CPC proposes developing "consultative democracy"

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday published a document proposing to promote "consultative democracy", the country's own brand of democracy.

Approved in the sixth meeting of the Leading Group for Overall Reform in late December, the document says socialist consultative democracy embodies the Party's "mass line" policy, and that developing it is essential to deepening reform of the political system.

Consultative democracy is defined as a democratic pattern in which, led by the CPC, all sections of society are consulted on major issues before and during policy-making processes.

Though it has been practiced by China for decades, consultative democracy needs to be strengthened as the country is in the decisive process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, according to the document.

It says that this method be used to expand people's participation in politics, help modernize state governance and resolve conflicts.

Consultation in non-communist parties, governments and the political consultative conference system are among the focuses for concentration, while grassroots organizations will also be strengthened, under the proposals.

The document also vows to seek ways for consultation among non-public organizations.

It says the CPC will hold seminars on key issues including major policies, important personnel arrangements and research by the eight non-communist parties, with these events presided over by major officials and leaders of the CPC Central Committee.

According to the proposals, the system under which non-communist parties give advice to the CPC will also be improved. Non-communist parties give opinions and suggestions to the CPC through studying reports and in other forms, while leaders of these parties can give direct advice to the CPC and the State Council.

The network of people's congresses, which is China's fundamental political system, is also highlighted. The document says the congresses should be made more consultative so as to "include people's wisdom and gather their opinions while performing their duties according to law".

Specifically, the document urges enhanced consultation in law-making: for divisive issues, procedures including careful study, verification and consultation must be completed to reach broad consensus before draft bills are submitted for voting.

It adds that the role of deputies to people's congresses must be strengthened, while online platforms must be better established for contact between deputies and the people.

The document urges the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to continue to conduct consultation on topics related to major national and local policies and key political, economic and cultural issues.

It also calls for various people's organizations to be allowed to contribute to consultation.

Lastly, the document stresses that in pushing forward consultative democracy, the leading role must still be given to the CPC to ensure it can control the direction of development.

Source: Xinhua