As Carrie Lam, Elsie Leung and other cheerleaders continue to argue for the government's stance on electoral reform, they also continue to gloss over the serious contradiction at the heart of it. On the one hand they insist that any reform must comply with the Basic Law, which requires that a "broadly representative" nominating committee should nominate candidates for election by universal suffrage as Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Most of us could live with that; the problem arises when they insist that the formation of the committee must also comply with the ruling by the NPC Standing Committee in 2007 that it be formed "with reference to the existing election committee" that selected CE candidates for the last "election".
According to those who are supposed to know, this means in Chinese legal parlance that the nominating committee, while it may be larger, should be of similar composition to the "four sectors" making up the election committee. The difficulty here is that, other than those with a vested interest in the old system, no one in Hong Kong recognises the election committee as coming anywhere close to being "broadly representative"; in fact, the very opposite. So if we have a nominating committee that follows the NPC ruling, we will not have one that is in any genuine sense "broadly representative" , and therefore it cannot be compliant with the Basic Law.
Apart from providing ample fodder for a judicial review, failure by the government to address this contradiction seems almost guaranteed to bring on Occupy Central. Is that what they want?