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Old 01-13-2013, 08:30 AM   #29
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brantonli's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 13433 km from Land of 2 Rings
Posts: 6,169
Default Re: According to new study, New Zealand is "most free" country in the world.

Originally Posted by KevinNYC
You don't have universal sufferage, but these folks consider you among the freest? How does sufferage work in HK.

Also the land of two rings is Houston?

I tried to find how they calculate the index which ranked HK as 3rd, and found this:

Q: Does democracy matter?
A: The type of government was not included as a category in the Fraser Institute’s Index of Human Freedom. “We’re measuring freedom, not democracy,” Mr. McMahon said, adding that democracy should not be confused with freedom. He said that even though democracies may be better able to support stable freedom over the long term, it does not equal freedom. Democracy is a power relationship while freedom means lack of constraints, Mr. Mahon said. “Iran in many ways has a democracy, but it would be silly to say that people in Iran, because they can vote are freer than people in Hong Kong,” he said.“This is not to say that democracy is not a good thing … that is certainly a good thing, but democracy on its own is not freedom.”

BTW the headline of the above article is pretty sensationalist but content is alright. And No we don't elect our Chief Executive, he is elected by a group of 1200 people from varying industries and politicians. We do vote for Legislative Coucil members (I tink the equivalent of MPs in UK or Congressmen in USA?) which then decide on laws.

The Hong Kong people are quite politically active, for example 10 years ago, the Council considered a security bill called Article 23, which was perceived to severely limit freedom in HK and would enact punishments for any acts of treason, insubordination against the chinese government. I remember that around 500,000 people (estimated of course) showed up in marches and protest against the proposal. This was out of a population of 7 million, so imagine if in the USA, 21 million people marched in protest against some bill in the Senate. So we still have plenty of freedom of expression in HK.

Since the index seems to weight economic freedom quite heavily, then I'm not surprised HK is very high up. You can set up a business here incredibly quickly and not much (if any) government red tape.

HK and Macau are the only cities allowed to be like this in China, all the rest are Chinese and run by the Communist Party. The agreement which allows Hong Kong to be its own Special Administrative Region is set to expire by 2047, so that's one date that I absolutely dread to be honest.
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