NT East to CCP: drop dead

With only 46% of voters turning out for yesterday’s New Territories East by-election, we probably shouldn’t read too much into the result. But right-thinking lovers of freedom and decency are certainly entitled to smirk. (Copious coverage here and here.)


The mainstream pro-democrat candidate, Alvin Yeung of the Civic Party, won. In a straight two-horse race, this would have been a foregone conclusion in the demographically pro-dem constituency (basically middle-class/Greater Shatin). But with two other pan-dems cannibalizing the vote, it is more noteworthy. It maintains the Legislative Council pro-dem bloc at a level at which it can obstruct the government through such means as filibustering, and it can prevent the pro-Beijing bloc from tightening the rules on such parliamentary procedures. (His platform specifically promised such opposition to the copyright amendments and High-Speed Rail boondoggle. He has also done legal aid work for Occupy protesters.)

The Communist Party United Front’s man, Holden Chow of the DAB, came a close second. With the top-down discipline and organization of the pro-Beijing machine behind him – and a split opposition – he should have won. His campaign had the resources to swamp districts with publicity material, buy voters meals and drag the elderly to polling stations.

Part of his problem may have been the unfortunate sliminess that afflicts even the younger, more cosmopolitan DAB members. And some voters must have felt taken for granted being invited to pick an in-house lawyer for property developer New World as a representative. (Plus the blubby cry-baby stuff.) He also failed to win overt, sincere-looking support from several other pro-Beijing groups, namely the Liberals and, more important, the rural Heung Yee Kuk, which can mobilize voters but is also mulling running its own candidates in the full Legislative Council election in September.

The icing on the cake for many pro-dems is localist Edward Leung’s third place. For a radical, extremist separatist-with-terrorist-leanings Mongkok Fishball Riot participant to get 15% of the vote – while the mainstream pan-dem still wins – is a hilarious kick in the head for the Chinese Communist Party. Just as everyone is supposed to be lining up to denounce Hong Kong Indigenous and similar groups as dangers to Hong Kong and national security, 66,524 splittist sympathizers suddenly appear out of nowhere at the ballot box.


There was a third pan-dem in this race – Nelson Wong Sing-chi, a defector from the Democratic Party who dreams of a ‘third way’ by which hyper-moderates can induce Beijing to see reason. The by-election was triggered in the first place by the self-important resignation of Ronny Tong who quit the Civic Party to form a similar ‘third way’ grouping. Both look bound for oblivion. (Mildly eccentric neighbourhood activist Independent Christine Fong got double the votes of Wong.)

The final tally: the three pan-dems together won 245,000 votes, versus the DAB’s 150,000.

So we can’t conclude what the by-election means in terms of formal politics – like Legco proceedings or the September poll. Maybe we don’t have to, since that whole constitutional approach is looking less relevant by the day. We can say that the NT East result completely contradicts the official Communist Party/Hong Kong government line that the Hong Kong public is united in hatred for extremist separatists and the mealy-mouthed pan-dems who find excuses for them. It seems lots of people are quite cool with them. There will be seething in Beijing’s local Liaison Office, and the Hong Kong government’s determination to avoid self-reflection at all costs will look all the more awkward. Hong Kong just isn’t following the script.


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18 Responses to NT East to CCP: drop dead

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    B R A V O, Hong Kong!

  2. But does Alvin have the stardust?

    One day a man or woman with charisma and time free from being a barrister will proclaim he\she has not had a personality bypass and unite the progressive forces of Hong Kong.

    2050 sounds right.

  3. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Certainly, Hong Kong is not going down without a fight.

    Unfortunately, it is going down. The sun is setting even faster than we first expected.

  4. LRE says:

    @Bela Thebelt is Dead

    “One day a man or woman with charisma and time free from being a barrister” A barrister with charisma!?! A contradiction in terms like military intelligence shurely?

  5. Gooddog says:

    Great result.
    Suck it you DAB bootlickers.
    Bunch of nasty, anti-Hong Kong Benedict Arnolds.
    How much money do they get paid to sell out their fellow Hong Kong citizens?
    There is a special place in hell for these traitors.

