從六月份四百人組成的特首選委會，到崔世安今年再次在沒有對手的情況下競選，這場特首選戰的過程中，很明顯看到澳門政治決策機制，堅決和不成比例地傾斜向「協商」而非「選舉」的一方。具體而言，我們現有的選舉，無論是立法會的大多數議席還是行政長官都嚴格地以協商的方式進行。這當然絕對合法且跟足了《基本法》 ── 當中的第四十七條指明行政長官應「在當地通過選舉或協商產生」。
然而，問題在於在行政和立法層面上，仍然過份側重協商是否就能符合現今澳門社會的期望？如果確實是要協商，那以行政長官的產生為例，是否所有「協商」都是選出一個「要對中央政府和澳門特區負責」的首長最好的方法？(《基本法》四十五條) 然後，到底「澳門特別行政區」是指甚麼？是指其管轄範圍（administrative contours）還是指其人民?
「選舉」的其中一個缺點，正如托克維爾（Alexis de Tocqueville）在他的《民主在美國》中所觀察到的，是可能會導致「多數派暴力」，也就是說贏得了選舉的多數派，以沒收了少數派權力及利益作為代價。最近，希望超越這種多數主義規則(majoritarian rule) 的渴望，轉化成葡萄牙抗爭世代運動(Struggling Generation)和西班牙原住民運動的驅動力，特別是在正規民主程序和它所倚賴的政黨政治，已無法配合社會需要，讓少數派發表不滿聲音。
那麼當你既不擁有民主也不擁有共產體制時，協商又有何價值可言？這裡尚不存在任何針對政黨的法律，而《基本法》又意有所指地提到我們在五十年內能享有資本主義制度，在這樣的情況裡我們到底是在誰的領導之下？以澳門之前那些缺乏合法性（lack of legitimacy）的協商作判斷，我想到的是西灣湖夜市或者政改的例子，政府到底準備傾聽怎樣的聲音，又是基於怎樣的目的？
Consultation vs. election
It has now become clear, with the way the 400-member strong Chief Executive Election Committee was constituted in June, the very fact that Chui Sai On is running this year again unopposed and the overall proceedings of the campaign, that the preferred mechanism for political decision-making in Macao has resolutely and disproportionality tilted in favor of consultation rather than election. To be more precise, we now have elections, both for the vast majority of the Legislative Assembly and the Chief Executive, that strictly take the form of consultations. This is of course absolutely legal and in line with the Basic Law—art. 47 plainly states that the Chief Executive should be “selected by election or through consultations held locally”. Yet the issue remains: is the choice of ever more consultations—both on the executive and legislative sides of power—congruent with the aspirations of present-day Macao society? And if consultations it should be, are all consultations equal and the best way to make, again in the case of the Chief Executive, the highest authority of the SAR equally “accountable to Central People’s Government and the Macao Special Administrative Region” (BL, art. 45)? And then, what do we mean by “the Macao Special Administrative Region”: its administrative contours or its people?
In a democratic context, consultations are usually not put on an equal footing with elections. Consultations are merely mechanisms to collect as broadly as possible the opinion of the people on a particular topic, and these consultations are understood as a reference tool for elected politicians to come up with policies and decide what is the best course of action. Consultations bring knowledge and additional legitimacy to a choice made by elected officials, and can be influential tools in the hands of people’s representatives, but they are not per se the exercise of power—unless constitutionally recognized as referenda—as they have no binding value: if an election is valid, it cannot be contested, whereas any consultation, whatever its worth, can be disregarded. Consultations do not always involve the participation of the whole body of citizens, but can be organized on a smaller scale, with political parties, unions, associations, business corporations and any kind of socially constituted interests in order to help build and broaden the consensus and possibly garner support prior to any political initiative taken by a government. If we leave the shores of liberal democracy, political consultations can serve a much more crucial role, as it is the case in the People’s Republic of China. In the 2007 White paper on China’s Political Party System released by the State Information Office of the State Council, “political consultation” is an adjuvant to “multi-party cooperation”, and is considered a key element of the political system in China “under the leadership of the Communist Party”. What is often referred as the most important part of the “United Front”—the cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and eight other political parties—delineates a central organizational tool that allows to broaden political participation, articulate diverging interests, integrate dissimilar social components, open the door to democratic supervision and ultimately maintain stability. But yet again, “all parties, mass organizations and representatives from all walks of life take part in consultations of the country’s basic policies”, but “under the leadership of the Communist Party”.
One of the main drawbacks of elections was early on described by Alexis de Tocqueville while observing Democracy in America as paving the way for what he called “the tyranny of the majority”, that is to say the confiscation of power by the majority that had won the elections to the detriment of the minority(ies). More recently, aspirations to go beyond majoritarian rule acted as the galvanization force behind the Struggling Generation movement in Portugal or the Indignants movement in Spain, especially on the ground that formal democracy and the party system it relies upon were not congruent with the society anymore and did not allow for minority dissenting voices to be heard.
One of the main virtues of consultations is its emphasis on building a consensus, and thus let the minority(ies) be part of the decision-making process. Yet, for consensus to work as a political mechanism, minimum prerequisites must be secured. In a democratic context, surely, consultations have to be made more binding, so that policies decided and implemented by elected officials can be corrected along the way. But then, elections—meaning competitive, free and fair elections—will still be crucial. In China’s context, consultations are an integral part of the organizational power of the Chinese Communist Party, and yet there is a genuine will to accommodate the voice of the minorities and the have-nots.
What is then the value of consultations when you neither have a democratic system nor a communist one? Whose leadership are we under when there is still no law on political parties and the Basic Law expressly mentions that we should enjoy a capitalist system for 50 years? And judging from previous consultations in Macao and their lack of legitimacy—I am thinking the Sai Van lake night-market one or the political reform one—what kind of voices is the government ready to hear and to what purpose?