World turned upside down, but pro-dems cling on to opposition role

Just days after being rudely woken by Democratic Party lawmaker Emily Lau raging on the radio, we are dragged from our dreams this morning by another lengthy pan-democratic rant courtesy of Cyd Ho. Her complaint is that Chief Executive-elect CY Leung included the Chinese government’s Liaison Office as he did the rounds yesterday of people you need to see after being ‘elected’ CE. By the time I am brushing my teeth, the Civic Party’s Audrey Eu is also on air making a similar point, if less hysterically.

The pro-democrats’ problem, it seems, is not that CY actually visited the Mainland officials who last Wednesday suddenly started calling up loyalist members of the Election Committee urging them to switch their votes away from Henry Tang. It was that he did so too brazenly and stayed too long. Or smiled too much. Or something like that.

Hong Kong’s next CE is loathed by the property tycoons and the civil servants – the most parasitical and reactionary forces in the city today. If the pro-democrats had just a little common sense, they would surely identify a potential opportunity for some sort of constructive engagement with our new leadership. (In practice, some pro-democrats have professional or personal ties with parts of the anti-CY establishment, but let’s assume for the sake of argument they are all politicians first and money-grubbing, radical-chic lawyers second.) Rather than declaring their enemies’ enemy their friend, as all good cynics should, they have adopted their usual default stance of outright antagonism to whoever is in charge on the grounds that he is unclean and untouchable owing to the undemocratic manner of his selection. But is it simply ideological purity? It sometimes seems the thought of not opposing scares them.

It is unlikely that CY Leung will burst into tears because the pro-dems won’t be his friend. In fact, you have to wonder whether he even realizes what a divisive figure he is. Nearly everyone in Hong Kong’s political and business class hates everyone else today. The big boys who first declared support for Henry Tang last year have been left out on a limb after sticking by their man to the end – hoping no candidate would get a majority of votes. The timid shoe-shiners who dutifully followed them acted at least partly out of deference to (or fear of) CY’s powerful pro-Henry enemies. Then they had to obediently switch sides at the last minute and vote for CY – leaving them looking and feeling like idiots. There is a lot of finger-pointing.

Henry Tang is leaving town for a few weeks. Who wouldn’t? The poor guy is finished: the Chinese government will never forgive him for somehow managing to screw up an election rigged especially for him, nor for losing self-control in his final desperation to do CY down and apparently betraying information about confidential meetings.

Bank of East Asia boss David Li is left in the sad and unusual position of having backed the wrong guy and thus being an outsider. (He might adapt: his father served the British, the Japanese and the British again in the 1940s.) He has more bad news on the way: industry gossip has long held that he would arrange for his son to inherit his banking functional constituency seat in September’s Legislative Council election, but it seems the Bank of China Group – a big bloc of votes – wants its own man in there.

Anthony Wu, the ultimate smug, insider Donald-man, heading up the Hospitals Authority, the General Chamber of Commerce and the Bauhinia Foundation think-tank pushing bureaucratic interests, would like to serve the new regime if it needs him. This raises the question of how inclusive CY will be. Outgoing CE Donald Tsang drew on a very small pool of sycophants to fill his multitude of advisory and other bodies. But there are 7 million people in the city, and a lot more talent than the previous self-styled elite would like to admit. So… maybe not Anthony, but thanks.

And this just in: the Liberal Party’s Selina Chow accusing legislator and former Security Secretary Regina Ip of, well, lying in her attempts to re-ingratiate herself with the next administration. “Regina, you told me CY would hurt people.” “No I didn’t Selina.” “Did.” “Didn’t.” “Did.” “Didn’t.” Slap, scratch, bite.

Just when you thought life couldn’t get more amusing… The Chinese government may reduce taxes on luxury goods, thus making it much cheaper for the Mainland nouveau-riches to buy their designer-label locust-goodies at home. Hong Kong, we are invited to believe, is ‘especially vulnerable’. Crack open the champagne!

And to think we worked so hard to think up the name 'Italy Station' for our 'Milan Station'-copycat handbag store in LKF

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57 Responses to World turned upside down, but pro-dems cling on to opposition role

  1. Aghast says:

    Kan-

    Happy to continue to refute all your points one by one, if you are interested, but first explain please in what way the poll was ‘systematically biased’.

