What exactly is the experiment? It’s not Western democracy, but it’s also not business as usual. A CCTV report (video below) explains the process:
- 82 candidates were publicly nominated for the four positions; 81 of them passed the initial screening process.
- a conference made up of “responsible figures” in the Guiyang city government, and Party representatives from different industries select five candidates for each position, 20 candidates in all.
- these 20 candidates appeared at a public conference, widely broadcast via TV and internet, and were graded for their performance. The candidates gave speeches, debated, and answered questions posed by the public.
- the 8 candidates (two per district) with the highest grades were selected to go on. The grading is broken down this way: “democratic nomination” (20%), “research report” (20%), “public speech and debate” (20%), “public opinion” (30%), “estimate of leadership capability” (10%).
- the final selection between these two candidates per district is made by the local People’s Congress.