Watch the voter turnout

The Hong Kong authorities are set to relaunch all-patriot District Councils. There will be elections for them. But actually, not much

DAB lawmaker Holden Chow echoed Lau’s views, saying a screening mechanism is needed to make sure people joining district councils are genuine patriots.

Chow said people should not focus too much on how many directly elected members there are.

“You see from the example of the Legislative Council, we have a new election method. We have members elected in the geographical seats. We have also members elected from the Election Committee,” he said.

“So these members are supposed to avoid populism and they can actually consider the general interests of Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong’s last open universal-suffrage elections – anyone meeting basic age and residency qualifications could run and/or vote – were for the District Councils in late 2019. Voter turnout was an unprecedented 71%, and pan-democrats scooped up 388 of the 452 seats up for grabs. It was a vivid rejection of the pro-government/Beijing camp, and under the NatSec system it will not be allowed to happen again.

The Standard story mentions the official line on what happened to DCs since 2019…

Lau Siu-kai, a consultant for pro-Beijing think tank the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said…

“The district councils were dominated by the opposition bloc in the past, which turned the councils into a forum for political struggle a venue for ‘Hong Kong independence’ and foreign forces,” he said, and that was “a serious deviation from the Basic Law.”

Which brings us to Louisa Lim in the NYT on Hong Kong’s editing of the past…

Words are used as weapons, and in Hong Kong the repeated use of the word “riot” obliterates one version of the past — that many protests were peaceful — while creating a retrospective alternate reality that serves the politics of the present.

Some mid-week links…

Columbia Journalism Review on Hong Kong’s independent media, including HK Court News

By directly transcribing what happens at hearings, they felt, they could reflect Hong Kong’s harsh political realities without being accused of bias. There has been no shortage of cases; every evening after the staff have gone home, they screen Hong Kong’s court listings and confer, over group chat, about what to cover the next day. “We try not to miss any trial that is of public interest,” Cheung said. 

The China Project examines how much China’s foreign policy and diplomats are encouraging international support for Taiwan…

In a span of one week, Chinese diplomats threatened 150,000 Filipinos working overseas, got into a quickly spiraling spat with South Korea, and openly questioned the statehood of the 14 former Soviet countries. The common thread between these three episodes is the Chinese Communist Party’s holy grail and bête noir: Taiwan.

UK Transparency asks: are Confucius Institutes legal?

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8 Responses to Watch the voter turnout

  1. Nury Versace says:

    – Do you have elections Mr Xi?
    – Evely molning.

    Just to wrap up the retrospective concerning English wannabe Asian inverted racist Peking lover, I do think it advisable for you and many of your readers to have this little warning symbol prominently displayed on any web site they write or administer.

    Pip, pip!

  2. Mary Melville says:

    CE on DCs, rewriting history ; “they had been behaving in such a way that caused damage to society, upsetting everybody’s expectation of what a district councillor should do.
    This statement is a distortion. Many now unrepresented residents were relieved to finally have a hands on and supportive DC. In my hood we saw our guy stay up all night to offer support to residents in Covid shut down buildings, set up frequent street booths distributing items to the needy, provide assistance with form filling, etc.
    This compared to the the long years of DAB domination when the DC engaged only in foto ops, and this was often to take credit for projects that were in fact the result of intervention on the part of local residents.
    The objective now is clearly to return to the iron rice bowl formula where the DC post is nothing more than a remunerated step on the grooming ladder, posts filled by mediocre dimbos who would have a hard time holding down a position in the competitive commercial sector.

  3. Reactor #4 says:

    Contrary to the sentiments expressed above, I rather like the Hong Kong that has emerged following the disturbances of a few years back, including the lack of political shenanigans.

    1) It’s peaceful.
    2) I see democracy in other countries, which is what most of the rioters wanted, as a demonstrably failed system. The evidence indicates that after about 50-70 years of its full implementation, the government-selection process ends up being catastrophically corrupted. I regularly ask myself would I rather be here or in the USA, UK, France, Australia, Germany, Canada, New Zealand etc.? Always, the answer is “yes”.

  4. wmjp says:

    Grovelling Cross has, inadvertently, being making the case in the SCMP about the incompetence of the justiciary.

  5. Sam Clemens says:

    The 2019 District Council elections in Hong Kong were the first (and perhaps last) democratic elections held on Chinese soil under CCP sovereignty. Given the completely civilised and peaceful nature of the exercise, and the overwhelmingly clear results, it is unsurprising that the regime moved swiftly to ensure such a disaster for them would never be repeated.

  6. Low Profile says:

    Reactor #4 might well be thrilled with life in Nortth K0rea or Afghanistan, but year after year, surveys of world happiness show mostly democratic countries at the top, while authoritarian dictatorships are generally the least happy. No one is denying that some democracies become corrupted, but at least the voters can kick out the corrupt bastards.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    I notice that Simon Hull has emerged again from the depths of alcoholic despair. Poor sod.

  8. Reactor #4 says:

    @Low Profile.
    I don’t give a flying fig about NK or Afghanistan. It’s my life here that counts – it is very definitely on the ‘not bad’ end of the spectrum. Nowhere is perfect. HK will do for me.

    @Joe Blow
    Who the fcuk is this Simon Hull chap?

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