  2. Kan says:

    as i said before, the entire design of Popvote was designed to isolate certain groups/classes..what else

  3. Kan says:

    forgot to answer your question…do go head and refute me point by point..
    I’m all for the truth.

  4. Aghast says:

    I reckon you have eight points:

    1. The suspicious difference between online and polling station results (You read the wrong table)

    2. Failed attempts to get SMS confirmation were counted as abstentions

    3. It was ‘tabulated and supervised by a bunch of HKU students’.

    4. ‘The fact that the polling stations were located on school campuses…makes it even more questionable’

    5. The fact that Henry Tang got more votes than the other candidates at polling stations is suspicious.

    6. You don’t believe that the online polls were down for a day due to DOS attack.

    7. There was the need to send an SMS message for online/phone voting, and hence a fee, which would ‘scare off a lot of the lower income class’.

    8. They switched to blank paper on the second day despite printing more ballots, which made it easier for the ‘anti-wolf HKU Student union’ to manipulate the outcome.

    Is this all a fair account?

    Let’s go to 2. Glaucon, what it is that makes you think that anyone who registered to cast a vote and did not receive their SMS confirmation in time was automatically counted as an abstained vote?

    Also, where did you get those figures about voting at different stations? I can’t find them anywhere.

  5. Kan says:

    not all of them are proven points, some of them are my own speculation…but the fact is, there are alot of unscientific elements and too many things in question in this so called POPvote that won’t occur on an official government election.

    There were speculations in the media that the ignored SMS confirmation will lead to an abstained vote. I emailed them with regards to that…most likely I’ll never ever get a respond..but there is a higher % of abstained votes on mobile/phone which required SMS confirmation..even though there were BLANK Ballot campaign going on at compusus from what I have heard.
    can’t say for certain, and nobody can, that this is the case, but there is alot of suspicious data here…it calls for alot of questioning…

    I didn’t provide figures for various polling stations..those were the number of students on each campus and they add up to a significant percentage of the station votes even if only 1/5 of them bother to go, given that the ballot boxes accounted for aournd 80k..

  6. Aghast says:

    Kan –

    You admit not all of your points are proven. It would be more ‘scientific’ to say they are all proven false:

    1. The suspicious difference between online and polling station results (You read the wrong table)

    2. Failed attempts to get SMS confirmation were counted as abstentions (False. You yourself now say it was only speculation. I spoke to Robert Chung and staff at POP who explained that not only did electronic voters have to register, but when they then actually voted, another screen appeared asking for confirmation. Unless this was also clicked, the vote would not be counted. So there were multiple levels and all had to be completed before the vote, whether abstention or not, was counted. )

    3. It was ‘tabulated and supervised by a bunch of HKU students’. (It was run by POP staff, who are professionals, not students. All the electronic voting was run by POP’s IT staff, with no student access. The voting booths were largely manned by student volunteers (not exclusively), but the bulk of those in fact came from PolyU. There was also an open invitation to all ”interested citizens’, like yourself, to volunteer. You compare the Civil Referendum unfavourably to ‘an official Government election’, but those elections are manned by volunteer civil servants, and no-one suggests that because they are civil servants the results will necessarily favour civil-service friendly candidates.)

    4. ‘The fact that the polling stations were located on school campuses…makes it even more questionable’ (Not the case at all. There were in the end twenty polling stations, spread around Hong Kong, including all the main urban areas from Sheung Shui to Shatin to Sahmshuipo to Sheung Wan. There was no particular difficulty for anyone to get to a poll, and of course there were hundreds of thousands of polling stations in the form of smartphones. And, of the twenty polling stations in fact only three were on University campuses, again all in urban areas. The Government also uses University campuses for Legco elections – I’ve voted in them myself – without any concern that their location would distort the vote. You quote the number of students at each university and suggest that 20% of students would vote. That’s a figure you pulled out of your ass. For what it’s worth, I voted at a university, with a group of people from work. None of us were students or anything to do with any university. I asked the people in front of us in the queue and behind us if they were students. The ones in front weren’t, the ones behind were. Make of that what you will)

    5. The fact that Henry Tang got more votes than the other candidates at polling stations is suspicious. (Why? The results were different to opinion polls, but that was the whole point. It was a referendum in which people had to actively vote, not passively be questioned, so it would be completely predictable to get different results.)

