The following excerpts are from an article on Xinhua Net, published on July 1, 2009, and translated by CDT:
At 10 am on July 1st, 2009, Professor Wang Changjiang, who is also the director of the Party Building Teaching and Research Department of the Central Party School and director of the Center for the Comparative Study of World Political Parties of the Central Party School, came to Xinhua Net as a guest, interacting with netizens on the topic of the accomplishments of institution-building by the Party over the last 30 years of reform and opening.
Wang Changjiang: Therefore I want to emphasize here: Democracy is very important. In what way do we say that democracy is important? We have just discussed the problem of cadres at length. On the issue of the problem of cadres, we must expand our democracy. Think about it, why are ordinary people sometimes discontented with our cadres? Why sometimes even when cadres get something done they are evaluated very differently [in the eyes of ordinary people]?
From a cadre’s perspective, we can say we are really doing things for the people. But ordinary people may think our work is just a show. It is a show for superiors in order to get promoted. This creates a dilemma: To do something is wrong, and not to do anything is also wrong. Why?
To put it blatantly, this is because the way you got your power puts you in a position where you cannot speak. [From the people’s perspective,] since I did not give you power, therefore you can not represent me. He does not genuinely identify with your power.
In this situation, no matter how hard you worked and how much you accomplished, the ordinary people still do not identify with you. For people who study political science, this is called low political legitimacy.
Then how can we increase our political legitimacy? The most important thing is to let them (ordinary people) to be in charge.