One of the big debates within Hong Kong’s sprawling pro-democracy camp is how much to engage with an unequal electoral system: should they fight the forces of evil wherever they can, or should they boycott plainly rigged contests out of principle? All of the half-dozen or so pan-democratic groups will take part in democratic polls for the Legislative Council. However, the more ideologically pure like Longhair Leung Kwok-hung refuse to do anything that might lend legitimacy to the Chief Executive pseudo-elections, at which Beijing’s hand-picked choice is given a rubber-stamp endorsement by several hundred mostly obedient Hongkongers.
Last time round in 2007, the more moderate pro-democrats managed to get a candidate nominated onto the ballot for the farcical CE election. We were therefore treated to the thoroughly amusing spectacle of petrified incumbent Donald Tsang enduring televised debates with the Civic Party’s easy-going Alan Leong.
The pro-democrats are planning to do something similar for next year’s CE joke-poll. Unable to resist an opportunity to make things unnecessarily complicated and more likely to lead to embarrassment, they are even considering some sort of primary election. The main issue, however, is this: should they be taking part at all, or should they follow Longhair’s lead this time and boycott?
The prospect of brainy, glamorous, sexy Audrey Eu stomping dimwitted Henry Tang into a pulp on live TV is undeniably hard to resist. However, the bigger picture has changed in the last five years: the system is creaking so visibly that even Beijing now realizes that Hong Kong has a governance problem at least partly due to the sort of incompetents it appoints to run the city. It could be argued that providing an opposition candidate with no chance of winning will help let the Central People’s Government off a hook. The pro-democrats could focus everyone’s attention on Beijing’s decision by standing aside and letting the farce take place in its full naked shame.
Even the Communist Party and its supporters now recognize that a one-man ballot looks ludicrous. So, if the pro-dems stood clear, would Beijing engineer the nomination of a second person as a candidate? If so, would it be a fall-guy whose job would be to pretend to take part and lose? In which case how would that go down among a skeptical and increasingly intolerant public? Or would we get a real race between two candidates both trusted by the central authorities? And who, pray, would they be? With two failures so far, Beijing is already in a tight spot picking CE number three. The absence of a pro-democrat pretend-candidate this time round could only further concentrate black hair-dye-clad minds. Sadly the pan-democrats can’t resist electioneering, even of the make-believe variety.
Can it be any worse that the US, with a fully elected government, that has battled itself to a complete stand-still?
Yes, the HK system is much better than the US system. Of course, any system anywhere is better than the US system. In fact, anything anywhere is better than anything in the US. The US is just a loser country full of losers.
Can’t help but agree with Hemmers on this. Since a boycott by pro-establishment forces apparently discredited by-elections in the eyes of the HK public, the logical pro-dem riposte would be to boycott the farcical CE vote. I’d love to see Weasel Lam, Henry the Horse and their barnyard pals try to explain the double standard.
You sound like the Canadian Editor of that expat website…..
Personally, I would like to watch Audrey Eu trampling all over Henry.
It may not do much good for the furtherance of democracy in HK ( in fact it may set things back a peg or two if Henry is made to look even sillier than he is and BJ sees that their ‘annointed one’ cannot even leave the starting box) . But, as my wise mother used to say about corporal punishment ( i.e. giving your kid a good whack on the bottom when words have ceased to have any effect ) : ” it may not do much good for the child, but it sure does a lot of good for the frustrated parent”
Go for ‘im Audrey. Whip, jack boots and all !
I disagree. The sight of an erudite Eu disemboweling Tang will be a pertinent reminder of exactly how limited the pool actually is for a CEO acceptable to Beijing and how HK could really do with some genuine democracy.
I’m sure the pro-dem would love to boycott the CE “election” if they could . But they can’t vote so they can’t boycott ( or am I missing something here? Serious question )
I think I already quoted on this blog the old joke re Tung that he had a double lobotomy after he was ” retired” by BJ to check if he fit for higher service on the CPCC…CCC . The doctors were astounded to find that he had nothing left on the right hand side of his brain, and nothing right on the left hand side ( Actually, I heard that joke from a former member of Exco in the pre-1997 era , who knew dear ole’ Tung in a professional capacity in the pre-2000 era and could thus attest to Tung’s low IQ )
I think that if Audrey did in fact get the chance to disembowel Henry she would find nothing inside which is in fact needed by a wannabe CE : no brain, no heart, no guts, no stomach. no balls, and not even two legs to stand on.
All she would find is a big a**hole
( which reminds me of another joke…. )
RTP Isn”t that the point? The emperor really has no clothes.
The pan-democrats could boycott the show by not bothering to field a candidate, thus making the point that the outcome is predetermined.
But there’s no way they’ll resist the chance to press the flesh and get on the telly.