District elections round-up

It’s difficult not to smirk, but in all three neighbourhoods I passed through yesterday the forces of freedom and enlightenment won in Hong Kong’s district council elections.

In Southern District’s Wong Chuk Hang, self-confessed FTU/Communist Party front member Suki Chan lost after being outed as a desperate hirer of sullen fake supporters. And in Central & Western’s Chung Wan, the extensively publicized pro-Beijing ‘independent’ Vienna Lau suffered a similar fate. The photo on top right shows some of her assistants packing up tons of campaign paraphernalia as night fell…

EC-Suki

And in my own Central & Western constituency of Mid-Levels Escalator-Land, the pro-dem Mr Ng beat the well-resourced closet pro-Beijing incumbent Jackie Cheung. We should add that pan-dem Paul Zimmerman resoundingly beat the youthful but smug pro-establishment interloper challenging him for Southern District’s Pokfulam.

So one cheery conclusion from the elections is that the Hong Kong Island middle class roused themselves in extra numbers in order to give the pro-Communist stooges a post-Occupy punch on the nose.

However, in the less well-heeled parts of town, it was a different story. (Blow-by-blow coverage here.) Having already ensured pro-government candidates were not challenging EC-polarizedone another, and embarked on voter-registration drives, the United Front system mobilized voters with zeal. Many were elderly, frail and, to put it bluntly, perhaps senile – but this is war. Pan-dems left some constituencies unchallenged and cannibalized their vote in others.

Still, ‘pan-dems’ is a broad part of the spectrum. While some older traditional candidates failed to do well, some younger ones met with success.

The overall picture supports the notion of a ‘polarized’ electorate and society. The demographics set older, poorer, less-educated public-housing (and elderly-home) residents on the pro-Beijing side against the better-off, worldly intellectuals and bright young things supporting various pro-dems.

In theory, the former should be in long-term decline while the latter segment expands. But the middle-class birthrate is next to zero, while Mainland immigration maintains a supply of (all else being equal) pro-Beijing voters. Psephologists and number-crunchers can sort it all out – but with planning and zoning systems clustering the population the way they do, gerrymandering should be a cinch. It doesn’t look great for pan-dems in terms of elections.

Beijing’s officials take (rigged) elections seriously as one way of crushing the hostile pan-dems – CIA-backed forces determined to use Hong Kong to bring down the Communist Party. The theory is that if they squeeze the pan-dems out of Legco, fake-democracy and other bills will be passed and all will be well.

But if you see opposition to the government as an effect rather than a cause of our problems, the elections are of relatively little consequence. District councils do little, and the Legislative Council is rigged. As the Occupy/Umbrella movement showed – plus anti-smuggler protests, the backlash against interference in universities, and so on – the opposition mutates and can appear anywhere. The Communist Party thinks it’s being clever sweating blood over sidelining senior pro-dem stalwarts like Albert Ho. Meanwhile, along comes this

EC-Nakade

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6 Responses to District elections round-up

  1. reductio says:

    In my NT neck of the woods there was only one guy standing (surprise! a Kuk dude) , so he won by default. The electoral office sent me and the missus a letter with “No need to vote” stamped across the it. Pity, voting time gives me wry amusement watching guys in dark glasses bussing-in the old folks while the police look on. Meanwhile dodgy looking guys with toothpicks and chunky gold and jade bracelets laugh loudly, sitting at tables set up just outside the “No go zone”.

  2. Cassowary says:

    The stodgy moderate pan-dem won handily in my area. Meanwhile, a bit further down the road in a more working-class neighbourhood, the card-carrying Democratic Party member and the Umbrella Soldier split the democratic vote almost straight down the middle and handed victory to the assembly-line issued DAB guy.

  3. Gin Soaked Boy says:

    Regina IP’s New People’s Party has quietly cooperated with the Rural gangsters in a few places and managed to unseat Edwin Cheng in Tsuen Wan with such tactics. Not sure if it worked elsewhere. Overall, I don’t see much change, as 70% of the seats remain with the pro-government people. The pan-dems didn’t get a total kicking as some predicted, whilst the radicals of the League of Social Democrats and People Power failed to make any headway. The Occupy kids who got in clearly benefitted from a high turn-out by younger voters. It will be hard to draw any conclusions for next years LegCo’s election from these mixed results.

  4. adam says:

    I see it as a draw. Christopher Chung and Elizabeth Quat were ousted by umbrella soldiers, so that rather takes the wind out of the sails on any argument that the ‘silent majority’ came out to punish the democrats for Occupy Central. However, while the well publicized Vienna Lau failed, the United Front won a lot of districts it targeted. The DAB is down overall, because it was caught off guard in certain areas such as Shatin which it likely considered ‘safe’. On the other hand, the failure of certain well known pan-dems will make the super seats that much harder to hold in 2016.

    With all the rumored fake voter registrations and suspect practices regarding residents of elderly homes, one wonders if someone, somewhere, deep in the bowels of the United Front headquarters, is looking over the true figures, with the ‘manufactured’ votes discounted and is considering how to report (or not report) the true state of HK opinion to their superiors.

    Not sure where it stands with the mainland immigration. I would guess that the older immigrants are more pro-Beijing on average and I am an effort is made to let in some highly patriotic types. However, the children of mainland parents seem to grow up as pro-democracy as the locals in my experience. And the young professionals and university graduates from the mainland are not all pro-CCP, many of them enjoy the freer environment of HK.

  5. PCC says:

    Half of the voters are old people bought off with a lunch box and an exciting ride in an air-conditioned bus; they will vote for whomever they’re told to vote for. The other 50% of the voters who actually show up are genuinely split.

    For the pro-dems to garner 30% of the vote in any election here is like a 60% landslide in a normal democracy.

    As for someone at United Front headquarters puzzling over the true state of HK opinion, that is a joke. They couldn’t care less. Literally.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Would have been fun if some South American banana republic types and African Mugabe types came to HK on behalf of the UN as election observers.

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