Just received, worth passing on during this week’s interlude:
I think things are becoming very interesting in this rigged CE selection. I don’t think Beijing has as much control over the Election Committee [as] it likes to have … the fact that Carrie Lam received only 579 nominations proves it. This falls short of the 601 nominations she needs to win.
To make matters worse for Carrie there are around 272 undecided pro establishment voters, there are rumours that there are many disgruntled pro establishment voters that didn’t appreciate publicly nominating Carrie under duress and intend to vote differently during the secret ballot election, the pan democrats control 327 votes, and the cherry on top is John Tsang has 20 pro establishment nominations to top it all off…
Carrie Lam is also doing herself no favours with her joke of a campaign that has more in common with Henry Tang’s failed campaign than it does with CY’s campaign. Her popularity is waning, she’s already being mobbed by protesters, and her gaffes are just plain embarrassing.
I think the blatant very visible manipulation of the CE selection is starting to backfire horribly for the liaison office, and John Tsang may end up getting elected despite the liaison office’s best efforts to thwart that.
This leaves Beijing the nuclear option of refusing appointment. But would they really do that? I doubt it, especially since President Xi did shake Tsang’s hand and Tsang has been a principal official of the HKSAR government for years. They already appointed Donald Tsang despite the fact that Donald wasn’t Beijing’s first choice and a he’s an Anglophile … It’ll cause even more resentment in the pro establishment camp than there already is, not to mention massive angry public protests, and push HK even further away from Beijing than it already is.
The alternative theory is that Beijing are executing a cunning Machiavellian strategy and actually want John Tsang to win by showering Carrie Lam with their toxic support, but I do not believe those extremely thick skulls up north are capable of planning anything beyond clumsy ham-fisted psychopathic brute force, threats, and extortion.
Beijing doesn’t have as much control as it would like over anything.
Yes, the ‘Machiavellian’ theory is too outlandish for Beijing. Carrie is undoubtedly the official choice (barring a deus ex machina). Beijing has sufficient zombie/loyalist-reserves on the Election Committee to make sure she ‘wins’, though possibly with an embarrassingly low margin and with dire public opinion ratings. The ‘appointment’ power is an emergency button – a superfluous security blanket for the paranoid thumb-sucking CCP.
Beijing has put itself in this position – whatever outcome it contrives, it alienates Hong Kong through the process and by delivering an administration with no mandate or credibility. (And, as the manifesto suggests, Carrie looks set to be the least-confident CE so far. John would be most lightweight.)
The point about her campaign looking like Henry’s gets Spot-On Observation of the Week Award. That handing-of-job-on-plate-to-dupe-massively-out-of-their-depth smell is unmistakable.