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The Role of Consultative Democracy under the Constitutional Framework and the Associated Rule of Law

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 38, No. 2, 2017

 

The  Role  of  Consultative  Democracy  under  the  Constitutional  Framework and the Associated Rule of Law

 

Ma Yide

 

The logical sequence of China’s state governance is “governing party—consultative conferences—people’s congresses—the people.” The “governing party—consultative conferences” link in the chain involves political consultation through people’s consultative conferences. The “governing party—consultative conferences—people’s congresses” link involves a process of obtaining legitimacy for the Party’s views based on political consultations which are then translated into the national will by the system of people’s congresses. The “people’s congresses—the people” link involves the two-pronged logic of elections and governing the country according to law. The “governing party—the people” link is an illustration of the party’s mass line, which essentially involves social consultation. Consultative democracy usually includes the political consultation in the “governing party—consultative conferences” link and the social consultation in the “governing party— the people” link in the chain, both of which are connected through the system of people’s congresses. This logically determines the inner relations between the Party’s leadership, consultative democracy and the people’s congress form of representative democracy and shapes the institutionalization of consultative democracy. That is, in the process of democratic decision-making, a circular system consisting of “political consultation— legislative consultation—social consultation” is created to guide development of the actual system.

 

Keywords: the Constitution, rule of law, state governance, consultative democracy, system of people’s congresses