Apathy causes poor choice of candidates

An SCMP semi-analysis on the nondescript choices on the District Council election ballots blames voters’ ‘apathy’…

Observers said the vague, ambiguous campaign messages reflected voters’ mood and lack of interest in the first district poll since the overhaul.

“When political apathy is commonplace, people are not interested in engaging in district matters,” said political commentator Sonny Lo Siu-hing. “Parties therefore don’t see the need in helping their candidates to impress voters by formulating detailed proposals.”

Isn’t this confusing cause and effect? Serious policy proposals will by definition be ‘political’ and contrary to government thinking – which the ‘curated’ candidates were selected not to be. Why were voters mysteriously not ‘apathetic’ in 2019?

Senior officials say civil servants are ‘duty bound’ to vote in order to set an example…

“We will offer flexible work arrangements for civil servants on the day,” [the Chief Secretary] said. “They can vote before going to work and if they need to reimburse taxi fare, it’s also fine.”

A bigger story starting in the next few weeks will be the trial of Jimmy Lai. US religious outlet First Things column

And to personalize all this: What kind of Catholics keep a fellow Catholic, Jimmy Lai, in solitary confinement for over a thousand days, after destroying his business, shutting down his newspaper, and arresting him on bogus charges of violating “national security”? What kind of Catholics prevent a man whose only crime is living the Church’s social doctrine from seeing his children for three years? What did John Lee and Carrie Lam learn in those Catholic schools, anyway?

More from Benedict Rogers in The Diplomat.

From RFA – Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, authors of Among the Braves, on the 2019 protest movement say they don’t dare come back to Hong Kong.

Some comments worthy of attention… Our poet laureate Knownot excels on the District Council election quandary that we are all grappling with. (His verse was performed at the old comedy standup place in Soho a few years back.) And a word from Shirley Lee of Peak visit fame.

An FT op-ed bluntly spells it out: China has peaked…

After stagnating under Mao Zedong in the 1960s and 70s, China opened to the world in the 1980s — and took off in subsequent decades. Its share of the global economy rose nearly tenfold from below 2 per cent in 1990 to 18.4 per cent in 2021. No nation had ever risen so far, so fast.   

Then the reversal began. In 2022, China’s share of the world economy shrank a bit. This year it will shrink more significantly, to 17 per cent. That two-year drop of 1.4 per cent is the largest since the 1960s. 

…by adjusting creatively for inflation, Beijing has long managed to report that real growth is steadily hitting its official target, now around 5 per cent. This in turn appears to confirm, every quarter, the official story that “the east is rising.” But China’s real long-term potential growth rate — the sum of new workers entering the labour force and output per worker — is now more like 2.5 per cent.

…Further, over the past decade, China’s government has grown more meddlesome, and its debts are historically high for a developing country. 

I was at the Symphony Under the Stars concert/picnic over the weekend. Today’s guest star is soprano Vivian Yau the the HK Phil performing Glitter and Be Gay from Bernstein’s Candide. (Wind back a few minutes for the overture.)

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6 Responses to Apathy causes poor choice of candidates

  1. reductio says:

    The HK Phil performing “Glitter and Be Gay” ? Does Junius know about this?

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    “But China’s real long-term potential growth rate — the sum of new workers entering the labour force and output per worker — is now more like 2.5 per cent.”

    Why do you think the CCP is spending so much trying to win the hearts and minds of Africans and South Americans?

  3. Mary Melville says:

    The wishy washy mantra of ‘nice and harmonious society’ encapsulates the process and the objective of creating a docile community.
    Nothing to stimulate either candidates or the punters. Any expression of vision or dynamism would impede the anthesis of the new order and would be swiftly exterminated.

  4. Stanley Leiber says:

    There is no harmony without consent.

  5. justsayin says:

    It was interesting to see Xi Dada being all chummy with Biden over in SF last week… think he is just biden his time though

  6. Cassowary says:

    Ah, the old “Hong Kong voters are apathetic”. They used to say that in the 80s when people wouldn’t vote for the District Boards. It was pointless back then too. Next time round they’ll revive the old rationale for why Hong Kongers don’t need/deserve democratic elections, they’re inherently economic animals with no use for politics, and so on, and so forth. Time is a flat circle.

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