Put simply: the losers will win by cheating

The electoral ‘improvements’ plan is out. The details are complex and designed to numb your brain to the plain reality: Hong Kong’s elections will be rigged to such a degree that no elections actually happen. But the sheer multitude of different mechanisms and approaches, all aimed at keeping the popular pan-democrats from winning, goes beyond blinding observers with superfluous process. There’s pathological hatred, obviously, of Hong Kong’s democrats. And there’s paranoia about Hong Kong in general – even the establishment. But also maybe there’s fear of the ‘relevant’ Chinese officials’ bosses. Seriously: how much work did all these duplicated, multi-faceted layers of redundancy take?

For example, try the vetting process, presented for your convenience in a nice simple flow-chart – on which three of four courses lead to ‘invalid nomination’. It’s a lot of complicated steps simply to implement the CCP shadow government’s ‘Deny Candidacy’ list. And yet it’s getting more window-dressing

Or check out the interesting gerrymandering, with most of Lantau plus Cheung Chau, Lamma and Peng Chau lumped in with most, but not all, of Hong Kong Island in one constituency, while the Yuen Long urban area is split between two constituencies, as is neatly contiguous Shatin. Presumably, this is to dilute pan-dem strongholds. But to be safe, each of the 10 new constituencies will elect two members to LegCo, in order to make sure that pan-dems can’t win more than half the seats. Oh, and they can’t do that anyway, because they are in jail, again and again

In the tech sub-sector, pro-dem elements have lost their votes while pro-Beijing ones have been included (and presumably newly created). Journalists/media groups are being removed from the cultural/sports/etc sub-sector. Mainland organizations are becoming corporate voters in other functional constituencies. This is piling on the overkill.

The rubber-stamp ‘election committee’ will be packed with even more losers, who will ‘elect’ (actually implement the CCP’s ‘Preferred Candidates’ list) loyalist-clones to dozens of new Legislative Council seats.

Most pitifully, the government will make it a crime to call for people to boycott or cast blank votes in these forthcoming quasi-elections. The supposed reason is that it may pressure voters and ‘affect their freedom to choose whether to vote’, or it is ‘sabotaging’ the election (unlike pre-approved candidates and gerrymandering). The CCP’s real fear – illustrated by the maximum penalty of three years in prison – is that a boycott will highlight not just the electoral farce but the regime’s lack of legitimacy.

Aside from being desperate (and unconstitutional under the old freedom-of-expression rules Hong Kong once had), such a move will obviously prompt citizens to wonder how they can still register opposition at (or not at) the polls. It’s not so much opposition as non-acceptance, or rejection. Clue: don’t cast a blank vote; do the, um, other – that is, ‘go hiking on election day’.

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20 Responses to Put simply: the losers will win by cheating

  1. Probably says:

    By raising the point about spoilt ballot papers are the govt themselves not in contravention of the new rule by bringing it up?

    In order to stay the right side of the NSL, I would just like to remind everyone DEFINATELY DO NOT spoil your ballot papers with rude comments or pictures of genetalia.

  2. reductio says:


    I second that. Do not, under any circumstances spoil your ballot or refuse to vote. It is illegal to tell anyone not to vote, or spoil their paper. If anyone told you NOT TO VOTE or SPOIL YOUR VOTING PAPER then they would be committing a crime. If anyone told me, “Hey, don’t vote” then I would sternly charge them to depart. If that person then said “Spoil your ballot paper” I would rebuke them “Get thee behind me Satan! I WILL vote, and I will NOT draw pictures of genitalia (or any other members of the government ) on my ballot paper.”

  3. Toph says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if everyone said they were going to go hiking on election day, and then didn’t? Thousands of cops would have to go all the way out to the country parks for nothing.

  4. Francis Urquhart, MP says:

    You might think that casting a blank ballot would upset the government, I couldn’t possibly comment.

  5. donkeyballot says:

    I guess we all know what we need to do now… We must forthrightly and resolutely tell everyone that they should NOT tell people to boycott the elections and they better not boycott the elections because we all know what happens when they boycott elections. this is why we shouldn’t boycott elections or even think about boycotting elections.

  6. vilma says:

    We should all stand for election.

  7. A Poor Man says:

    I can’t wait to see what happens if the Apple Daily publishes a front page editorial urging people to vote. Curry Lamb won’t know what to think or do, but people like Brother 13 and Vag Yip will loudly proclaim that it was an illegal act of subversion until someone from the BBC asks them whether they want the public to vote or not.

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    Wouldn’t it be glorious if HK country parks were packed asshole to bellybutton with citizens that decided, by chance, they wanted to get some fresh air that day as too many plutocrat Alptards were creating a hazard by parking at polls with engines running?

  9. Ho Ma Fan says:

    Not heard anything recently (unless I’ve missed it, which is quite possible) regarding the previous proposal to allow people/pets/the dead across the border to vote. Did Ms Lam manage to squeeze something in about that in those 760 pages of hers?

  10. Andrew Mountford says:

    I think people who try to embarrass the Hong Kong government are very naughty. Naughty people!

  11. where's my jet plane says:

    she will be adding community leaders to a powerful new committee
    Doesn’t the silly woman realise the community leaders are all in prison?

  12. Joe Blow says:

    If I did NOT draw a dick on the ballot paper and pointed an arrow at f.i. Bunny Chan’s name, then how does the Government know that I did NOT do that?

  13. dimuendo says:

    No idea about HK nor current position in UK, but way back in UK all ballot papers were numbered, matched to counterfoil. So if you have sufficient examiners, and lots of patience, you could match ballot paper to voter.

    Am sure they will have thought of it , if not already in force.

  14. Low Profile says:

    @vilma – wouldn’t it be nice if there were so many candidates that the vetting committee couldn’t possibly check them all out?

  15. Mark Bradley says:

    Did anyone in the U.K. make a stink about that because that is total BS!

  16. Francis Urquhart, MP says:

    You might think that wearing medical gloves and tearing off any numbers or barcodes appearing on your ballot might be what a bad person who wanted to spoil their ballot would be best placed doing as a precaution. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  17. dimuendo says:

    Mark Bradley.

    If you disbelieve me, ok, please do your own research, but that has been my understanding for over 30 years. Be delighted to be proven wrong, but that will not stop it happening here,if it does not already. Examine your ballot paper very carefully and maybe your partner and you cross compare.

  18. dimuendo says:

    Mark Bradley

    Google “numbered voting in UK” without the quotes.

    After “people also ask” see articles from the Guardian, something called Aceproject etc.

    I rest my case.

  19. Mary Melville says:

    “I think people who try to embarrass the Hong Kong government are very naughty”
    But you cannot embarrass our government, it has no shame

  20. Low Profile says:

    @Mark Bradley – the numbering is a precaution against election fraud, for example someone slipping in extra fake ballot papers. Of course it is only uncontroversial in a country where voters trust the integrity of the government administering the election. If, say, a government was itself the election rigger, it could easily be abused.

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