Back at ground level…

The main impact of the District Council elections will be in the response from Beijing and the local administration to their major kick in the teeth. The Hong Kong government is, predictably, blinking stupidly and struck dumb. Its CCP masters are frantically trying to come to terms with it all.

Meanwhile, pro-democrats find themselves with some 390 of the 452 seats on District Councils, and in control of 17 of the 18 bodies.

Over-excitable observers foresee greater pro-dem influence over the Chief Executive ‘Election Committee’ mechanism. They should calm down. The CCP does not allow unexpected or external factors to influence its rubber-stamp CE selection system. Remember that this system generated 689 votes (57% of the total) for someone everyone hated. Don’t fuss about the structural and procedural details – the outcome is decided by Beijing and Beijing only.

The DC elections result will give pan-dems the District Council (First) Functional Constituency seat in the Legislative Council, but does not itself much affect the likely outcome of the five at-large seats representing the District Council (Second) Functional Constituency. (As with CE ‘election’, the idiotic complexity is by design; it masks the way the underlying system is rigged.)

The 390 newbies on the advisory, largely powerless boards are mostly young and inexperienced. Their work as District Councilors will be to handle complaints about often very mundane matters (like location of bus stops). But in theory – especially if they break with pan-dem tradition and get their act together – they could use their combined influence to pressure government on planning and other issues. Indeed, with a clear mandate, of the sort Carrie Lam can only dream of, they can potentially add massively to the opposition voice in general.

One interesting aspect of this is the financial compensation. Each councilor gets a monthly salary of HK$33,950 and another HK$44,800 for expense such as assistants and office space. That’s around HK$950,000 a year. The pan-dem movement will find itself HK$370 million a year better off. While Beijing’s officials were happy about this sort of taxpayers’ money going into the pro-Beijing camp’s district operations, they will be mightily miffed to see government bankroll the evil CIA-backed unpatriotic traitors of the opposition.

Pro-government types are dying to see the new councilors mess up (wah – no administrative experience!) It’s possible that Beijing officials will try to sabotage their work and turn constituents against them, for example by demanding that civil servants delay handling pro-dem councilors’ queries or (as in Singapore) simply deliver lower-quality services to opposition neighbourhoods.

On the other hand, if Hong Kong ever gets representative government, Lucifer Siu and the other 390 are likely to form the foundation of the city’s political talent.

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17 Responses to Back at ground level…

  1. old git says:

    One area the new District Councils can get involved with is by pressuring the Education Department on school bus arrangements and timetables. That will lead naturally to discussions about the quality of education of the younger generation who will become the older generation. It will also lead to why so many parents are wanting to school their children outside HK.

  2. twocisterns says:

    # old git, they were the Education Department (ED) 20 years ago and were then rebranded as the Education Manpower Bureau (EMB). The next iteration was the redundant Education Department Bureau (EDB) and now they have finally(?) settled on Education Bureau (EB). That’s got to tell you something!

  3. Boris Badanov says:

    Three things for them to focus on in my view: (1) corrupt public works contracts with friends/relatives of district council members that should end and previous instances of which should be referred to the ICAC; (2) anything they have traditionally done to bolster united front groups that should end; and (3) why in this high density city where only a selfish few own cars is vehicular traffic favoured over pedestrians (one definitely good thing from the present situation is the removal of kilometres of frustrating metal fences a long pavements) and why lower density lower rise buildings with no car parks are replaced by ridiculously tall pollution trapping/view blocking buildings with floors and floors of car parks for cars the existing road network can’t carry.

  4. Reactor #4 says:

    A consequence of the present no-riot situation means that the various local media companies that provided wall-to-wall coverage are now unable to pull-in vast sums of “free” cash that a multitude of overseas broadcasters had been flicking their way, often to bank accounts in regimes where taxation hasn’t yet been invented. It therefore won’t be too long before things return to “normal”.

    Firstly, some sort of “event” needs be triggered to get the supporters of the black-shirts revved up. Then, the hard-core kids who were trapped for several days over at the PolyU need to be bailed before being sent back to the streets on their standard HK$8,000/night salary.