  6. Tai O Bloke says:

    I’m surprised we haven’t yet seen Holden’s cry-baby clip spoofed as a CCTV ‘confession’ to the Party…maybe that’s in the works?

  7. HillnotPeak says:

    245,000 for the pan dems and 150,000 for DAB: exactly the reason why there won’t be real democracy in Hong Kong.

  8. reductio says:

    And the wicked witch smiled and said to Holden. “There, there, child. Don’t cry now. You did your very best against these evil, evil people. Why don’t you come into my little house and I’ll make everything better?” And she took his hand and gently led him through the spiked gates (which clanged behind her) and into her house named “Tamar”.

    And Holden was never seen again…

    So children…BEWARE!

  9. HK Hibernian says:

    Not to mention the bully-boys standing around the DAB banners at Po Lam MTR station … ready and/or eager for some conflict yesterday? Quite a scary crew. Better luck next time thugs.

  10. Qian Jin says:

    @”right-thinking lovers of freedom and decency ”

    Which fake Western democracy would you be thinking of when you came up with this phrase?

    Democracies with your ideal of “freedom” are all bought. They are unable to put a decent and non-corrupted government in place with real power to right serious wrongs, particularly redressing the grotesque inequitable distribution of their national wealth.

  11. Red Dragon says:

    Smashing bit of irony, again, QJ.

    You sum up red China to a T.

    You really are such a card. Can’t get enough of your posts, myself.

  12. dimuendo says:

    Qian Jie

    Mike Rowse in today’s SCMP makes the obvious point that elections allow for peaceful change, thus in effect letting the steam out of the kettle

    China with its long history of suppression should have learnt by now the benefit of letting steam blow. Instead the heir to Mao seems determined to ramp up. People suffer when the kettle blows: unfortunately not often those at the top so they do not care but very occasionally in history elections would have been far better for the top than the alternative that happened.

  13. Monkey Reborn says:

    @qian jin

    How about Switzerland as a model of a successful, freedom loving Western democracy?

    Although, FFS, the CCP even makes the Iranian authorities look like freedom-loving, stalwart believers in the democratic process in comparison … When standing next to Robert Mugabe (literally and metaphorically) makes you look like a bunch of repressive totalitarian douches in comparison, it might suggest to you, upon self-reflection, that a subtle shift in your strategic thinking is required.

    That such shifts have yet to materialise suggests to me severe institutional inertia and perceptual and cognitive biases of such massive proportion, so deeply ingrained and entrenched in the collective group think of the party leadership, that we may have to witness a few mil in the streets in each major Chinese city before a few generals (for the pessimists) or closet CCP liberals (for the optimists) wake up and smell what is cooking.

    Neither good nor welcome news for us in the real world, or you in your pseudo ultra nationalist ivory tower (no doubt painted blood red in honour of your eternal Chairman), amico mio.

  14. dbtrades says:

    I don’t know, but I think a vote for Alvin is a vote against a really poorly run group of democrats. But if Alvin can pull out some more victories, let’s give him a hurrah.

  15. Qian Jin says:

    @ Monkey Reborn ” How about Switzerland as a model of a successful, freedom loving Western democracy?”

    Well done ! Rather struggle though for you ? ……. and you could only suggest one of Europe’s smallest federal nations with eight million citizens out of 850 million Europeans. Where does that leave the other 840 million?

  16. Qian Jin says:

    @dimuendo “makes the obvious point that elections allow for peaceful change, thus in effect letting the steam out of the kettle”

    Yes the ‘government’ changes but little else. Same bought politicians (the leaders, wearing different coloured ties, just swap chairs). Meanwhile the rich and corrupt continue cleaning up.

  17. dimuendo says:

    Qian Jie

    Your position is that the mainland does not have rich and corrupt continuing to clean up?

    What the mainland does have is regular “protests” that are rather more violent than the one in Mongkok and which are viciously suppressed and yet no reporting thereof allowed.

  18. Gerald says:

    Thank goodness there aren’t any rich and corrupt folks in the Peoples’ Paradise next door.

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