Sunday, 11 December 2016

Another Strong Voter Turnout

Leung made his surprise announcement to the joy of many on Friday
The Umbrella protests in 2014 didn't result in Beijing giving Hong Kong universal suffrage, but it did make its residents much more politically educated and active.

This was evidenced by the record number of people who came out to vote during September's Legislative Elections -- 2.2 million or 58 percent of the population. Towards the 10.30pm deadline, there were still massive lines at polling stations in places like Quarry Bay and people were willing to wait hours just to cast their votes.

Meanwhile there were already plans for the pan-democrats to try to get as many people elected into the Election Committee that will choose the next Chief Executive in March. They had a campaign called "ABC", "anyone but CY" [Leung].

The "Anyone but CY" or ABC campaign by pan-democrats
However, it's interesting that Leung Chun-ying chose Friday afternoon to make his shock announcement that he would not be running for re-election, which might have meant to halt the momentum gathered by the pan-democrats.

But last night they held a rally in Chater Garden -- report here from my friend YTSL -- who said the fight must continue regardless, as candidates like Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee are not exactly appealing to the pan-democratic camp.

So today all eyes were on the 230,000 people in various sectors who were eligible to vote in those who will be part of the 1,194 in the Election Committee to choose Hong Kong's next leader.

The latest reports are that as of 9.30pm, 98,215 of the 230,000 had voted for 733 seats of the 1,194. Some are in sectors that ran unopposed (ie. Li Ka-shing) or are ex officio members.

While the majority are expected to be pro-establishment, the pan-democrats are hoping that of the 352 they have running in 14 sectors, they can get 300 of them. That would substantially put a dent in any candidate's chances, and make the race much more interesting.

Wonder who Li Ka-shing will be voting for next March...
It's pretty amazing when you think about it, how people are looking at every legal avenue where they can make their voices heard. Many people are doing their bit from actually running in the Legco elections, to this Election Committee, to participating in rallies and marches.

Something is being done and while the actions may seem small, they are going to add up. Beijing cannot ignore what is being done, even though it is trying hard to shut down pro-democratic voices.

When I see people with young children at protest marches, it is a sign they want better lives for their next generation. And they are educating them early on to understand that if you want something, you have to fight for it or defend it.

We cannot take anything for granted in Hong Kong. We must fight for our rights and freedoms from disappearing. And we must fight for what is best for the city because our leaders certainly aren't!

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