    Within hour the cops will once again be getting sprayed with corrosive liquids; innocent, but mouthy, anti-rioters will be being doused in highly-combustible solvents and set alight; Joe Public will revert back to commuting journeys that take 1-1-5 hours longer than they should.

    With the HK riot hub reinstalled, it’ll just be like the old days.

    Lights, camera, action, money.

  5. MarkLane says:

    @old git
    For the uninitiated, what’s wrong with the school bus arrangement in Hong Kong?

  6. reductio says:

    Reactor #4

    My hour long (each way) 6-day commute, has been better during the demos than before. Fewer mainlanders.

    Which reminds me – what about the 150 settlers per day ? Nobody seems to have mentioned that for a while.

  7. Stanley Lieber says:

    It’s rare that I find myself in strong disagreement with the proprietor.

    The election on Sunday was an historic event. Everything has changed.

    It was the first democratic election ever held on PRC soil. There is no going back.

    It was a mini-Berlin Wall moment. They must be shitting their pants in Beijing.

    The election was entirely peaceful, it enjoyed high levels of participation from all parties, and the result has been accepted by all sides.

    Hong Kong is a functioning democracy. There will be no going back.

    Of course there will be nasty moments ahead, but that bell cannot be unrung.

    The smart cadres amongst the CCP know they have a huge challenge on their hands.

    Like Mandela in South Africa, the whole of the HK population, yellow and blue alike, have got to work together to make it possible for the CCP to extricate itself from the terrible position they’ve put themselves in.

    If we don’t, the only alternative will be to send in the tanks.

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    If the pan democrats get their act together they could theoretically get a simple majority in legco just like solidarity managed in Poland with the “contract Sejm” which only had 35% of its seats up for election by universal suffrage back in 1989.

    But our pan dems are really good with snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so probably not

  9. Mark Bradley says:

    Also that idiot reactor #4 is babbling again with fact free content

  10. Those Wily Democrats says:

    In case you missed it. Copy-paste:

    Reactor #4 says:
    November 22, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    I’m very much looking forward to Monday morning. It’s going to be great fun watching the democratic process put the big squeeze on the Democracy Fundamentalists. The irony won’t be lost on me.

    Speaking of irony… let me just sit back and soak it up again. And again. And again…. LMFAO

  11. Din Dan Che says:

    As M Bradley observes the reactive one is talking in tongues and will be forever smarting from his own goal last week when predicting the election. How utterly wrong can one poster to these threads be… and have to labur under it day into night into day again – or in his case a daily six-hour commute

  12. FOARP says:

    Interesting how Reactor #4 reads almost exactly like this blog’s previous trolls (the Enid/NTSCMP troll), but is now out-and-out buying into CCP propaganda. Almost like there was only ever a single troll whose basic goal was backing the CCP.

  13. Beentheredonethat says:

    @Mark Bradley, I wish he’d tell us who’s paying the 8K per day to the Black Shirts! I’m up for trying my hand at it …

  14. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Stanley Lieber, that has to be the best comment I have ever read on this blog. Some obvious exceptions aside, the comments here are regularly thought provoking and interesting. However, may November 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm forever be remembered as the moment the lightning struck; that Damascene conversion. What you have written feels compelling, and the need to work together, urgent.

  15. Eyore says:

    Next, all Permanent Residents required to make oath and swear fealty

    80 years ago, the same same in an expansionist, racist, nationalistic nation which adopted socialism…

  16. Knownot says:

    In British English, ‘Councillor’ is spelt thus, with two ‘l’s. In American English, it can be spelt with either one ‘l’ or two.

  17. Mary Melville says:

    I refute the claim that the incoming Councillors are ‘inexperienced’. I have known a number of them for many years. Some have been participating in community initiatives since they were teenagers and are certainly well informed on how the system works. A number have served as assistants to legislators and are very capable of conducting research and producing detailed documents for meetings.
    Moreover their level of education and the experience in business, welfare and other sectors of some make them far more qualified than many of the ousted DCs.
    The protests showed that our young folk can adapt quickly to fluid situations and think on their feet. They displayed unexpected levels of organizational abilities.
    It will not take them long to get to grips with the DC systems, and hopefully find ways to cut through a lot of current time wasting and procrastinating practices that hold up community projects, sometimes for decades.

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