Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Election - Hong Kong Style

There are 7 million people in HK, but there are only 1,200 members (electors) in the Election Committee that elects the Chief Executive.  Only 250,000 (less than 3.6%) out of the 7,000,000 people have the right to vote, to select the electors. 

The election for the electors is divided into subsectors.  In the education subsector, 86,618 voters are qualified to select 30 electors (2,887 : 1).  But in the hotel subsector, only 101 voters select 17 electors (6 : 1)).  In finance, 125 select 18 (7 : 1).  In insurance, 135 selects 18 (7.5 : 1).  In transport, 201 selects 18 (11 : 1). In Employers’ federation, 122 selects 16 (7.6 : 1).  In Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, 321 select 16 (20 : 1). In agriculture and fisheries, 159 elects 60 (2.7 : 1).  Obviously, in most subsectors, it is the big bosses and business owners who have the vote, not just anyone who works in the subsector. 

In the end, only 60,000 voters (less than 1% of the population) bothered to vote.  How representative is such an election?

On a closer look, more than 70 seats on the Election Committee were won by candidates holding key positions in HK’s dominant business, mainly property. It has been estimated that Tang’s supporters (mostly the rich and the powerful) won 300+ elector places, Leung’s supports won only ~100.  The ratio is practically the reverse of the opinion polls, which consistently put Leung’s popularity at double Tang’s, making a mockery of the election.  

The pan-democrats may have 200, which may allow them to put forward a candidate for the election of the Chief Executive.  This may make the election more interesting, even though they have no real possibility of winning.  Half of the electors are supposedly undeclared.  In reality, many of them are believed to be just waiting for a clear indication from the mainland authorities which pro-establishment candidate to support. 

Such is the state of the elections in Hong Kong , one of the most developed, educated, open, dynamic and civil societies in the world.