All our problems solved – just need to find the next President

The split between pan-democratic and pro-Beijing votes in geographical constituencies in Sunday’s Legislative Council election was 56.6% to 42.3%. The rigged nature of the overall political structure means that the pan-democrats end up with 33% of the seats.

They suffered numerous disadvantages: several factions hate one another more than they hate the pro-government folks; even the ones that are on speaking terms didn’t coordinate campaign strategies; their past records as legislators highlight poor judgment and inability to prioritize; their opponents had far greater organization and resources. Many pan-dem voters were not voting for the charisma, skill or ideologies of Emily, Alan or Claudia; they were voting against something – a force, a threat.

But around a third or so of them did cast their ballots positively to put a particular sort of individual into Legco. The result is that hardcore radicals from People Power and the League of Social Democrats (and to some extent the semi-radicals of the Labour Party and NeoDemocrats) make up a large part of the pan-dem camp in Legco. The PP/LSD grouping might in practice not serve as part of the pan-dem camp at all, but as disruptive banana-throwing, filibustering deniers of the validity of the whole system. An anarchic faction, but not necessarily a fringe one: Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung came top in New Territories East, with over 48,000 votes.

The one thing all these people and the 56% of voters have in common is a lack of trust in Beijing and in the local administration of CY Leung. After the Moral and National Education saga and the ‘4 million Shenzhen visitors’ plan, it seems self-evident to many of these people that the Chinese government is determined to push Hong Kong’s absorption into the motherland. The Chinese Communist Party has every incentive: its main reason to stay in power from now on is to enable its senior members’ families to continue plundering the country’s wealth; most Mainlanders have little idea how corrupt and criminal the kleptocracy has become, but Hongkongers know all about it.

Maybe paranoia about, and within, Hong Kong will ease after the transfer of power in Beijing. As Bloomberg writer William Pesek suggests, the MNE push backfired so horribly, complete with help from Pink Floyd, as to substantially reduce Beijing’s credibility among Hongkongers. Hong Kong people have been reasonably impressed with China’s leaders since the handover, but the whole Bo Xilai/Ferrari sex-crash/Chen Guangcheng/Mainland locusts/MNE series of disasters has changed that. Beijing appoints the Hong Kong government, so the potential repercussions of this are serious. It’s not so much that Hong Kong will, for example, sprout an independence movement, but that dissent will be such that Beijing perceives one. Marketwatch’s Craig Stephen goes so far as to warn that “Investors might need to reappraise political risk in Hong Kong equities as the gulf between its government and the local population widens…” because, the article concludes, “Hong Kong may become a Mainland Chinese city before it knows it.”

The only way out of all this is for Chief Executive CY Leung to convince China’s new leadership to reverse an approach that is clearly so counterproductive as to be dangerous. “Lay off Hong Kong (and get your own house in order),” he should say, “and leave me to swamp the new Legislative Council with lifestyle-type policy measures that people will really like and even the most radical politicians will find hard to oppose.”

(This is assuming CY can find Xi Jinping, the mysteriously missing next President. What the hell is it with this country?) 

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17 Responses to All our problems solved – just need to find the next President

  1. arm bears says:

    “… because, the article concludes, “Hong Kong may become a Mainland Chinese city before it knows it.””

    We “may” become a mainland city? We’re all playing an enjoyable game here, but the eventual outcome of the game has never been in doubt. What is it about ‘dictatorship’ that reporters have trouble grasping?

    The only thing preventing the CCP from stopping this HK pseudo-democracy silliness and crushing dissent in their usual way is their absurd hope that somehow our peaceful, slow, you-won’t-feel-a-thing “handover” will be the model for Taiwan’s eventual absorption back into the fold. Good luck on that one.

  2. Bela Lugosi says:

    To judge by my brief appearance before adoring crowds at the Stanley polling station, most of the so-called majority of DAB support was provided by befuddled geriatrics.

    Several booths were occupied by aged crones hardly able to stand, being barked at by their relatives to vote the RIGHT WAY. They were assisted in this by the droves of election officials. Bent elections rool OK.

    I have no idea if the ancient person who apparently is registered at my address, but who actually lives on Lantau, was bussed in to vote too. I sent his registration papers back.

    The Democrats will have to get down and dirty and realise that they are up against people with the morals of sewer rats.

    Drive, wheel, lure and push, then guide them to the booth….yes, yes, press just there…now you can have some congee and a nice nap, grandma!

  3. Old Timer says:

    Slightly off topic but, top of the SCMP.com letters page, the Post says that: “The Hong Kong government has sought since 2007 to introduce “National Education”….aimed at strengthening students’ “national identity awareness” and nurturing patiotism towards China”

    Patiotism? Not in my back yard!

