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中国时间: 04:49 2016年12月05日星期一

何清涟 : “两会”观景:李肇星的常识错误


3月4日人大开幕前夕,十一届中国人大五次会议发言人李肇星在记者会上答记者提问时,首先肯定直选制的优点,但话锋一转,重申中国不适合一律直选,其理由是“中国地域辽阔、人口众多,经济社会发展不平衡,有些地方交通不便,一律实行直接选举还有困难”,中国选举制度采取“直接选举和间接选举相结合的办法,这符合中国的国情。”

这一席话,顿时将前一向被《人民日报》、新华社“宁要微辞,不要危机”激起的“政改想象”击得粉碎。要知道,中国这种所谓直选只是在中共地方党委严格控制下的一种政治游戏,各地代表的参选资格必须经过地方党委与政府认证背书。君不见上百独立候选人只是想尝试参选,就遭受当局各种花样百出的打压。既然连一党专制下的一律直选,都因“中国的国情”而不能成行,更别说那通向民主之路的政治体制改革了。

但李肇星的话实在太过荒唐,荒唐到让人怀疑这位中共党内的洋务派——前中国驻美国特命全权大使、号称“铁嘴”“诗人外交家”,并集中国各名牌大学学衔于一身的政治精英是否具备常识。

世界上比中国土地辽阔的国家多的是,比如美国、俄罗斯、加拿大、印度。这些国家都已实行了以全民选举为基础的民主制度。俄罗斯民主制度的成色就算不足,因普京好玩些个政治小动作,民众崇拜强权的文化传统打了个大折扣,但人家的选举制度可是认真实行了的。而且人家的气候条件比中国要寒冷得多——说这点,是想要李肇星等类政府发言人将来别把天气太热或者太冷,选民不愿意在日头下曝晒或顶风冒雪投票拿来做中国不能直选的理由。

李肇星强调“有些地方交通不便”的困难时,显然忘记了一点,即美国实行民主制度时,这个国家的交通工具还是时速不足10公里的公共马车。在那个年代,美国的公共马车曾担当起了在西部和东部城市之间传递资金、金融文件,运载单身商旅的主要角色。直到电报和火车出现后的1861年,公共马车才结束了其长达150余年的历史使命。美国的州际高速公路也是直到20世纪50年代以后才陆续建成,此前,铁路是美国最主要的交通动脉。但这些都未阻碍美国民主制度的建立与四年一度的总统大选及各种选举活动。

相比之下,中国现在交通状况远非百余年前的美国可比。路网发达,且不说飞机航线与近几年以“大跃进”速度建成的高铁,仅说公路一项。截至2008年,全国县道、乡道(不含村道)里程达到142.46万公里,公路密度为19.5公里/百平方公里。全国通公路的乡(镇)占全国乡(镇)总数的99.58%。通公路的行政村占全国行政村总数的92.9%。由此可见,李肇星所云“中国地域辽阔,交通不便,不适合一律实行直选”纯属权势者的信口开河。

至于“人口众多”的托辞,有印度作为证明其荒谬的例证。印度人口现有人口12.1亿,仅次于中国,该国早在1947年就实行了议会制民主,而且政府更替一直比较稳定,不象中国一样,权力交接充满了斗争与变数,政治人物个个成了阴谋大师。

李肇星还把中国“经济社会发展不平衡”拿来做为不能实行一律直选的理由。这一点说明他这些年来的驻美大使白当了。要知道,区域经济发展不平衡是当今世界(包括民主国家)普遍存在的问题,也是各国政府宏观调控的一个重要目标。就以美国而言,各地区的经济发展一直不平衡,以中国习惯的用语形容,北部是美国的“第一世界”,西部是美国的第二世界,南部则是第三世界。这三大地区的条件不同,经济发展水平及产业结构具有明显差异,有明显的市场分工和技术分工。历届联邦政府为了调节区域经济的差异,采取各种财政措施,收效甚大。其它如英国、加拿大、德国莫不存在各地区的经济发展不平衡问题。如果都要等到李肇星所说的那样,等到“经济社会发展平衡”的那天才能启动选举,当今世界上就没有民主国家与全民选举这套制度了。

是李肇星们真的不了解上述政治常识吗?不是。从改革开放以来,为了不让政治体制改革动摇一党专制统治下的利益格局,并保证利益顺利传递给权贵的子孙后代,北京及其帮闲曾想了千万条理由证明中国不适宜实行民主制,试列举如下:

中国经济基础太薄弱,要等到经济发展之后,实行民主制的条件才成熟——中国在本世纪前十年成为经济大国,后来还位居世界GDP老二了,这条理由不再提起。于是“民众素质太低宜缓行民主”被再次搬出来做为说辞——大家别忘记近两年口头宣示要实行民主的温家宝总理,2003年12月在哈佛大学演讲时,被一美国人问及中国何时开始实行民主时,还以“中国人民未准备好”做为托辞。此理由经一些人以美国、台湾、印度实行民主制时,人均受教育程度远低于今天的中国加以驳斥,于是又有人开始体恤党情地说,要给胡温这代领导人一点时间。如今到了胡温行将交班下车,就有了“铁嘴外交官”李肇星这套说辞,“幅员辽阔、人口众多”这一毛时代高调标榜的中国优势,竟然成了今天中国不能实现一律直选的理由。由此可见,北京当局对不能实行政改真到了理屈词穷的地步,即使换了“铁嘴”出马,也只能信口开河、随意乱说了。

