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Meeting Challenges in Policy Making and Public Engagement C.K. Law 11/11/2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting Challenges in Policy Making and Public Engagement C.K. Law 11/11/2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting Challenges in Policy Making and Public Engagement C.K. Law 11/11/2010

2 Challenges Due to l Changes in our society l Our political and constitutional structure Dealing with such challenges

3 Changes in our society l Individualism l Consumerism l Media influence l Globalization l Information society l Civic Society development l Growing diversity

4 Individualism Jimmy Carter, l We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences dont make us weak. Theyre the source of our strength. Yes, differences make us stronger (part of Darwinism) No, struggles and internal fights can be immobilizing and disabling

5 Individualism l Closely associated with liberalism, pluralism, existentialism, humanism, and laissez-faire governance l A catalyst of diversity l Growing mistrust of politics and political rhetoric from the centre of politics.

6 Evolving Consumerism Abstract consumption l l Identity l l Emotional

7 Abstract Consumption

8 l Some LegCo members verbal assault on government officials meeting the need of ventilation towards grievance towards the government l Obamas open and repeated accusation of top executives of financial institutions in Walls Street meeting the need of expressing anger among Americans Emotive Consumption

9 Example: buying a home Smaller Older Far from city Bigger Newer Near the city

10 Consumerism and Political Communications l Are people irrational? l It is only rational in politics and policy making, if we take into consideration both the rationality and irrationality of human nature, particularly the wishes and expectations of the people

11 Media influence Take the followings as facts of life l No news is good news l Focus on sensation and emotive issues l Information highly selective – for the sake of the readers l Spontaneous response instead of learned response – can be misinformed and misleading.

12 Globalization and open society l Individuals in each society are opened to all different influences in cultures, values, and practices from the rest of the world l The more open the society (system) is, the more differentiated the individuals (elements) would be (General Systems Theory, 2 nd law of Thermodynamics)

13 Information society l Empowerment –More access to information –Easier to networking people l Reinforcing individualism l Subject to more influences and hence changes in values, beliefs and practices more easily and quickly

14 Civic Society Development l Part of an international trend – CSOs presence in all international submits l CSOs getting more and more autonomous, smaller, larger in numbers, and l More dynamic (coalitions on issue base)

15 Growing diversity in values, views and behaviors Due to l Expanding individualism l Hyper-pluralism l Globalization and open society l Information society

16 Growing diversity causing l More conflicts (particular in case when stakes are high, etc. urban redevelopment, XRL) l Lack of majority view, let alone consensus (e.g. health care financing, tax reform, urban renewal)

17 Issues of political and government structure l Bureaucracy l Development of political culture l Election system and political constitution of the LegCo l Relationship between LegCo and the Administration l One country two systems l Civil servants and political appointees

18 Bureaucracy l Good in specialized, repetitive and routine tasks l Not equip with dealing with changing values (e.g. heritage preservation) l Poor in coordination and dealing with complex issues l departments tend to interpret departmental roles and responsibilities narrowly (Ombudsman, 2010)

19 Development of political culture l Political participation increasing since political reforms started in the 1980s l Increasing demand for accountability, transparencies, fairness, and integrity l Increasing demand for rights and benefits l Increasingly overriding local interest

20 Political composition in LegCo l Fragmentation: In the 2008 election, no political party can gain more than 17% of the seats with all political parties holding no more than half the seats. l Representation: The issue of functional constituencies

21 LegCo l Limited power – limited responsibility l Monitoring becomes Criticizing Political compromises are absent – Stand firm is a virtue – Changing stance ( ) is a sin. l A statutory pressure group or advocacy group

22 Legcophobia Fear of going to LegCo Before July 1997After July 1997 ImplementedNot implemented ImplementedNot yet implemented count26*7421# Median3 years6 years (* The recommendations of 2 reports were implemented after July 1997) (# The Government has announced not to implement the recommendations of 1 report, but no such announcement was made for the other 20 reports.) Number of reports submitted by the Law Reform Commission (from 1980 to 2010)

23 One Country Two Systems l Issue of mistrust towards Beijing –1/7/2003 and aftermath – Cao Erbao ( ), Director, Research Section, Central Liaison Office in HK, (Central Party Schools newspaper, January 2008) – two governing forces in HK l Basic Law – ensuring an executive led government – power centralized in the CE l Ensured a fragmented LegCo with limited power

24 Way ahead l Power Sharing l Maximum transparency l Development of political leaders l E-government and e-engagement

25 Power Sharing l Sharing power with the public and with the LegCo l Sharing of information is sharing of power l Community engagement – bottom-up and ownership l Distributed governance l Constitutional reform

26 l Transparency is one of the bases of trust towards the government l Sharing of information increases Transparency and increases trust

27 Development of political leaders l l Elections and Political parties l l Civil Servants l l Non-political or nonpartisan? l l Revolving door? l l Ref. French 5 th Republic (Civil servants are stable, politicians come and go)

28 E-government and e-engagement l ICT creates opportunities l Web 2.0 strengthens connectivity among people but how about between the government and people? l Facilitate the adoption of Web 2.0 technology by bureaux and departments in public engagement (Policy Agenda, 2010, Chapter 5) l Manage risk with prudence

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