The system of functional representation constitutes the greatest challenge to political reform in Hong Kong. Utilizing recent developments in institutional and ideational theories in political science, this article explores how both power and ideas shape the politics of reforming functional representation. The impasse generated by the current balance of power has given rise to a plethora of ideas that seek to reform the system while preserving its place in the political process. However, recent direct negotiations between Beijing and moderate democrats in Hong Kong have triggered a significant political realignment. This shift in the political balance of power has generated new scenarios for the reform of functional representation.