Go hiking on election day!

The government is reportedly looking into making protest votes illegal and/or making it an offense to call for protest votes or an election boycott. Minds are struggling to work out how such laws could be enforced.

My prediction… The government decrees that the ‘unused’ votes on blank/spoiled ballots will automatically be divided up among candidates in proportion to the total non-spoiled vote so there are no uncounted ballots. As for banning calls to boycott, it is likely the government will deem such expressions seditious, and dissidents will have to urge fellow citizens to (say) go hiking on election day – with a pronounced wink of the eye.

Whatever action the government takes, the responses to such trivial potential civil disobedience will be clunky. Beijing’s officials – who are obviously behind this sort of idiocy – didn’t think things through before reducing the electoral system to a doubly-rigged joke. And they will continue not to think things through: Won’t discussion of such prohibitions simply draw attention to the whole idea of protest votes/a boycott among people who hadn’t considered them before? (Clue: yes it will.)

Some links to ease us into what promises to be a short week…

Regina ‘Zero’ Ip faces a BBC interviewer reminding her that her ‘party’ won no seats in the district council elections. Her willingness to be publicly kicked in the teeth is almost as compelling as Carrie Lam’s kamikaze-psychopath-zombie routine.

A HKFP interview with ‘moderate’ Michael Tien (a one-time ally of Reg’s group) trying to sound supportive of the election ‘improvements’ that sideline his own local business milieu, and trying to convince us – or at least himself – that the worst of NatSec horrors are over. Like his brother James, he never quite mastered the art of shoe-shining the CCP in the self-debasing way that comes naturally to many other tycoons.

The government is claiming that NatSec Police have the right to seize and read journalistic materials, which would include details of reporters’ sources. Does anyone expect otherwise?

Elsewhere in Apple Daily, the Easter rush of emigrants from Hong Kong to the UK, and an interview with the boss from jail.

The brilliant Anne Stevenson-Yang on how and why billionaires (Zuck, Musk, etc) side with fascist/CCP dictators.

Mad dogs (and occasional running ones) – China Media Project presents a history of CCP-backed mouth-frothing and ranting up to the days of the wolf-warrior diplomats

For the Chinese Communist Party, online rage is the conflagration needed to suck the oxygen out of any debate over substance, and distract attention away from criticism. 

Denmark faces CCP lawfare.

And an interesting commentary on the Essex Chambers sanctions

“Please, please Mr Genocidal Dictator, it’s their fault not ours, don’t blame us. We’re still happy to work for you.”

Chambers has demeaned itself by grovelling in the face of such intimidation.

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15 Responses to Go hiking on election day!

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Protest voting can be a lot of fun. Drawing a dick on a ballot is one way of expressing dissatisfaction but if they make it illegal, how about this one: choose one single candidate, for example, the last entry on the list from some ineffective club of sniveling cowards like the Liberal Party. Make that name the “protest vote”. So if “Tony Wong” receives a million votes the message should be clear to all. And it’s legal. Unless the CCP introduces another NIL-law to make it illegal to vote for anyone named Tony Wong.

  2. Pope Innocent says:

    All this talk of protest voting, abstaining, sanctions, and the like is missing the point. Only a fool plays by rules, especially rules made up by the enemy. The US found the best way to swiftly deal with intransigent nutcase regimes on the 6th and 9th of August 1945. Wouldn’t it be fun to see how well it still works by, say, repeating the experiment on Beijing and Shanghai on the 75th anniversaries of the original events?

  3. Mark Bradley says:

    A local friend of mine is going to go protest vote and I intend to follow his lead. I am bringing my sharpie so I can cast a “write in” vote and maybe draw something vulgar.

    If however the government is really brain dead enough for evenly distribute all of the protest votes to the candidates we will know ahead of time and I will boycott instead.

  4. Vic Hislop, shark hunter & Man of Mystery says:

    Apart from a protest vote you van also cast a “anti-vote”. To make sure that certain malodorous parties like the DAB and Vagina’s New People’s Party are crowded out at the ballot, you vote for a slightly less despicable party (I know it’s emotionally difficult but it can be done).

  5. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Pope; as much as you may relish the prospect of a few million additional immortal souls to play with, the mere notion that anyone would advocate the total annihilation of two of China’s most populous cities is abhorrent. And from a man of the cloth too! Shame on you.