  4. Bettie Buttplug says:

    The Comedy Capers, episode 6: “The President gets lost”.

    Only in China, kids, only in China.

  5. PropertyDeveloper says:

    As in the trellis saga, CY is constitutionally incapable of doing anything but repeatedly finessing the problem, hoping to fool most of the people some of the time. He can then later bring back Chinese Chauvinistic Patriotism (CCP for short), by bribing and pressurising schools, especially secondary and tertiary ones, where nothing has changed.

    After the departure of the evil barbarian foreigners whose identity should not be mentioned, HK was willing to embrace the motherland. But such is the arrogance and stupidity of those that govern us that even benign or neutral measures will now struggle to get through without being diluted to the imperceptible. There must indeed come a point soon where even the markets realise the crisis of governance.

    My theory about Xi Jin-ping is that, having stood up the most powerful woman in the world, he’s still trying to save her face by continuing to pretend it wasn’t a deliberate snub. In a couple of days he’ll be as right as rain.

  6. Vile says:

    Geriatrics are the growth demographic to go for if you’re looking for an electoral base. Indigenous young people are a dying breed, and will soon be outnumbered by locally-born-to-mainland-mothers voters.

  7. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Xi Jinping was just doing what Chinese leaders have done for centuries – avoid meetings where you are afraid of losing face or unpredictable results. Off the top of my head, a historical example is when the Qing emperor (not Chinese, but close enough) did it when the Brits went to Beijing for a chat. He ended up getting his Summer Palace burned down.

    We have the same problems getting hold of chairmen of mainland Chinese companies we’ve put money into. Everything gets communicated through their subordinates who provide conflicting reports on what the chairman wants, with that messaging always revocable by the chairman as a ‘misunderstanding’ when he finally fronts up for a meeting.

  8. Chopped Onions says:

    ” when the Brits went to Beijing for a chat.” !!! love it
    presumably they had tea and cucumber sandwiches as light refreshment after all that hard work

  9. Stephen says:

    Hopefully those parties who would wish that we had something resembling democracy can find a unifying person in the next couple of years, as the divided they are useless. That person does not seem to be included with the persons just elected.

    However unless the mindset changes amongst the CCP positive change looks unlikely. The current Premier was thought to be reformer but under a hardline President China has regressed. The corruption seems to have got noticeably worse. If the incoming regime are as ‘pigs in the trough’ as the outgoing regime we are going to have nasty times ahead especially as the economy seems to be hurting.

    And next month we have the trial of our former Chief Secretary so we can all see how rotten our Government has become just 15 years after its return to the glorious motherland.

  10. Will.I.R says:

    @ arm bears

    Yep.

  11. Claw says:

    The original, Martin Lee generation, of democrats missed the point completely when they were agitating for democracy under the British. They put no effort into grassroots organisation, concentrating on the educated middle class. This worked well at the beginning and, based on the ‘super seats’ results, still does to an extent. They missed out on bringing the Communist card to the front and thereby missed recruiting all the older, now elderly, working class. These should have been a natural for them, being the people who actually fled the Communists in the first place – literally voting with their feet.

    The United Front on the other hand, by using locally based activists from a similar demographic and concentrating on purely local livelihood issues have managed to get these people on side, to the extent that they seem to have forgotten why they came here in the first place.

    While this generation of the elderly are now lost to the pan dems, they need to concentate on livelihood issues as well as the democracy issue to try and beat the United Front. An uphill struggle at best, particularly if they can’t get their collective act into gear.

  12. Jason says:

    @ Bela
    Valid observation! Let’s hope the PanDemocrats will get the message!

  13. PropertyDeveloper says:

    “China sends patrol ships to disputed East China Sea islands”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19553736

  14. Walter De Havilland says:

    Pan-democrats cooperate?? Forget it. The People’s Front of Judea and the Judean Peoples Front couldn’t get it together and neither will these numbskulls.

  15. Probably says:

    Hong Kong obviously is not yet ready for full democracy. If it were how does one explain 30,000 persons wittingly voting for the odious James Tien? It is as if a supposedly democratic nation were to re-elect G.W. Bush for President…….oh…

  16. Real Tax Payer says:

    No comment

    Chaos rules OK

    The pro- dems couldn’t organize a booze up in a beer factory

  17. Geraldo says:

    “Most of the so-called majority of DAB support was provided by befuddled geriatrics.

    Several booths were occupied by aged crones hardly able to stand, being barked at by their relatives to vote the RIGHT WAY”

    Er, not so different from the Tories in UK who drive wrinklies to the polls..

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