    6. You don’t believe that the online polls were down for a day due to DOS attack. (The police obviously believe the DOS attack was real, as they did a forensic investigation of POP’s computers and have arrested two people as a result. And what possible motive would there be for POP to fake it, given that they just fixed it and then ran it again the next day?)

    7. There was the need to send an SMS message for online/phone voting, and hence a fee, which would ‘scare off a lot of the lower income class’. (False again. The fee would be just 50 cents, or nothing, depending on the provider. That’s less than a quarter of a cigarette. If you could afford a smartphone or internet access you could afford 50 cents. If you couldn’t then you could go to one of the twenty polling stations. In fact it was generally far easier for most people in Hong Kong to vote in this referendum than in the Legco elections)

    8. They switched to blank paper on the second day despite printing more ballots, which made it easier for the ‘anti-wolf HKU Student union’ to manipulate the outcome. (You’re wrong again. The issue of printed ballots is irrelevant. They didn’t even print ballots in the first case as all you had to do was write your vote clearly on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with your ID number on. It made no difference if you used a ballot (some stations photocopied their own) or not as long as the vote was properly processed and cross checked to make sure that you had a valid ID and had not voted anywhere else. There is no connection between the poll and the HKU student union.)

    So all your arguments are wrong. I’m going to this trouble in the hope that you are susceptible to reasoned argument as apparently a fan of ‘scientific’ methodology.

    The poll was by no means ‘designed to isolate certain groups/classes’. It was an open, exhaustive, inspiring effort to be as fair and as inclusive as possible. You have completely failed to show any way in which it was biased.

    You have said that the Civic Referendum was ‘crap’, ‘skewed’, ‘non-scientific’, and ‘clearly rigged’.

    You conclude ‘…so really, fuck this poll’.

    I conclude; Fuck you.

  7. Kan says:

    You spoke to Robert Chung and voted on campus after work?? So you must be affiliated with HKU or directly with this shameful POPvote mess…
    Which explains why you can go into detail about this POPvote crap that the general public doesn’t know about (assuming you’re telling the truth).
    but don’t even talk about this Robert Chung freak like he’s the cat’s meow in statistical research, he’s that zombie head who conducted those rigged weekly TV ratings poll paid for by ATV..the one that puts the sponsor-less ATV at a 63% viewership rating. His professional team..whatever…Read up about his weekly ATV ratings survey that the TV industry laughs at and advertisers ignore….he’s the Donald Tsang of Hong Kong statistical research.

    There are plenty of people complaining about SMS fees online, http://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E6%B8%AF%E5%A4%A7%E6%B0%91%E9%96%93%E7%89%B9%E9%A6%96%E6%8A%95%E7%A5%A8%E7%B6%B2%E7%B5%A1%E6%93%A0%E5%A1%9E-010634932.html
    they aren’t just talking about 50cents, the HKU server can’t handle the SMS confirmation on time..people had to try numerous times. 50cents might not be a big deal, but to those pinching their pennies who are the biggest CY supporters, a mock vote that doesn’t count isn’t worth the money, period..let alone the fact that it’s not just 1 x 50cents for many.

    http://hk.asia-city.com/city-living/news/popvote-polling-time-has-extended
    6 of the inital 14 polling stations on were on school campuses…half of these are on HKU campuses…there were 8 more added, but you fail to mention the fact that they were added in the afternoon of the 24th, which is only a few hours before the polls closed. So I’m right…40% of the polling stations are conveniently on campus.
    Legco might have some university polling stations, but legco election has 130+ stations and voters are registered and evenly distributed according to their area of residence with relatively small queue…everyone has almost equal access to their local polling station…..you don’t have this systematic bias at POPvote where university students can stretch out their hands in the morning when everyone else is at work and cast an easy ballot while the working crowd who favors CY would have have to cram themselves into long queues between 6-9PM right after work…and especially for the NT residents who is represented with only a few stations for such a large stretch of land..
    people there had to take a bus ride to get to these polling stations after a long day of work…

    So fuck me and then fuck yourself if I still cannot get myself to believe that this so called referendum is nothing more than a joke..

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