Death of quasi-democracy

Hong Kong’s proposed ‘quasi-democratic’ political reform package undergoes its lengthy, ritualized public death by speeches in the Legislative Council. It is one of the rare occasions Legco makes good viewing.

Pro-democracy lawmakers stand and make (mostly) surprisingly good speeches, blasting the Chinese government for breaking promises and for high-handedness, and taunting their pro-Communist, dictator-obeying colleagues for purporting to favour representative SCMP-employersPrepgovernment. Among the awkward subjects they have managed to bring up: the billions wasted on white elephant infrastructure projects, and Chief Executive CY Leung’s unfortunate comments about giving the vote to people earning below-median incomes.

The pro-Beijing loyalists are reduced to repeating the tired official lines-to-take, or trying to find ways to blame the pan-dems for the failure of the reform, which they struggle to praise – some of the weasel-like business representatives almost seem to apologize for it.

Outside the Council, the clever, young and handsome are holding an Umbrella family reunion, while the forces of darkness are bussing in gruesome and wrinkled Mandarin-speakers from afar. You really have to wonder where they find these people: many of the ‘blue-ribbon’ groups look like they’re on supervised day-release from some sort of institution (apologies to any real residents of institutions on day-release out there).

Did anyone solve the mystery of the pro-Beijing mob wearing sports-team-style numbered shirts? Was it (my theory) something to do with identifying their presence for hourly-payments purposes?

The parliamentary procedure allows for every member to speak for 15 minutes, and then there are interruptions for questions of order and delays for lack of a quorum. So the lifeblood drips from the proposed reform with agonizing slowness. The pro-dem legislators are essentially lining up to give Beijing one humiliating slap on the face after another, all day long. It’s strange: after years of pointless marching and general whining, this moment – rejecting the ‘universal suffrage’ Beijing has reluctantly agreed to offer – feels like their finest achievement.

Here in the office, a memo went out a few days ago to remind staff of the Radical Beast-like Mayhem in Central Contingency Plan. Company minions drag big blue plastic boxes out of storage. These are the emergency supplies that were never used during the Umbrella Uprising, when students inconsiderately occupied Admiralty and Mongkok, thus depriving those of us in the heart of the financial district of the opportunity to ‘work from home’.

I open up one of the big blue IKEA boxes and inspect the contents. Cup Noodles (spicy seafood, past the sell-by date), bottled water, vitamin pills, candles, cleft sticks, collapsible canoe. We have everything but rioters.

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20 Responses to Death of quasi-democracy

  1. Citizen says:

    ‘Miss Barton was easier to deal with. “We can have some cloven for you,” she said brightly. “If you will make your selection I will send them down to our cleaver.”‘

  2. Joe Blow says:

    This evening, when the sun is low and the beer is cold, I’ll be at Fort Legco to join the street party. I hope there won’t be any Apaches.

  3. Jennifer Eagleton says:

    Who knew that “going down to LegCo” would be so entertaining.

  4. PD says:

    The nasties have staged a walk-out, meaning the “reform” has been resoundingly rejected.

    Rats leaving a sinking ship?

  5. Chris Maden says:

    And the lead headline on the Pro China is not the rejection of the package, but that China consumes half the world’s anti-biotics. It seems the establishment are not the only ones in a huff.

  6. Citizen says:

    One job! You had one job!!

  7. PHT says:

    I love it that the pro-government stooges walked out so that the “reform” was defeated by a majority vote!

  8. Tom says:

    “BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) — Chinese top legislature on Thursday said its decision on Hong Kong’s electoral reforms last August will remain in force in the future, despite Hong Kong Legislative Council’s veto of the universal suffrage motion. ”
    (Don’t bother clicking, that’s the whole article.)

    They’ve got the grumps now.

  9. gweiloeye says:

    ah a great political ‘Don’t blame us, it was them’ move.

  10. Scotty Dotty says:

    That Walkout by the shoeshiners. What a shambles.

    It really underlines how many of Hong Kong’s political class are immature children. It’s like they had to do their homework without their helper.

    And what next for Hong Kong? Looking forward to Hemmer’s take on the walkout tomorrow. So it’s official, most Hong Kong’s politicos don’t trust Peking (voted yet again). Will Peking take the Fuck It route? “If you won’t be grateful, little boys and girls, then it’s off to bed with you and I’ll be calling round shortly with an enema of Article 23…”

  11. gweiloeye says:

    wot .. a pro-Bei voted against it. they obviously watch VEEP where the pres gets her own party to shoot down their own bill. one opposite party member switched to their side so one of their own had to be persuaded to vote againt. hilarious. life imitating art.

  12. old git says:

    The LegCo Vote Count Machine states that of 37 Members, 8 voted “yes” and 28 voted “no”, with no abstentions. Unless a Member was leaving in a huff but his coat got stuck in the door and the Machine counted him as present but under a disability, the Machine can’t add up.

  13. Real Lax Mayor says:

    IMO of course;

    The reason this happened was because these stooges were waiting for Uncle Lau to come back from the Liaison Office with their orders But the problem is, being also terrified of making a mistake, The apparatchiks in the Liaison Office never explicitly spell it out, merely suggest what should happen, as do their bosses and so on all the way from the top. HK policy is run via some farcical game of Chinese Whispers and this is the end result! Beijing tells them what to do at the very last minute, and these ‘legislators’ vote accordingly however sometimes they don’t get clear instructions, so they revert to type, curl up in the fetal position and do nothing, too afraid of making of the wrong decision in the eyes of their masters, – it’s absolutely brilliant, you couldn’t have asked for a better example of why this system is broken and the real answer to why all our easily-solvable problems are never fixed; unmasked in front of the whole world – What a day.

  14. Tinfoil says:

    Hilarious outcome this afternoon, but what now? Is this just all a ploy for HK to cheer over the rejection of the shit reform, and forget that we’re still stuck with the current crap?

  15. PD says:

    old git, It’s Yok-sing: he didn’t abstain, but he refrained from voting.

    According to the BBC, the walk-out was not a manoeuvre to make the chamber inquorate, but an expression of huff AFTER Yok-sing refused to delay the vote.

    Rimsky, Raymond and Carrie should now fall on their swords and emigrate.

    The main result, although symbolic, must be significant: to humiliate China on the world stage, to show how incompetent they are when unable to bully their way to victory. The more strident they get now in insisting they were right all the time, the more stupid they will appear worldwide.

  16. Joe Blow says:

    MAJOR defeat for Vagina. Did you see her black and deflated face ?

    If nothing else, she will never be CEO of Hong Kong after this. I drink to that.

  17. Incredulous says:

    Pro-Beijing walkout reminded me of Cersei’s walk of shame in GOT! Vagina reckoned it was a “hiccup”! What a farce! Bumbling old twats should never be elected officials -waiting for Uncle “no -show” Lau. Fuck off to the lot of them! And Carrie can now fuck off to the UK too! More embarrassing than Top Gear – if that’s possible.

  18. Gooddog says:

    70 votes against.
    8 votes for.
    Motion defeated.

  19. Gooddog says:

    As a matter of Legco’s procedures, absence is treated as the same as an opposing vote. 70 votes no, 8 votes yes. That’s right, 70-8. SEVENTY to EIGHT. BWAH-HA-HA!!!!!
    This is a historic record of today’s voting.

  20. gweiloeye says:

    Sorry didn’t expect more than 10 people to look at our site at the same time:

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