Why are Hong Kongers all of a suddenly protesting for democracy when they were never a democracy?

Oct 2014
Under Britain, Hong Kong never got to choose their governors. Their governors were chosen by the Prime Minister of the UK, and Hong Kong never directly elected MPs to the UK which means they pretty much had zilch say about who governed them. They had a Legislative council that was elected and passed laws but that still exists today under China, and is still elected by the people every 4 years. In fact I would say Hong Kong is slightly more free now than it was under Britain because at least today the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is elected by the LegCo which is elected by the people instead of being chosen by the UK Prime Minister.

why are Hong Kongers all of a sudden so fussy about “democracy” that never existed? Can someone explain the HK history to me?


Forum Staff
Feb 2009
Eastern PA
It appears to me that the protesters in Hong Kong are against certain concepts but I haven't seen anything that they are in favor of.
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Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
Yötebory Sveriya
Many countries what haven’t been democracies before have demanded it. Why should prior existence of democracy be a prerequisite for a demand for democracy?

Also, it is not odd for nations to be happy with one tyrant, but then not another. When Athens first demanded democracy, they didn’t necessarily want it under the Tyrant Peisistratus, but when Hippias and Hipparchus came to power they very much wanted it.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
Under British rule there was far more freedom of expression and protection by the law than there is now, and very important, HK citizens were classed as British Overseas Nationals, with British passports and the freedom of movement that went with them. Understandably they would like these things back, not necessarily the British but a similar set up with even more political power.