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A puzzling stance: not to support the filibuster, yet oppose ending it

It was Mother's Day yesterday, and I went to Mong Kok Flower Market to buy some seeds and two bunches of carnations. I gave one bunch of carnations to my wife on behalf of my children, and laid the other on my mother's grave.

During my previous visits to the flower market, members of the public and stallholders would express their views to me on various matters. Yesterday at the flower market and the cemetery, every person I came across talked about the on-going filibuster. To be precise, they all complained about it, sometimes with rather strong language. One person said, "I can understand why the radicals filibuster, but I don't understand why the moderate pan-democrats don't support cutting short the debate." "Neither do I," I said.

According to media reports, the President of the Legislative Council will today invite Members to discuss how to handle the filibuster. One Member did not support cutting short the debate, saying that the Rules of Procedure, which had been formulated according to the Basic Law, did not allow the President to end filibusters, and saw no grounds for the President to do so. However, this Member did not propose an alternative solution to the impasse.

One political party leader said that the party did not support the filibuster, but if the LegCo President proposed an end to it, the party would consider his justifications before deciding how to respond. In fact, one only has to reach out to the public and listen to their views to get all the justification.

Filibustering the Budget not only seriously upsets the Government's financial order but also adversely affects the general public and civil servants, LegCo's image in the minds of local people and the international profile of Hong Kong.

Whether they support, oppose or tolerate the filibuster or sit on the fence, LegCo Members should state their views on this issue.

May 13, 2013