Hong Kong has just another eight weeks of relative peace before it finds itself in the midst of the 2016 Legislative Council election campaign. The city’s sidewalks, station exits, airwaves, mailboxes and homes will be invaded by pushy candidates representing all manner of political parties, from the desperate to the despicable to the hopeless to the tragic. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses and cable TV salesmen will give up in despair and retreat from the streets into their little dark burrows.
In my constituency, Hong Kong Island, the number of seats is being cut from seven to six. There is probably a deeply fascinating reason for this, presumably to do with reallocation of seats owing to higher population growth in other regions of the city. Of course, it will not reduce the number of candidates; it will simply increase and concentrate their hyperactive, grabby, in-your-face leaflet-distribution and door-knocking.
In theory, the loyalist/pro-government parties are coordinated behind the scenes by the forces of darkness at Beijing’s Liaison Office, while the pro-democracy and opposition groups are a chaotic mess of pointless rivalries and vote-cannibalization. But even tawdry shoe-shining Communist Party poodles have egos, and some are tempted to run even though the United Front machine tells them to stand aside for the greater, patriotic good. The Heung Yee Kuk’s rural goons have already proposed a new party dedicated to themselves.
In Hong Kong Island, the DAB’s hapless Christopher Chung is threatening to run as an independent because colleague Horace Cheung will get top place in the party list, which pretty much consigns Chung to the garbage heap. The DAB is the CCP’s core local front, so enforcers will probably persuade him otherwise, but it’s a sign of infighting in what is supposed to be a disciplined, Leninist system.
Assuming he does not go rogue, Hong Kong Island is likely to have three pro-government parties on the ballot in September, each targeting its own constituency. The DAB will cater to the elderly, the small shop-keepers, the die-hard or opportunist patriots among the professions, and the seedy suckers-of-toothpicks and haters of evil foreigners. The parallel FTU (Federation of Trade Unions) will campaign among employees of Mainland enterprises and Beijing-friendly companies, and members of patriotic labour groups. Regina Ip’s New People’s Party will go for a somewhat nebulous conservative middle-class/civil-servant demographic. I’m guessing the sort of authoritarian/Christian types who tut-tut at the computer game-addicted gay sex-fiend drug-and-porn-pushing student radicals and bad elements wrecking our primary schools. She’s probably helped by the fact that the pro-business Liberal Party won’t be running. (All I know is – someone votes for her.)
Of course, if the Liberals do run on the Island, she (and they) could well lose. Despite their name, the Liberals are late tycoons’ slimy kids with a dash – an insufficient one – of maverick. They are planning a big push in other districts in the hope of coming across as some sort of middle-ground. The word is that disgruntled businessman Ricky Wong of HKTV might run on Hong Kong Island. He has a huge grudge against the current administration, yet the chatterers and commentators see him as a threat to the government loyalist Regina. If true, this suggests that the constituency has a population of mildly skeptical pro-business bourgeois moderates (which it does) under-served by existing political parties.
Which brings us to the pro-dems, who seem to dedicate themselves to under-serving us all. The SCMP says the Civic Party’s Tanya Chan, Labour’s Cyd Ho, and one Ted Hui of the Democratic Party will all run separate tickets, as will Baggio Leung of localist group Youngspiration. At least one or two other localist/independence groups (lost count of them all) could join the fray. So you’ll have four or five opposition groups fighting for three seats so messily that they could end up with just two.
Enjoy the next eight weeks’ peace and quiet.
We have to admire your devotion to these nonentities.
Personally, I would sooner catalogue sticklebacks.
Keep it up, or down, or sideways, or whatever is appropriate.
For “regions of the city”, read “cities of the region”?
Ricky has made clear he IS standing. The reason Regina hates his guts is simple: they both claim to be outside the two main traditional groupings, so naturally they’re competing for the same sort of voters.
According to http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1263890-20160602.htm, James Tien is going to target “politically neural” voters.
And if the dems don’t hold their veto, it’s all over. The government could pass Article 23 if they can stomach the riots. They probably won’t want to dust off Beijing-style constitutional reform, but they could. This ain’t your daddy’s election year and the democrats are doing their best to blow it.
If might just alter that last sentence:
The reason Regina hates his guts is simple: they both claim to be outside the two main traditional groupings, so naturally they’re competing for the same sort of voters, but Ricky has the unfair advantage of having a personality and brains.
With a bit of luck he might even achieve yet another “it can’t be done” milestone in Hong Kong and get Vagina to do what she should have done 13 years ago: realise her career is over and give up politics.
Vagina never had any power base or core constituency to back her. I am surprised she is in LegCo at all. Maybe that’s why she is so keen to collect all those dubious hangers-on like Semen and Aching-Bones. Neither does she have a clear political message or philosophy. My articulated guess is that she considers politics as a game, since she has nothing else going on in her life: so it’s ‘stay in the game’, make a lot of noise, draw attention whenever possible and see what happens.
For an aspiring CEO (only in her dreams, of course) she has a remarkable talent to alienate potential political allies: Liberal Party despises her, DAB does not trust her, Pan-Dems know her as ‘the leopard that doesn’t change its spots’ (thanks, Anson) and her ex-colleagues in the government/ civil service remember her for the minx that she was and is.
When John “Mr Pringles” Tsang gets into office -he has been anointed by Mr Xi after all- I hope he will be smart enough to sideline toxic personalities like Vagina Ip and anyone else who too enthusiastically embraced D7689. Apart from the guidelines from the Liaison Office that cannot be ignored, I hope he will go for new and fresh faces that will help him to marshal the support of the ‘people under the Lion Rock’ and get the job done. He has plenty of goodwill at this stage: I hope he doesn’t squander it.
Whoever you choose, Pringle-boy: don’t include anyone from the present administration.
I suspect people one day will miss the days of Lufsig like they do C(omposting) Y(ak) Dung/Tung. Compared to Donald The Duck Tsang, and what may eventually come, they represent the times of bungling, incompetent “lesser effective evil“**.
**Credit for the term