By ‘improved’, we mean ‘why bother?’

It’s unlikely that right-thinking Hong Kong people plan to turn out for December’s Legislative Council ‘improved’-style election. The only candidates you will be able to vote for will be shoe-shiners approved as sufficiently ‘patriotic’ by Beijing’s elaborate new vetting system. Even sycophants are under pressure, and one is trying to display her loyalty by asking the government to advise everyone not to vote for people who will not be on the ballot anyway…

DAB legislator Elizabeth Quat complained that publicity for December’s Legco races does not emphasise strongly enough that only patriots can be allowed to rule Hong Kong … the authorities should … warn people not to vote for anyone who isn’t patriotic, she said in Legco.

With typical thoroughness, the government official concerned agreed with her.

The government will spend HK$38 million on encouraging people to vote. (Maybe HK$38 billion would do the trick – depends how they distribute it.) The HKFP piece also says…

Calling on others to cast a blank or invalid ballot is punishable by up to three years in jail.

…which is news to me. But have no fear – I won’t call on people to go to the polling station at all. (When officials were considering this, they seemed unclear about whether it was possible to criminalize urging a boycott but not the promotion of voting. The Big Scary Thing now seems to be ‘vilification’ of the election.)

In the meantime, there will be an even more absurd ‘election’ in September for the Election Committee – the (mainly appointed) body that rubber-stamps Beijing’s choice of Chief Executive, and will also nominally conduct the screening-out of non-patriots from the LegCo poll and appoint many LegCo members. The EC has always been a farce, but now they’ve given up pretending. Rather than being chosen by 246,440 voters, the body will now be selected by just 7,891 – a 97% drop. The reason is that humans are now barred from voting; only organizations (mostly United Front astroturf ones) will participate…

Under the new electoral list, the education sector has 1,725 voters … this compares with 80,000 voters from the sector in the [2016] election…

Local media also reported that 404 bodies have registered as “grassroots organisations,” a new group. They included such entities as the Modern Mummy Group, Tai Kok Tsui Friends, and “Chinese Arts Papercutting Association”.

Officials trying to boost the numbers of voters turning out for rigged and pointless elections must also contend with net departures. And they’re not alone. School principals coyly call on the Hong Kong government to analyze the reasons for and do something about emigration. Schools are apparently noticing a fall in the ranks of both teachers and students. Maybe the problem will be solved when the principals themselves have left town and there’s no-one left to complain.

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11 Responses to By ‘improved’, we mean ‘why bother?’

  1. donkey says:

    Personally, I feel that Carrie Lam is not doing enough to show us how she could give a rat’s arse about all of it. Please do better, Carrie!

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Calling on others to cast a blank or invalid ballot is punishable by up to three years in jail.

    …which is news to me. But have no fear – I won’t call on people to go to the polling station at all. (When officials were considering this, they seemed unclear about whether it was possible to criminalize urging a boycott but not the promotion of voting. The Big Scary Thing now seems to be ‘vilification’ of the election.)”

    The pathetic-ness of all this would be laughable were it not so….pathetic.

  3. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    I‘ ll get me a PhD in Patriotism Management and Improved shoe shining from the Greenwich University in Hawaii and then I register The Improved Democratic Alliance for the Improved Betterment and Improved Progress of The Improved Hong Kong Specially Improved Region of the no longer Improvable PEOPLE‘s Republic of China, together with Alumna The HONORABLE Dr. Dr. Phd. Elizabeth Squat!

  4. YTSL says:

    This Radio Free Asia article really makes clear what “improved” is:-
    https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/system-07192021105240.html

    Also, as we approach the 2nd anniversary of the Yuen Long attack, here’s more info re its planning, etc. courtesy of a Stand News video:-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds4AnnLe_nE

  5. Toph says:

    The Stand News video does a lot to explain the origins of the “it was a fight between two equally matched gangs” copaganda talking point. The Liaison Office launched an amateurish social media campaign to lure protesters into Yuen Long on 7/21 to give the pre-assembled white shirts an excuse to heroically fight them off. Nobody took the bait. So the Yuen Long uncles, finding themselves with nothing better to do, beat the stuffing out of protesters returning home from Admiralty and a large number of ordinary commuters besides.

    And went with the “bravely defending our homeland from hostile invaders” narrative anyway. Because that’s what they thought was supposed to have happened. Which demonstrates that the bright sparks in the Liaison Office were comically incompetent, incapable of changing tack, or totally indifferent to the facts on the ground. Or all three. Yeah, that tracks.

  6. Penny says:

    @ Toph
    “copaganda” – love it! I am going to use that term when referring to the terrorism nonsense, and other such bilge, being spouted by the uniformed thugs.

  7. YTSL says:

    @Toph — Great summary of Yuen Long 7.21. And like Penny, love the “copaganda” term you’ve coined/introduced to us!

  8. A Poor Man says:

    Toph – Perhaps “popoganda” would be more appropriate in HK.

  9. Toph says:

    I didn’t coin “copaganda”, it’s been around the internet for a while.

  10. Guest says:

    @Kwun Tong Bypass: take out the “management” from your proposed course of study and you’ll have PISS.

  11. Mark Bradley says:

    @Toph can you link to The Stand News video? It’s ok if it’s canto only

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