Chief Executive Donald Tsang yesterday called on the people to show dialogue, cooperation and pragmatism can prevail and that good politics can play a constructive role in the development of society.
Continuing his charm offensive into a second day, he urged the public to show support for political reforms and make their voices directly heard by lawmakers.
"It is also time for those who care about our constitutional progress to break their silence and to take a stand. Tell your legislators. Post a letter. Write an e-mail. Make a phone call. It all counts. It can all make a difference," he said in RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong.
Tsang warned a mood of pessimism and cynicism could set in if the 2012 political reform package is voted down a second time.
What's at stake is not only democratic arrangements for 2012 chief executive and legislative elections, he said, but also a consensus for universal suffrage in 2017 and 2020.
"Our campaign slogan also stresses the time element. The time for action is now, not later. We must act now before the opportunity for progress once again slips through our fingers. If we do not see progress this time, I fear a mood of pessimism and cynicism will take root."
He said the constitutional system has been stagnant for too long and that it is time to move forward.
"If we can make it, Hong Kong politics will advance to a new level. We will have proved that politics is not just about partisanship, demagoguery and endless polemics, that dialogue, cooperation and pragmatism can prevail, and that good politics can play a constructive role in the development of society," Tsang said.
Tsang described the package as being "the first step as well as the last opportunity" to lay the foundation for a chief executive elected by universal suffrage in 2017.
He said the reform package is surrounded by three myths - it is regressive, it makes little difference whether it is passed or not, and that ordinary people are not concerned by political developments.
"But the fact is none of us can escape politics. Political challenges consume much of society's energy and resources, as we have seen in Hong Kong over these past two decades.
"Let's not be mistaken - it makes a great deal of difference. We have much to lose if we cannot effect any change this time around."