Thursday, August 14, 2008

No petitioning during the Olympics

Al Jazeera has an interesting report on people attempting to petition the Chinese central government to intervene in disputes involving local government. Traditionally, people could petition the emperor for assistance in cases where the local officials had failed to take proper action or acted unjustly. Apparently the local governments have quotas for how many petitioners may come from their province during important events. The provincial officials are responsible for discouraging petitioners from exercising their legal right. Since the Olympics are so important to China, the government recently tore down the motels where these petitioners usually stayed and has started arresting petitioners in order to improve their image during the Olympics.


CrouchingOwl said...

It would help their image more if they would get the point that we value due process of law.

Andy said...

I think that they just don't have the courage to eliminate the process that provides "too much access" for the poor. Congressmen in the US aren't expected to visit with poor people with grievances against the government who camp out in front of the capitol for years until their issue is resolved. Such a process might be a good idea, but in a way it is a higher standard than what we have now. Of course having law and police enforcement be completely independent of each other is very bad.