23 June 2014 | Wall Street Journal
China this week is in the midst of a historic democratic experiment—unofficially, that is, and outside the mainland. Since Friday nearly 750,000 Hong Kong residents have voted in a referendum signaling their anger at Beijing for continuing to deny democracy to the territory 17 years after assuming sovereignty from the British. Despite weeks of escalating intimidation from Beijing, turnout is far exceeding expectations and may presage public protests.
The vote, sponsored by a pro-democracy coalition known as Occupy Central with Love and Peace, runs online and at polling places through June 29. It allows Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people, including some 3.5 million registered voters, to weigh in on the crux of the democracy issue: Who should be able to run for chief executive in 2017?