Saturday, 25 March 2017

Finally the Showdown

Thousands showed their support for John Tsang on Friday evening in Central
This is it -- the campaigns by the three candidates to become Hong Kong's next chief executive are over and the voting begins tomorrow.

There wasn't much mudslinging unless you call Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's husband having to come out and deny he had a mistress digging up dirt a mini scandal.

On Friday her rival John Tsang Chun-wah had an open double-decker bus roam around Hong Kong spouting his campaign slogans and in the evening ended in a huge rally in Central by City Hall.

He gave a passionate speech that appealed to several thousand people who showed up.

Carrie Lam's last day on the campaign trail
"Most of you here don't have votes, but still I yearn for your support. Without your support, how would there be any meaning even if I win all Election Committee votes?"

Tsang definitely came across as the every man to the middle class -- oh wait -- his definition is that they drink coffee and watch French movies. And probably eat from food trucks.

But does anyone remember he was conspicuously absent during the Occupy protests? What does he have to say about that? Does he really represent us? Or is he filling the void that Lam can't be bothered to, or isn't capable of doing because she has no clue where to buy toilet paper?

Meanwhile there are reports that on paper Lam has secured 750 votes for tomorrow, but Tsang believes a good chunk of those votes could at the last minute switch to him, seeing as he has a greater popularity with the public than she does.

While public opinion does matter to a degree, Beijing has strongly hinted it wants Lam to become the city's next leader.

Is Tung Chee-hwa showing who his preferred candidate is?
From former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa giving her a bear hug early on, to senior Chinese officials having meetings with some of the Election Committee in Shenzhen that its preferred candidate was Lam, it's quite obvious she is expected to win tomorrow.

Then why even bother having this "small circle" election, when only less than 1,200 people get to vote?

If this is Beijing's idea of a "democracy", we want no part of it, which is why the pan-democrats voted down the electoral reform. While everyone would be able to vote, they would only be able to choose from approved candidates by Beijing.

It's kind of a no-win situation for Hong Kong -- Beijing will always insist it get things its way. There are no compromises.

Protests have been planned tomorrow if and when Lam wins... maybe that's enough to scare voters into putting their money on Tsang. While he has the popular vote, would he have Beijing's blessing?

We will find out tomorrow...

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