Election Watch – Taiwan: 6.89 Million Votes, Hong Kong: 689 Votes, Mainland: 9 Votes?

Sometimes, the numbers tell the whole story. Leung Chun-ying was elected Hong Kong’s new chief executive with 689 votes on Sunday. In January, Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected in Taiwan’s presidential election with 6.89 million votes. With S-election 2012 looming on the horizon, netizens in China can’t help drawing some comparisons.  @佐拉 wonders “Doesn’t Hu Jintao’s successor only need 9 votes?”  {{1}}[[1]]台湾的马英九要689万票才能赢得选举,而香港的梁振英只需要689票,胡锦涛的继任者是不是只需要9票?[[1]]

@落花yu流水 asks, “Why can Taiwan hold one-person-one-vote elections? Is Hong Kong larger than Taiwan? Is the transportation in Hong Kong worse than in Taiwan? Is Hong Kong’s economy worse than Taiwan? When Hong Kong people think about this, they become discouraged. When Taiwan people think about it, the desire to reunite is diminished.” {{2}}[[2]]我正想问,为什么台湾都能一人一票地选举?香港土地面积大于台湾?香港交通不及台湾?香港经济不如台湾?香港人一想,心都凉了!台湾人民看了,“归家”之情也淡了!![[2]]

The election in Hong Kong took place as locals agonize over the Special Administrative Region’s special-ness and its relationship with mainland China.  @潇澎shoppon feels the elections show “Hong Kong has changed, now very much showing ‘Chinese characteristics.’” {{3}} [[3]]现在的香港已经变味了,很有中国特色[[3]] @maijiatao agreed: “1,200 people representing seven million, this is socialist elections with Chinese characteristics” {{4}}[[4]]1200人代表七百万人 ,中国特色社会主义的选举[[4]] @苍南老朱 puts it more plainly: “Hong Kong has become ‘Mainlandized.’” {{5}}[[5]]香港大陆化[[5]]

@不爱吃鱼的双鱼 tweets with sarcasm: “That type of [popular] election is so wasteful of human and financial resources! The mainland has elections, too! 9 people decide!” {{6}}[[6]]那样的选举多劳民伤财啊!大陆也有选举啊!9个人决定的![[6]]

Looking on the Bright Side

@冰尔敏洁 is more sanguine about what the elections mean, tweeting, “The election for the chief executive of Hong Kong ended today. Despite all the controversy, I think it is progress at the end of the day. Thinking back to the hundred years under British rule, when did the [British] Governor of Hong Kong ever let the people voice their own opinions? Democracy is a type of progress as well as a type of demonstration of confidence. Although it’s regrettable that the election in Hong Kong was not a popular election, we have hope now. The process of democracy is a journey of exploration, advancement and improvement.” {{7}}[[7]]香港特首选举今已明了.无论争议如何.我觉得终究是一种进步,回想英制时期的100年,港督什么时候让百姓发过声。民主是一种进步,亦是一种自信,虽然港选未能做到普选是有点遗憾,可我们有了期待,民主的过程就是一种摸索、前进、完善的进程…[[7]]

Envy of mainlanders

@Jon末路 told Hong Kongers to count their blessings: “Compared to the Celestial Dynasty, you guys are quite democratic. Be content, Hong Kong compatriots.” {{8}}[[8]]天朝,你们已经很民主啦,知足吧,香港同胞们[[8]]  @孤负青春 agreed, telling Hong Kongers: “Protest with placards? You don’t know how lucky you are.” {{9}}[[9]]还可以举牌抗议,真是生在福中不知福.[[9]]

Fear Not, Comrades

A number of netizens felt the elections in Taiwan and Hong Kong had something to teach the ruling cadres in Beijing. @旁观者马勇 tweets, “The Taiwanese presidential election ended uneventfully, and dust has also settled in the Hong Kong election as predicted. Analyzing from a historical perspective, these two elections may hold historical significance for mainland China. The Taiwanese election tells the mainland, elections are not to be feared – when [the Kuomingtang] put the people’s interests first, they can still retake power through peaceful means after a few years out of power. The Hong Kong election tells the mainland, elections are not a big deal. Put [the electoral system] in a cage, and people would never elect someone outside the cage.” {{10}}[[10]]台湾总统大选波澜不惊结束了,香港选举也如预料尘埃落定。从历史视角进行分析,两场选举对大陆中国可能是历史性的。台湾选举告诉大陆,选举不可怕,只要天下为公人民最大,即便下来休息几年,照样可以和平夺回政权;香港告诉大陆,选举没有什么了不起,给一个笼子,无论如何不会选出一个笼子外边的人.[[10]]

@滴海成金 advises the Chinese Communist Party to start with baby steps towards democracy: “China should start implementing local elections in earnest and begin high-level elections within the Party. It’s even fine to just get two candidates, so no one else will be elected. With the gradual use of elections [the process] will mature, then they can open it up to popular elections.” {{11}}[[11]]中国应该认真执行基层选举和开创高层党内选举,弄两个候选人就可以了,不会选出别人的。慢慢选举就会成熟,就开放全民选举.[[11]]

@欧阳明源 agrees: “Even if they fear losing power they can still start direct elections within the Party. [Allowing] all the Communist Party members to vote for the General Secretary – having open elections would at least be better than having power struggles behind the scenes.” {{12}} [[12]]如果怕丢了政权也可以实行党内直选啊,全体党员选举总书记,光明正大的竞选总比背地里斗来斗去的好.[[12]]

Don’t be Naive

Echoing sentiments from a recent poll, @海的帆影 pours cold water on the idea of popular elections in mainland China: “The idea is good but very naive. Taiwan and Hong Kong both have tiny territories, how much population do they have? The mainland has almost 1.4 billion people, and now there are separatists in Xinjiang and Tibet, each of the 56 ethnicities all have their own agendas. If you initiate [popular elections] under these circumstances (also taking into account the fact that Chinese people’s collective knowledge [of the democratic process] is still lacking) then you will have a chaotic scenario of conflicting interests that ultimately hurts the broader populace.” {{13}}[[13]]想法很好很天真,台湾也好,香港也罢都是弹丸之地,人口几何?,而大陆且有近14亿人口,现在又有新疆,西藏搞分裂分子出没,56个民族都有自己的诉求,这样情况下加之目前中国整体的民智尚未完全开启贸然实行,届时就是各种利益纠结后的乱象纷争局面,最后受伤的还是广大人民群众.[[13]]

@不停地瞎折腾 points to village-level elections as depressing evidence of the inability of the Chinese political system to hold proper elections: “Chinese village leaders are currently all directly elected. What gets these village leaders elected? Money, power!” {{14}} [[14]]现在全中国的村长是直选,村长靠什么当选的,钱、势力![[14]]

@夜的微生活 feels the current political reality has scant chance of changing without citizen-driven reforms: “We all understand the reasoning [behind popular elections], but it’s very hard to put into practice. History teaches us that there is scant chance of major advancement and reform to the political system through peaceful introspection. We should recognize that the major driving force behind reform is the citizenry, not the bureaucrats. But the current reality is precisely the opposite. ” {{15}} [[15]]道理都懂,行之则难啊。历史告诉我们政权的大进步与大完善,靠和平的自省并改善微乎其微。我们应认识到变革的主导因素是民,而不是官。然而现实却恰恰相反.[[15]]


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