The Democratic Party says that none of its members will run in the Legislative Council quasi-elections in December. One or two dinosaurs complain that the party is using its internal nomination process to keep would-be candidates off the ballot – amusing given that Beijing’s NatSec regime has imposed extensive vetting processes to exclude pan-dems from elections. The regime would like one or two ultra-moderate pan-dems to take part for appearances’ sake.
If it had more awareness and substance, the DP would have responded to entreaties to participate in the rigged pseudo-polls by saying it would do so only when and if pan-dem politicians elected in the last polls but now in jail were freed and allowed to run. Instead, the party has focused on its obscure and tiresome internal procedures.
The fact is that there will be no actual election either to run or vote in. The regime will probably try to pressure a feebler pan-dem or two to run; it might even place a few fake democrats on the ballot. It will also threaten (implausibly) to prosecute anyone urging voters to boycott the elections. I’m sure everyone, when deciding whether to vote, will give due consideration to what the regime wants them to do.
After doing everything possible to push up housing prices since the handover, the Hong Kong government suddenly wants a Singapore-style social-housing system covering 70% of the population. Or, to put it another way, Beijing – after letting Hong Kong governments push up housing prices for 20 years – changes its mind.
The Spectator’s gossip columnist gives Regina Ip a thorough kicking following her recent disparaging of Hongkongers moving to the UK.