其实,中共不肯实行以民选、民治为特点的民主制度,真正的理由只有一条:民主制度会结束中共这一以自我服务为特点的自利型政治集团的统治。一旦开启民主化之门,中共权贵及官员将再也不能视国库为私库肆意掠夺,将政治权力与经济权力在党内私相授受。只是这条“理由”无论如何太过丑恶,搬不到台面上来,于是才有了李肇星在3月4日上演的这幕戏剧。

Li Zhaoxing’s Common-Sense Fallacy— ‘Direct elections difficult to implement in China’

By He Qinglian
Modified version of the Epoch Times translation.

http://hqlenglish.blogspot.com/2012/03/li-zhaoxings-common-sense-fallacy.html

Li Zhaoxing, a spokesman for the fifth session of the 11th National People’s Congress, dubbed the two meetings, delivered a fatal blow to the “political reform” fantasy propagated by regime leaders in recent years.

At a press conference on March 4, before the opening of the meeting, Li started out by commenting positively on direct elections, but then switched and said a direct election system across the country is not suitable for China.

“In view of China’s vast size, its large population, its unbalanced economic and social development, and the inconvenient transportation [system] in some areas, it is not convenient, it is difficult to implement direct election,” Li said.
Li also said China’s election system “is a combination of direct and indirect elections and suits China’s national conditions.”

Li’s remarks have delivered a fatal blow to the “political reform” fantasy spread recently by [state controlled] People’s Daily and Xinhua through slogans such as “better a word of complaint than a situation of risk.”

The so-called “direct elections” in China are nothing more than a political game under the tight control of the Communist Party’s local committees. To qualify, local candidates must receive prior endorsement from the local party committee and government officials.

We have seen hundreds of independent candidates attempting to run for elections at the local level facing harassment of various forms. Direct elections across the country, under a one-party regime, cannot be implemented because, quoting Li, they don’t suit “China’s national conditions,” to say nothing of political reform that would pave the way for democracy.

Yet Li Zhaoxing’s remarks are so absurd that one cannot help but wonder whether Li, China’s former Ambassador to the U.S., who is considered the westernizing faction’s elite within the CPC, described by media as “iron mouth” and “poetic diplomat,” and who has degrees from various prestigious universities in China, has any common sense.

There are countries larger in size than China, such as the United States, Russia, Canada, and India, where democratic systems built upon direct popular elections have been implemented. Although Russia has not attained as great a level of democratic achievement as others, as a result of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s preference in political tricks, the country is determined to implement serious direct elections. Furthermore, Russia is a much colder country, and I mention this now in a hope that in the future, government spokespeople like Li Zhaoxing will not try to use excuses like “it’s too hot or too cold, and the people will not want to go out under a burning sun or struggle in the wind and snow to vote,” in an attempt to justify why China cannot have direct elections.

In response to Li’s argument that direction election is not suitable for China as its regional economic development is uneven, I want to point out the regional economic development in the U.S. is also uneven. To use terms that the Chinese are familiar with to describe different parts of the U.S., the northern part of the country may be referred to as the “first world,” the western part the “second world,” and the southern part the “third world.” As conditions in these three regions vary, the levels of their respective economic development and industrial structure are considerably different. To adjust this imbalance, the U.S. federal government has adopted various fiscal measures and achieved outstanding results. The same “imbalance” also exists in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany.

If direct voting should be held only on the day the economic social development is balanced, as Li Zhaoxing seems to imply, there would not be any democratic country, and no system of universal suffrage anywhere in the world.

Li’s comments made no sense; they were nothing but propaganda aimed to maintain Beijing’s one-party authoritarian rule.

Since the “reform and opening up,” in order to protect the interests of the one-party rule from being ruined by political reforms, and to ensure that the power and special interests are smoothly handed down to their offspring, Beijing and its clique have devised numerous reasons why a democratic system is not suitable for China.

Their favorite excuses have been that China’s economic foundation is too frail, and the best time to carry out democracy is when the economy is fully developed. During the last decade China has become an economic power, and its GDP even ranks second in the world, so the “economy” reasoning is now no longer quoted.

Presently, the pretext to withhold direct elections is “people’s quality is too low,” meaning that Chinese people’s education level is too low to let them vote.

During the last few years, Premier Wen Jiabao has often pledged reform. In Dec. 2003, during a speech at Harvard University, he was asked when China would begin the reforms. Wen answered, “Chinese people are not ready.”

Some people have argued that when the U.S., Taiwan, and India implemented democracy, the education level of their citizens were far lower than that of today’s Chinese. And some sympathetic people have said we should give Hu and Wen, the leaders of this generation, a little time.

Now that Hu and Wen are going to step down soon, the “silver-tongued diplomat” Li Zhouxing shows up with the rhetoric “a vast territory and a large population,” which have long been hyped up as China’s greatest advantages during Mao’s rule, and now become the reason for the regime’s inability to implement democratic reform.

Beijing could not come up with a legal explanation for not making the reform; even the silver-tongued Li could do nothing but blabber.

The real reason that the communist regime does not want to implement democratic reform and create a system of “direct election and supervision by the people,” is that such a system will end the rule of communist China’s self-interested groups which tend to serve themselves and the CPC can no longer wantonly loot the state treasury and illicitly transfer economic and political interests among themselves after such a system is in place.
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