Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao accuses opinion pollsters PORI of inciting misleading incitement or something, for reporting that only 34% of citizens definitely plan to vote at next month’s quasi-election, and 52% think they probably sort of might (as the slide shows, normally some 80-85% say that, though of course fewer actually go). Indeed, many don’t even know who’s running. Frankly, the CCP should give PORI a medal for suggesting that as many as a third of the population care deeply about the pointless exercise.
Beijing seems sensitive about the fact that it’s new ‘improved’ patriots-only elections are widely perceived to lack legitimacy. Officials will set up polling stations at border checkpoints in the hope that Hongkongers living in Shenzhen or even beyond might go and cast ballots. And a Mainland think-tank type has proposed that the local authorities issue a turnout figure that averages out the voting rate among all 90 races – including the 70 for Functional and Election Committee seats with tiny electorates of just a few hundred or thousand loyalists.
The obvious comparison is going to be with the District Council elections two years ago: 2.94 million voters participated – a 71.2% turnout. Pro-democrats were allowed to run, and won a landslide.
HKFP finds that many candidates do not reveal contact details on their nomination materials. But this is a CCP-style election in which the winners have essentially already been decided. If you were the designated loser in a fake race, would you want to give everyone your email address or phone number? It’s bad enough that they’re allowed to know your name.
To get into the election mood, watch Carrie Lam waffle in response to a question on whether it is legal to cast a blank vote. And maybe read the HK Democracy Council statement on the sentencing of Tony Chung (background here).