CCP Officials: Quantity, Not Quality

As Chinese leaders prepare for annual National People’s Congress and Political Consultative Conference meetings in Beijing in March, journalist Mu Chunshan highlights a series of missteps – including one proposal to build a huge “Goddess of Harmony” in southern China – hanging over an increasingly out of touch body of lawmakers. From The Diplomat:

In another strange case a couple of years back, an official suggested that simplified Chinese characters should be abolished in favor of traditional Chinese characters sometime in the next decade. His reasoning was that as Taiwan uses the traditional characters, using the same characters would be a good way of helping reunification (the proposal was rejected).
In another example of political tone deafness, an official suggested that one way of making it easier to streamline the civil service would be to create other institutions to accept former civil servants. This illogical suggestion prompted much mirth.
Foreigners looking at some of these proposals might very well be asking themselves how these officials ever became lawmakers in the first place. Clearly there is a dearth of quality candidates representing the needs of the people.
So what should be done? If the government is interested in improving the quality of lawmakers, then conducting open elections is surely the way forward. Letting the public have more of a say at a local level would at least encourage officials to be responsive to the needs of the people. Coupled with this, the government should encourage more members of the general public to run for office, rather than relying on out of touch officials.



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