Joshua Wong sentenced to 6 months

Joshua was sentenced to 6 months in Hong Kong today for unlawful gathering. For those of you unaware as to who he is, he is most notable for is organising and inciting the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella protest, the goal of this was to implement a democracy in Hong Kong. For this protest in 2016 he was charged with Unlawful assembly and “Law of Incitement” and sentenced to 80 hours community service he carried this out but today was charged for a second time despite Hong Kong having a double jeopardy law in place.


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That’s bad, but why is it relevant to PPAU and what do you think we should be doing about it?

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Democracy is a major pillar of PPAU and I felt that this would be a good way of starting a discussion about changes to current AU democracy and justice systems that we would implement.


We can offer in principle support. There’s a soft limit on how many issues we can devote energy and time to raising attention towards.

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The obvious starting place is the relevant sections in the existing platform.

There’s plenty of good stuff in there. One thing we don’t talk about in the platform is changing the electoral system, for various reasons (if nothing else, the changes we’d propose would make it easier for minor parties such as ourselves to get elected, and that can come across as attempted goalpost-shifting).

Someone has to talk about it at some point though. Entrenched two party systems don’t do the population any favours and tend to make a mockery of democracy.


Soooo jedb, why not you?
Looking at the PDC working group list just posted, I’m looking for a WG about electoral reform with your name at the front, and I’m not seeing one? What’s with that?

Partly because it didn’t come up in the discussion on IRC. Partly because PPAU is already on record as supporting a Royal Commission into the electoral system. So it’s more a matter of building support and publicity rather than changing/adopting policy.

If there were a royal commission, what testimony would we want to provide?
What system do we believe would be most fair and reasonable, and why?

I was born in Hong Kong and lived there for years. It’s very sad that Hong Kong is being drawn more and more into the Chinese system and losing what’s most precious in their own society. Freedom and the rule of law are dying by a thousand cuts in Hong Kong and I’d certainly like to see Australia at least saying something in defence of those values. But don’t bet on it, because China hates it when outside countries do that, and the US can’t be counted on to act as any sort of counter-weight.

I don’t know that we can do much to help Joshua Wong, but it’s worth paying attention. The state of global democracy does matter, and the spread of authoritarian ideology in one place often fuels it in others.


International Politics which don’t involve Australia is outside the scope of our Platform. If we get drawn into these then it becomes a slippery slope into involving ourselves into conflicts which have nothing to do with us. Even if some fights are morally right, some of them are morally ambiguous. Even if we did take on this kind of fight, PPAU and Australia are not in a powerful enough position to fight it, and it would just end up hurting relations with other countries, even in ways not related to the incident. It can also hurt getting supporters in our own country if they take particular sides and then we weigh into it against their beliefs, when in reality all we are trying to change is Australia as #1, and the world by the example we set by succeeding.

China is a very powerful country and even though they have a massive list of human right’s violations (which keeps growing), we can’t rock the boat too much because it would be disastrous if they turned against Australia. If anything was to be said at all, and I’m not sure if it does (there are plenty of other organisations who can say things instead, which our members can mutually be apart of), it would need to be very specific to a particular incident instead of taking a line against any country in general.

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Well I do have a lot of useful information and suggestions on that, true. Still doesn’t seem like it belongs in policy though, since the sensible position to take is to have a RC then follow the recommendations. Preempting that by also having a policy pushing for a specific outcome seems off.

What is the most appropriate place for that sort of thing?

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It’s not inconsistent.

  1. We think the current system has problems.
  2. We want an RC to consider big reforms to the system because it’ll get input from everyone and because it has teeth.
  3. In the RC, we’ll advocate XYZ.

Royal commissions take submissions from interested parties.
How interested are we?

Oh, I completely agree such information should be somewhere. It just didn’t seem like the policy platform was the right place for it. But alexjago has a good point, and I think I’ve probably been completely wrong on that.