Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two years ago I blogged about the gerrymandered National People's Congress ("gerrymandered" is not really the right word, but what's done is done) in which, by formal legislative design, there are four times as many delegates from urban areas as from rural areas relative to population. (I am deliberately not using terms such as "representation", since that word assumes that the NPC is actually a representative body, an issue I don't want to get into here.) Although seeing this as a problem and fixing it won't make China a democracy, it seems to me to be a very important - and welcome - symbolic step toward reversing the anti-rural bias that has characterized PRC politics since the beginning. And that step seems to be in the cards.The latest draft of the Election Law to go to the National People's Congress Standing Committee for review apparently removes distinctions between urban and rural residents, at least as far as they affect the number of delegates that come from particular areas. And that would mean the end of the four-to-one rule. Here's the news report.