vigorously’ (Huque et al 1998: 34). The Governors were, in turn, appointees of the British government.
The executive branch of the government or the Government Secretariat formulates Policy is effectively made by civil servants with little input from elsewhere
although the 1999). The
government claims political legitimacy
that it of the
is more consultative than under colonial rule (Lam Hong Kong government has therefore relied on the
‘appearance’ of a politically neutral enshrined the notion that a neutral, guaranteeing the future livelihood of
civil service (Scott 1996: 279). The Joint Declaration
civil service was dominance of the
instrumental civil service
policy formulation and governance ensured that there was administrative reform from outside the government. Beyond Hong Kong’s civil society remains limited.
no political pressure for Legco, policy input from
However, Hong Kong’s description as an administrative state is now contested following limited democratisation. From the Joint Declaration between Britain and China in 1984, the political climate in Hong Kong has been tempered by Sino-British exchanges over its future. Until 1985, Legco members were appointees of the Governor. After 1985,
the number seats were
of elected members on Legco became 24 (out of 60)
although none of these government, namely the
Boards, the Urban Council and the Regional Council indirectly elected 12 Legco The other 12 came from ‘functional’ constituencies. The Tiananmen massacres of
and the first direct capturing 17 out of
Legco the 18
elections in September 1991 saw pro-democratic candidates directly elected seats. Direct elections for only a third of the
sixty available seats in the in 2000 and 30 in 2004. the Basic Law. The main
Legco also took place in 1995 and 1998, increasing to 24 seats Future change to the electoral system remains open-ended under political parties to contest the directly elected seats in Legco are
the DAB Party, but
(Democratic Alliance the main difference
of Hong Kong) and the their stance on relations
Democratic with China.
Although both parties are considered ‘centre-left’, they Kong’s relationship with China. Broadly speaking, the and the Democrats are pro-independence.
are divided in their view of Hong DAB are considered ‘pro-Beijing’