Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hong Kong Elections

Hong Kong held elections last week, almost two years after the big umbrella protests. A lot of people were expecting some big changes. The protests brought out huge crowds and pretty much shut down parts of Admiralty for longer than Beijing wanted the world to know. In the end, it really didn't make much difference.

The pro-Beijing parties lost 3 seats. But the pro-democracy parties also lost 3 seats. The smaller anti-establishment parties got a few seats, which some called a great victory, but they mostly never had any before this election, so they had nowhere to go but up. I read an article about how ironic it was that the anti-establishment parties did so well when the pro-democracy candidates who believe in pretty much the same things did poorly. But it's not ironic at all. Beijing forced several pro-independence candidates to drop out while a few prominent pro-democracy candidates dropped out on their own. Without the famous names, it's no surprise that people voted for more unknown, new options.

The largest party, DAB, is pro-Beijing and was the largest before and after the election. They've been in charge for the last decade and don't seem to be going away anytime soon. The Civic Party, the largest pro-democracy party, goes up and down with every election. Maybe if the Umbrella Movement was less than a year before the elections, something might have changed. Two years is plenty of time for people to be distracted by the latest cell phones and TV shows.

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