Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Lopsided Race

Leung Chun-ying is running for HK's Chief Executive
The race to become Hong Kong's next chief executive is heating up with dark horse Leung Chun-ying resigning as Executive Council convenor yesterday signalling his intention to run.
However the already decided frontrunner, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen has yet to quit his position, though he's expected to do so in the coming days.
Some think of Leung as someone who shoots his mouth off and doesn't have the support of Beijing. However some Hong Kongers may like him because he seems to be willing to stand up for the city unlike Tang who seems completely out of touch with social issues. And anyway aren't things more interesting when there's more than one person fighting for a job?
Nevertheless Tang has already been deemed the winner as Beijing has already dropped hints of favouring him; the 1,200 members of the Election Committee will decide the winner, not the over seven million residents who live in Hong Kong. How democratic is that?
Ng Hong-mun, a former local deputy to the National People's Congress said, "The more the scene develops, the harder it is for Beijing to ask any candidate to withdraw from the race. Hong Kongers may feel Beijing is interferring with the election, annointing a particular candidate."
He said China's big concern was ensuring a high "safety coefficient" -- making sure the election will not be thrown in doubt by a pan-democratic candidate. The 1,200 seats will be contested in an election in December and Ng is projecting the pan-democrats will only gain one-sixth of them. A candidate for chief executive needs at least 601 seats to win the election.
In the end this is really a tug-o-war between what Beijing wants and what Hong Kong wants.
Beijing wants someone senior officials feel comfortable with, and on paper Tang suit their interests.
But what does Hong Kong want? What will Tang and Leung do for us if elected?
The sad thing is, we already know who will be the next Chief Executive.

It's democracy, Chinese Communist Party style.

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