F. Democratic Development
152. Hong Kong has taken a critical step forward in its constitutional development. Last June, this Council passed the draft amendments to the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and for forming the Legislative Council in 2012. I subsequently signed instruments of consent to the draft amendments. The amendments were then approved and recorded respectively by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in August. This signifies the completion of the five-step legislative process for amending the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and for forming the Legislative Council. The community's aspiration to roll forward constitutional development has been realised.
153. The task before us is to enact local legislation on the two electoral methods. We plan to put forward proposals later this month and consult this Council. We hope that the bills will be passed in a few months to allow political parties and prospective candidates to make early preparations. We hope that the community will adopt a rational, pragmatic and accommodating attitude, and take this hard-earned opportunity to promote the constitutional development of Hong Kong, paving the way for universal suffrage for the Chief Executive in 2017 and for the Legislative Council in 2020.
154. It is evident that public opinion plays an important role in a political system with universal suffrage. The Government has to engage the public when advocating its policies. The Government should gauge, collate and take into account people's views. We will make greater use of the new media that have become popular in recent years to enhance our interaction with the public and engage the community in rational discussions of public affairs.