Taiwan’s elections and Hong Kong

The recent Taiwanese elections (where broadly pro-independence parties did well versus the ruling party) were mid-term non-presidential election, so should have all the usual caveats about kicking the incumbents when it doesn’t matter so much.

The part I found interesting was the list of issues that the voters cared about: China doesn’t rank high on the list. And wow, don’t they sound familiar to Hong Kong?

Although Western media often emphasize the ‘China factor’ when covering Taiwan’s local elections, these races focused primarily on domestic issues. The Taiwan public is concerned with skyrocketing property prices, falling incomes, a growing gap between rich and poor, and food safety. Many young people are worried about job prospects.

via An Analysis of Taiwan’s Nine-in-One Local Elections | Center for Strategic and International Studies.

On voting and the poor

On reflection, I think Bruce A might be right that this is commendable honesty.

“If it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than US$1,800 a month. Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies,” the Chief Executive said.

His comments echo those of Wang Zhenmin, the Dean of Law at Beijing’s Qinghua University a regular advisor to Beijing on Hong Kong issues. Mr Wang said in August that greater democratic freedom in Hong Kong must be balanced against the city’s powerful business elite who would have to share their “slice of the pie” with voters.

After all most democratic governments are to a greater or lesser extent in thrall to minority interests of one sort or another (usually close to where there is money).

So the fact that both Beijing and the Hong Kong Chief Executive are happy to talk about this publicly is quite something.

CE says masses would dominate in fair vote.