Where in the world do non-humans officially referred to as ‘bodies’ have votes via ‘authorized representatives’, who must be human? Stupid question, of course. As to how a ‘body’ with its ‘authorized representative’ comes to be – well, someone has gone to great lengths to make it laboriously complex.
Sunday will see the exciting 2011 Election Committee Subsector Elections. The 250,000 or so voters for functional constituency seats in the Legislative Council (some humans taking part have multiple votes, so the number of people is a bit lower) will elect the 1,200-strong Election Committee, which will pretend next March to elect the next Chief Executive.
Today’s South China Morning Post reports that the system contains a loophole: some of the non-human ‘bodies’ are foreign. This is not because nasty overseas organizations are trying to infiltrate plucky little Hong Kong’s political process; the trade offices and chambers of commerce get votes because they are members of umbrella business groups. The fact is that many of the functional constituencies’ voters are in some ways self-selected. You could probably wangle a vote by starting a chamber of commerce or obtaining individual membership of a professional group in a sector where the voters are human and of a distinctly common-or-garden type, like teachers or IT. Needless to say, the voting clout of the less exclusive constituencies/subsectors is diluted in the overall scheme of things. The whole thing, remember, is a charade: the outcome of the ‘election’ for Chief Executive in March will already have been decided in Beijing. The SCMP’s editorial cartoon by Harry speaks a thousand words…
A well-meaning soul (or ‘body’, I suppose) in Commercial (First) asks how someone with an understandable and indeed healthy disdain for the Liberal Party’s James Tien should cast their vote. Fortunately, of the 21 candidates, three have banded together behind the unique proposition – the total antithesis of this whole Communist/Corporatist ‘sector’ sham – that Hong Kong should be run for the benefit of all of its people, not for particular business and other interest groups. They are George Cautherley, Marcus Shaw and Stephen Wong.
The Medical subsector has an amazing 83 candidates jumping up and down and waving their stethoscopes to attract attention. I can recommend Kwok ka-ki, one of those legislators who was too good to stay in Legco.
Why – if you are one of the 250,000 – go to the polling station on Sunday morning? The Three Musketeers Cautherley, Shaw and Wong in Commercial (First) claim in their brochure that ‘Your vote counts’. ‘Your vote can make James Tien’s percentage of the poll smaller than it would otherwise be’, perhaps. And there is always the possibility that if enough pro-democrats get onto the Election Committee they can nominate one of their own as a mock-candidate for Hong Kong’s top post, who could at least mutilate the presumed winner-to-be Henry Tang in a TV debate for all our amusement. Think of it as a good deed for the community.