it is only sitting in my hand, never cast into the ballot box.
Our pan-democrats may take pleasure from reading The Federalist Papers No. 10 which, so wrote James Madison, says, "[the delegation of government is] to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations." Our passion and sympathy for their Plan A, according to the pan-democrats' wishful thinking and grand strategy, could be readily "refined and enlarged" to suit their Plan B so as to "best discern the true interest" of the electorates. I could hardly swallow it but I did. Perhaps the Founding Fathers might have had their legitimate elitist concerns of the perils of democracy in their time while crafting a democratic union to last. Nevertheless, unlike the pan-democrats, the Founding Fathers were genuinely and truly public-spirited elites in every sense. Those pan-democrats are simply bad apples fallen far from the tree.
This summer Yascha Mounk, a Harvard professor teaching politics, wrote a book The People vs. Democracy which, inter alia, directs us to rethink the relevance of Madison's message quoted above in the contemporary world amid the populist uproar heard in the United States, Europe and Latin America. He observed that there was vast loss of power for the people's representatives and accordingly the erosion of democracy, not due to the elites' conspiracy but by the gradual policy challenges. I suspect that Mounk's thesis may not cover the HKSAR whose story is a blue one jointly authored by a giant despotic state, timid local collaborators and self-styled pan-democrats who do lack humility. They just apologise.
■By Lawrence Lau 劉偉聰
Lawrence is a life debater who has to debate with his life. Being a barrister makes him a living while reading and writing gives him a life. This is his cat Dworkin.