Hong Kong, Selection and Election Democracy

A person staying in Hong Kong has to make do under One Country Two Systems. Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive is Leung Chun Ying. He led with 689 votes, Henry Tang scored 285 and Albert Ho obtained a paltry 76 votes. It was an exciting 3-cornered fight. Albert never stood a chance compared with the former civil servant Leung  or even wife-cheater Henry Tang who was initially Beijing’s favourite until his scandals broke.  So 1,050 votes thrown into the ring from the 1,200-strong election committee, and this committee made the decision for the Hong Kong people on who their leader should be.

If you have not realised by now, the 1,200 members of this cabal is made up of business leaders and intellectuals, moved into place by Beijing. The election is more of electing a CEO by a board. Critics have called out that the committee is made up of pro-Beijing lackeys. Isn’t what business lobbies are all about? Knowing who the political winners are and siding with them to get business deals for mutual benefit.

That’s capitalism and democracy in the real world. Actually, that the political leader of Hong Kong is called a chief executive, not president or prime minister, is a good hint of how business and politics are run in Hong Kong, and why Hong Kong is economically vibrant all this while. A good innovation of Western-style democracy but actually democracy with a Hong Kong (Beijing) flavour.

Singapore and Hong Kong are so similar politically and economically. From  the similar lack of natural resources, to among the lowest corporate and income tax rates in the world, to democracy, its lack of or innovation depending if you are a critic or a supporter.


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