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The Patriot Chief

Paulo Rego*

The change in the rules for the election of the Chief Executive was unanimously approved in the Legislative Assembly. As early as 2024, the State Security Defense Commission will determine “whether participants uphold the Basic Law and are “faithful to the PRC Macao SAR.” This opinion is “binding” for the Electoral Affairs Committee of the Chief Executive; “without the right to complaint or contentious appeal”.

All that’s left to do is stomp your boots and salute. As if it were possible today for someone without the blessing of heaven to be a leader on earth. The biggest problem with this aggressive and useless formality is that it adds nothing – it only subtracts – and even what it seems like: a step back in autonomy, in political modernity, in the face that Beijing is interested in showing: Hong Kong, Taiwan – and to the rest of the world. This meaningless – and outdated – narrative has no benefit whatsoever. And it opens wounds that can become inflamed.

One thing is reality; another is the narrative – and its perception. After all, what is the theoretical problem we want to avoid? Candidates with a dissonant voice? If one day there are, where might they want to go? Nowhere…. Who truly believes that the Electoral Commission would let people who have no possible clue run? Against the winds of the capital??!! Please!

The Second System integrated this reality. Macau is like this: bad or good, it results from previous practice, with the power of the First System. The well-behaved children who think they are looking after the Mother Country will perhaps be happy. But this chant from Chief Patriot only serves to invent a problem that doesn’t exist. The election is collegial – it is not by universal suffrage. The local elite will never tear up Beijing’s stalls. But by beating the blind guy so much, they take away the face of the First System. The more open the Second System is, the better they will serve the First. If that weren’t the case, why on earth would there be two?

*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA

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