Tuesday, 14 June 2016

An Unholy Alliance?

League of Social Democrats and People Power are teaming up for elections
With the upcoming Legislative Council elections heating up, there are quite a number of political parties to choose from, particularly from the pan-democratic side, which means splitting the vote.

While it's good to give voters a choice to pick the party that best represents them, there's only one pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), and it seems to have a massive war chest and resources.

Even the localists have splintered into a few parties, like Joshua Wong Chi-fung's Demosisto, Civic Passion, Hong Kong Indigenous, and Youngspiration. How is this going to help them really make their voices heard in Legco?

Finally two pan-democratic parties have decided to strategize by joining forces to increase their chances of winning seats this September.

People Power and League of Social Democrats -- both known for their radical protests -- are rebranding themselves as "progressive democrats" with nine candidates running in the elections, and the aim of winning at least six seats.

Both parties said yesterday they are not advocating Hong Kong independence, saying it was not practical.

Their election platform seems to recognize Beijing's full jurisdiction over Hong Kong, but called for the city to be granted a "genuine high degree of autonomy" under which Beijing solely looks after military defense and foreign affairs.

They also advocate accepting new migrants from the mainland, saying they should not be scapegoats for Hong Kong people's hatred of the Chinese government.

People Power and League of Social Democrats both denied their joining forces was a bid to fight against the influence of localist groups.

Erica Yuen Mi-ming, chairwoman of People Power said, "We get stronger when we are united. We have a common enemy, and he is Leung Chun-ying."

This union between these two parties, who used to be rivals, is very interesting, but also illustrates how desperate they are for votes to band together. Will the political marriage last, or will it fall apart?

But at the same time, being united for the goal of not having Leung extend his five-year term is good thing, no?

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