BBC reporter Carrie Gracie (husband’s an aging Chinese rock singer):
At a conference this month to deepen the Communist Party’s so called “dialogue with the world”, senior party members explained the benefits of the Party’s brand of consultative democracy.
Yang Rui for example, a well-known anchor on China’s state television, told me it was a mistake to use the ballot box to decide everything “because you have to suppose every voter is rational and reasonable”. He pointed to the American election campaign as an example of debased populism that threatens to entrench division and triviality.
“People seem to forget serious issues. They talk about sex, locker room conversation, men and lousy behaviour. Debates are getting nasty and that undermines the strength of Western democracy.” [Could PAP apologist Kishore talking.]
Fang Xinghai, another senior Party member and vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said the strength of China’s consultative system is the intense deliberation which takes place behind closed doors inside the Party itself. [Could VivianB or Tharman talking.]
“This has allowed China forty years of uninterrupted growth within a stable system. Quiet deliberation is a more effective form of policy than a public shouting match, because policy making is complicated.” [Could LKY, GCT, PM or Tharman talking.]
These are people with enormous exposure to western political culture who believe China’s one party system can compete on the delivery of public goods.
In an echo of the mandarin class who ruled China for centuries through the imperial civil service, they defend the legitimacy of a policy making elite. And they don’t want for ambition.
Note I’ll be posting extracts from the above BBC article that are relevant to S’pore. So stay tuned.