The results of the legislative council (“LegCo”) election of Hong Kong last week certainly confounded most of the Hong Kongers who espoused democratic values. Out of the 35 seats of the LegCo which can be directly voted by the general public, only 18 seats were won by the pan-democratic camp with the remaining 17 seats taken up by the pro-government parties. The democratic parties, as usual, claimed that the election was rigged by the pro-government parties who were able to allocate the votes in an efficient and mysterious way which enable them to win their seats by a slight margin. However, this could not explain the sharp increase of more than 150,000 votes gained by the pro-government parties in this election especially in the wake of the mass protests against the patriotic curriculum promoted by the government which were seen to be beneficial to the democratic parties.

Perhaps, one of the reasonable explanations is that the votes given to the pro-government candidates represent the disapproval of the voters in respect of the approach adopted by the democrats in dealing with the government policies. During the past couple of years, it has become a general impression of the Hong Kongers that the democrats simply oppose everything that is proposed by the government ignoring the benefits that some of the policies may bring to the society. For instance, the democrats made use of the LegCo procedures to delay the passing of a government restructuring policy that was proposed by the newly elected chief executive (“CE”) as a way to show their dissatisfaction about the process through which the CE was elected. Many Hong Kongers see it as both a waste of time and resources (in particular, the amount of taxes paid). However, for the democrats, knowing that it is impossible to gather public support to overthrow the puppet government of Beijing by force, the opposition stance they took seems to be the only way to press the government to realize its promise of introducing universal suffrage in this modern international city as soon as possible. The impasse faced by the democrats left them limited alternatives (if not none).

Nevertheless, it seems unreasonable for the Hong Kongers to punish the democratic parties by voting for the pro-government parties. Given that the rationale behind such votes is to oppose the destructive way of the democrats in dealing with the government policies, voting for the pro-government parties is nothing short of a destructive way of expression of one’s views itself.

Please let me know if there are any mistakes in, or more natural ways of writing, the above paragraphs. Thanks!

JY