We never forget you don’t have a choice

An SCMP report describes Beijing officials’ extraordinary efforts to micromanage the patriots-only December Legislative Council quasi-election so it doesn’t look too North Korean.

Obviously, with a vetting mechanism in place, they essentially choose who appears on each ballot. They are making sure a ‘centrist’ (like a Ronnie Tong sidekick) runs in each geographic constituency alongside the usual DAB/FTU zombie-loyalists and the tycoon shoe-shiners. And – is this sad or what? – they are ordering functional constituency candidates accustomed to winning unopposed to find suckers to pose as rivals. 

Lawmaker-turned-exile Ted Hui proposes that pro-democracy voters cast blank ballots as a way of protest (summary here, lengthy FB post in Chinese here). His ambitious target is for blank ballots to outnumber the filled ones. The logic is that such a glaring number of blank ballots would be embarrassing to the regime – which of course it would.

However, it would be easier and probably at least as effective if large numbers of voters choose simply to boycott the whole event. The headline figure would then be the drop in turnout from 71% in the 2019 district council polls to (say) 30% or 35%. Of course, the CCP could falsify the results in any case – but an exaggerated turnout would be easier to spot when there were no lines outside polling stations.

The ICAC – supposedly an anti-corruption agency – swiftly responds to Hui’s idea by warning against ‘inciting’ others not to vote or to cast blank or spoiled ballots, which they claim would be ‘manipulating and sabotaging the election’. A widespread boycott seems to be the protest method the authorities fear most – probably because it relies simply on voters’ gut instinct and natural disinterest/laziness rather than any proactive organizing or complex rationale. A turnout of below 30% would look seriously horrible.

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19 Responses to We never forget you don’t have a choice

  1. Peanut Wong says:

    Vagina Ip making her third bid to be Chief Executive in Name Only. And then her fourth bid, followed by her fifth bid. How long can we keep this old, worn-out bird in the picture? At what point does an ueber-ambitious person with no sense of irony become a joke?

  2. Mjrelje says:

    Nice BCal headline reference. I wish they all could be in Communist gaols.

  3. donkey says:

    Also remember that Hong Kong has taken steps in recent days to require anyone entering any building where government business is being conducted to sign in with the Leave Home Safe App. I wonder why?

  4. dimuendo says:

    Congratulations with “Elected” being one of your few selections that I remember , allthough not sound as good as in the 70s (please shoot me) nor is the “official video” as good as the appearance on Top of the Pops with all the heavy makup up and the dead chicken (or was that a different “song”? ). But if it is a choice between Alice Cooper and the fragrant Carrie, the retiring Regina, the humane Mr Lee, or indeed, to show I am not parochial albeit at risk of involving international elements, the wonder kid Trump or Boris Bunter my (none ) vote would go to Alice every time.

  5. Still not Ip to public sentiment says:

    @peanut Wong
    In Vag’s case, the point she became a huge public joke was somewhere around October 2002-July 2003. I give her at least another decade before the dimwit actually works out everyone is openly laughing at her, though.

  6. YTSL says:

    @donkey: “Also remember that Hong Kong has taken steps in recent days to require anyone entering any building where government business is being conducted to sign in with the Leave Home Safe App.”

    Well observed! So votes are supposedly secret but the govt still will be able to track who goes to vote and who doesn’t, especially if an infected case were to be detected at a voting venue on election day!

  7. Stanley Leiber says:

    My gut instinct is to let my natural disinterest and laziness be my guide.

  8. Mary Melville says:

    The Leggers results could be held up for days when the LHS pings and written forms do not add up to the same number as the votes.
    Be careful what you wish for.

  9. Toph says:

    Busy queues for polling stations: get the same 50 DAB grandpas to stand outside all day long.

  10. reductio says:

    No doubt the Heung Yee Crooks will be doing their bit for national unity by bussing in the old folks to NT voting booths with the offer of a free lunch, as they usually do. Hearthwarming to see such concern.

  11. Low Profile says:

    @YTSL – on the other hand, the requirement to use LeaveHomeSafe may act as another disincentive to voting. The government already knows who votes, or at least who turns up and who doesn’t, because they check your ID against the electoral register when you arrive at the polling station and mark your attendance on their list.

  12. Knownot says:

    “The anti-graft commission said it had noticed … appeals online. It said anyone who incites another not to vote, or to cast an invalid vote, by activity in public during an election period is in breach of the Elections (Corruption and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance”
    – RTHK
    It is not an offence to refrain from voting or to cast an invalid vote, but to suggest that others do so (incite them!) is an offence.

  13. steve says:

    Fellow commenters:
    What would p!** the SAR Govt off and embarrass them more?
    Very low turnout?
    Or very high invalid ballots numbers?
    What would be harder for them to explain away and hide?

  14. KwunTong Bypass says:

    DON‘T MISS TO VOTE!

    ELECT DEMOCRATS !

  15. Joe Blow says:

    Steve, a very low turn-out cannot be explained or hidden. It is what it is: a no-vote of confidence.

    KwunTong Bypass: all true Democrats are in prison or in exile.

  16. On its last LegCo says:

    @steve

    HKSARG are currently actively forcing an even lower turn out than is to be expected by holding entirely rigged so-called elections. Their insistence that voters must use the government spyware app to get into ballot stations will obviously mean many more will stay at home rather than just ruin their ballot papers (q.v. the PR coup that is nicking five government employees & contractors who trust their employer so much that they used a fake version of the app at immigration tower on Monday).

    And not choosing candidates who, by dint of being allowed to run, have been conclusively proved to be not worth voting for is certainly the easy way out.

    However, I suspect the obviously rigged game has also outraged a significant portion of the populace to the point where just not turning up feels like not sufficient an insult to the muppets-that-be.

    So there may well be many content to queue up to write “fuck you” on their ballot sheet, content that their ire will at least be seen by one of the government drones being paid to pretend it’s important to determine which pro-government candidate “wins” a useless seat to represent no one in a rubber stamp council with no powers.

    You might be tempted to point out there is a happy compromise outcome: where Hong Kongers can do both, giving a very very very poor turnout and a majority of spoiled ballots. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  17. Mary Melville says:

    Mandy Tam, 64, a Wong Tai Sin district councillor, has submitted her nominations to run in the Kowloon Central constituency, as she said many citizens are not satisfied with the lack of diversified voices within the legislature.
    The former accounting sector lawmaker, elected in 2004, said Legco is filled with “loyal pieces of garbage,” and she hopes to kick them out and monitor the government herself.
    One could be almost tempted ……………..

  18. KwunTongBypass says:

    Joe Blow
    You are kidding, right?
    Are you implying we should not bother going to the „endorsement of the selection“ at all?
    Hmmm….

  19. Off-piste says:

    .. which all leads me to wonder, how far ahead must we look for voting to be mandatory? Perhaps it depends on the turnout this time round?

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