Much touted lately is the “civil referendum” conducted in HK, which resulted in nearly 800,000 votes cast.
It makes good headline news among the choir of anti-China media, but in detail, the number breaks down into farce in extreme details:
(1) The voting took more than 1 week.
HK is a big city, but it is just a city, of 7.16 million population with some 3.2 million registered “voters” under its current system under the Chinese legal system of “1 country, 2 systems”. And it still took more than 1 week to cast all the votes? Even with electronic voting (via website and mobile devices) available?
Even with more than 1 week of voting, the total vote of about 800K accounts for only 25% of the total registered voters in HK. That’s a historical low turn out for HK. For example, in 2012 Legislative representative election in HK, more than 53% of the voters turned out. http://www.elections.gov.hk/legco2012/eng/turnout.html
(2) The choices were rigged to be virtually meaningless.
The civil referendum ballot had only 4 choices: 本人支持「和平佔中」向政府提交以下方案：1. 真普選聯盟方案；2. 人民力量方案；3. 學界方案；棄權
I support OCLP to submit this proposal to the Government:
1. Alliance for True Democracy Proposal;
2. People Power Proposal;
3. Students Proposal;
choices 1-3 are merely slightly different variations of the “universal suffrage” election form. So, the ballot was “Yes to New Democracy 1, Yes to New Democracy 2, Yes to New Democracy 3, and Abstention”.
As some in HK even pointed out, Only those who really wanted to vote YES would turn out. Then, we can also assume that the 75% of the HK voters who didn’t vote, must have said “NONE OF THE ABOVE” or chose “status quo”.
In the final tally, about 90% of the votes were cast for choices 1-3. Wow, surprise! Or just plain ridiculous.
(3) “Voter” status and fraud.
The final tally of the votes break down shows even more of a farce.
Out of nearly 800K “votes” cast, only about 7000 votes were done via paper ballots. Even more alarming, majority of the votes were cast by off site electronic voting. Almost 500,000 votes were cast by off-site mobile devices, and another 240,000 votes were cast by off-site web page. (That’s total of 740,000 votes, or 92.5%, cast without any identification verification). Both the mobile application and the web application required ONLY a person to enter a HK Smart Identity Card ID number, which actually does not verify if the person is a HK resident or voter. Even a temporary resident of HK may apply for a HK Smart Identity Card.
Then, there is the REAL question of who is a HK “voter”.
Under the current “1 country, 2 systems”, any permanent resident of HK over age of 18 may register as “voter”, even if such a person is not a Chinese citizen. So, how many of the 800,000 votes were cast by foreigners?? We can’t possibly know at this point, unless all of the voter ID numbers are checked.
If HK does evolve toward more “democracy”, the 1st question would be, who in HK should be allowed to vote??
Some HK people would rather mainland Chinese not allowed to vote in HK, then, some might even say, some HK residents who have foreign passports should NOT be allowed to vote.
Some 3.5 million people in HK hold some form of British passport, as British citizens, or British Nationals (and Commonwealth citizenship status). If we want to be strict about “Democracy”, then none of these people (British citizens or British Nationals), nor other non-Chinese citizens, should be allowed to vote in HK.
So far, PRC government has tolerated the current form of “voter status” for permanent residents of HK, under the “1 country, 2 systems”. But if HK is to move toward “Democracy”, then PRC should rightfully consider the definition of “HK voters” in a new political system for HK.
HK is Chinese territory. Regardless what its political system may evolve to, HK must be represented by Chinese people, in votes and in offices, and NOT by foreign “residents” of HK.
So far, the HK farce of a referendum is just a political show, but I would suggest to propose a new question in HK, to decide the question of “who should be allowed to vote in HK?”
As a 1st step in “democracy”, I would suggest China start with that.
Until that question is resolved, “Democracy” in HK would mean nothing but meaningless ballots.