  6. reductio says:

    @Pope Innocent

    No, it wouldn’t be “fun”.

  7. Pope Innocent says:

    I have to apologise for my post. Trump of course missed the 75th anniversary last year. Biden could still make the 76th, and what a legacy to rid the world of the greatest threat to humanity since Stalin.

    Whatever else, it would be educational. Only an anti-intellectual could claim learning can’t be fun.

    I doubt I would get the chance to greet their immortal souls, I fear – they had the chance to mend their ways decades ago when the truth about the CCP became freely available to them. The fact that they fell in line to safeguard their newfound iphones and VWs has doomed them to eternal damnation.

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    “Apart from a protest vote you van also cast a “anti-vote”. To make sure that certain malodorous parties like the DAB and Vagina’s New People’s Party are crowded out at the ballot, you vote for a slightly less despicable party (I know it’s emotionally difficult but it can be done).”

    That is just voting for the lesser evil. It’s bad doing this in the USA, and TERRIBLE doing this in HK especially because it adds legitimacy to a rigged nomination system.

    The smart play is to cast an invalid vote and if that’s made impossible/invisible then simply boycott.

  9. HKJC Regular says:

    @HMF and reductio – My sentiments entirely. One presumes he’s been on the altar wine – though it’s nowt new… General McArthur was advocating it during the Korean War. Another head the ball.

  10. Din Gao says:

    Gents,

    a more equitable solution than the bomb is to be found in a good late friend Barry Kalb’s book “Cleaning House”.

    7 copies for lending: https://webcat.hkpl.gov.hk/search/query?theme=WEB

    Or on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Cleaning-House-Barry-Kalb-ebook/dp/B01NCZOZP8

    As the new millennium dawns, the world is a sorry place: war, disease,
    terrorism, political strife, all exacerbated by the planet’s massive and
    growing population. God, fed up with mankind once again, decides
    that another housecleaning is in order. But no more floods, no wiping
    out the entire human race this time (He promised not to do that again).
    He decides instead on a high-tech approach appropriate to the era:
    Noah Archer, an unassuming risk analyst, is assigned to bring the
    population down to a more manageable size by selectively eliminating
    the worst of mankind, with the help of a divinely created computer
    program, and a shape-shifting archangel named Wong.

    “Cleaning House” is a sharply drawn, often hilarious commentary
    on overpopulation, divine retribution, and the state of civilization
    as the 21st century begins. It wanders the world from the Vatican
    to China, India, the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, the Philippines,
    and just about everywhere in between, encountering a fascinating
    cast of characters along the way.

    Enjoy…

  11. Toph says:

    @Mark Bradley: I agree that voting for the lesser evil will merely legitimize the show election. The only way it could work is if the chosen candidate were so comically useless that it’s obvious that no-one in their right mind would support them. A complete nonentity with a criminal conviction for white collar crime and a history of being caught watching porn in Legco, for example. But even then, the bottom of the barrel is so deep that there there is probably nobody ridiculous enough to clearly register as satire.

    Perhaps an absurdist joke candidate might work. Get someone with a clean record to run on a platform of mandating purple underpants and giving out free chihuahuas to one-eyed children. You can get disqualified for being unpatriotic. Doesn’t say anything about being bloody stupid. They would have to be really committed to the bit.

  12. Probably says:

    Vote Monster Raving Looney Party. Bring back Screaming Lord Sutch

  13. Low Profile says:

    @Probably – alas, his Lordship has gone to where no man returns, though I believe his party still exists. The cosmic joke is that many of his supposedly crazy policy proposals actually made a lot of sense. As Wikipedia says: “Despite its satirical nature, some of the things that have featured in Loony manifestos have become law, such as “passports for pets”, abolition of dog licences and all-day pub openings.”

  14. Probably says:

    @Low Profile, totally agree and of course not forgetting votes for 18 year olds!

  15. conference says:

    Am I the only one here who, last Thursday received post from the Registration and Electoral Office inviting me to exercise my right to vote in the Legislative Council and District Council elections? I received a very nice personalised form letter advising me that I am being contacted “on the basis of preferences expressed at the time of my Hong Kong PR application” and enclosing a red and white Application for New Voter Registration (Geographical Constituencies) helpfully written in English on the front and Chinese on the back.

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