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Hong Kong: Pan Democrats’ Dark Day

The Pan democrats have lost a bitter battle in the recent district council election. Before the election, the pan-dem worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep all their seats and tried to explain the situation by predicting a low voting rate. The final result is worse than they have estimated: they has lost one third of their seats. Among the 294 candidates only 104 of them have won, losing 47 seats in total. Whereas the pro establishment party, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) has won 115 seats and the liberal party 15 seats.

The immediate comment from the mainstream critics is that the pan democrats are not performing well enough in their district service. However, many bloggers disagree.

Yinnest points out that most of the voters wouldn’t know who the district councilors are, not to mention their work:

學者賽後檢討,分析民主派大敗的原因是:地區工作做得不好。查實我不知為何他們能作出這個結論。其實有幾多個人知道所屬選區的區議員做過些什麼?他們的地區工作做得好唔好呢?不同派別的區議員,他們的地區工作可以有什麼不同呢?或者學者即係學者,可以一下子知道全港十八區的區議員以前做過些什麼。又或者,好像家眷所言:今年回歸十周年,民建聯在地區可以做的事情,一定比民主派多。又或者,是標籤效應,包括:民主派失去了吸引選票的能力。

After the match evaluation: the main reason for the lost in battle is not performing well in local service. Actually I don't know why they end up with this conclusion. How many people actually know their district councilors? not to mention what exactly they have done. District councilors with different political background do not show any differences in their district work. Well, maybe the scholars know all the district councilors and their performances in 18 districts. Or, like my family members’ impression: this year is the 10th year anniversary of reunification, the DAB must have done more than the democrats. Or the labeling effect, like the saying that the democrats have lost their charm in attracting the votes.

Kursk believes that Hong Kong is trapped in a political Matrix where the pro-establishment force can disgust their political position and live in different identities:

有人說泛民不落力做地區工作,所以抵死。我們很容易找到例子,可是民建聯尸位素餐者也大有人在。地區工作做得算是有看頭的民協(根據小弟在民協據點打政府工的經驗),還有擅於攪大龍鳳的灣仔社區聯盟又不一樣輸?

Some say that the pan democrats has neglected district service. However, many DAB councilors are not doing their service. Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood and Wanchai community coalition, which put stress on district work, have also lost.

不過,形勢才是大原因。

放眼世界,有哪個國家的執政黨及其聯盟會在經濟大好的時候下台?現在的香港,不再負資產,沒有白痴當特首,連葉劉都認罪悔改了,土共也收了其口(連轆豬事件也完全write-off了),中央已經是崛起大國。我們的土共,連海報也不再土,還有用不完的資源攪服務處,請黨工和你玩在野玩足十年。這就叫做形勢。

The main reason is the trend.

All over the world, which ruling party would lose its power when the economy is blooming? We don't have any negative equity in nowadays Hong Kong. No more idiot chief executive, even Regina Ip has to show her remorse to the past. The native communists have shut up (the incident concerning mincing pigs with tanks has been wipe off). The central power is a grand nation. Our native communists’ posters are no longer old fashioned and they have endless resources to provide service. They can employ party workers to play the role of opposition party for 10 more years. This is called trend.

只可惜,人家的國家可以有政黨輪替,有上有落,可是我們的香港,只是個Matrix。現在社會大治,形勢比人強,普選之路只有愈來愈遠。連這個Matrix也未攬定,我們做什麼,面對的也是有無限分身,無限復活的Agent Smith。我們要怎樣打?Leo和Oracle在哪裡?那肯定不是陳太,不要發夢了。

Unfortunately, other countries’ ruling party will rotate, however, in Hong Kong, it is just a Matrix. Now the society is rich, they got the upper hand in the trend; the path to universal suffrage will become longer and longer. We don't know what to do in the Matrix and in front of us is Agent Smith who can live again and again with unlimited identity. How are we going to fight the fight? Where is the Leo and the Oracle? It is definitely not Anson Chan, don't dream anymore.

Henry porter analyses the election result of two districts and tries to differentiate “district service” with “district mobilization” work.

綜觀上述兩個個案,本座想到的是所謂「地區工作」,已並非我們過往所想單單「為居民服務」可以概括得到。因為今次區選所打的,就是一場動員戰:去屆當選的區議員若被非友好居民組織所阻撓,即使竭力服務也只能事倍功半,反觀政黨組織只需持續投放資源供養這些友好組織,待時機一到,連任者連任,新人也能順利接收勝果。

From the two cases above, the so-called “district work” cannot be generalized as “serving the people”. What we encountered in this district council election battle, is a battle of mobilization: no matter how hard the councilors serve the community, if they don't have local resident organizations support, their service won't have much effect. On the other hand, when the political party keeps giving resources to these local organizations, their seats are safe and new people can also enter the scene.

有人說「地區服務做得好,就會有人投票」,是看輕了「地區服務」與「地區動員」之間的分別;相比起「感恩圖報」自由意向選票,被「組織驅使」、帶有紀律性質的選票可謂來得更有效率。

Some said that “people will vote for you have managed the district service”. Such saying has missed the differentiation between “district service” and “district mobilization”. Voting can of course be driven by thankful feelings, but it is more effective with “organization motivation” and disciplined mobilization.

Those were the days hopes that the pan dem will be sincere in their evaluation this time:

我從來沒有懷疑,今天各方提出那些泛民信念、包括民協全力發展基層,那是想令泛民,包括民主黨也好,希望他們可以有好回報,可是他們會否真的能不論政治利益,作出深刻的檢討?99年檢討,又有多少可以落實?泛民區議員,當中又有多少實事求事的人,承擔實話,作出深刻檢討,並且可以實行?

I have never doubted about pan democrats’ faith, including Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood's concern for the grassroots. I hope they can get a better reward. However, I really doubt if they can put aside political interest and reflect on their lost battle. Have they carried out the evaluation plan in 1999 (after the lost)? Among the pan dem councilors, how many of them are committed to the evaluation and could carry out their promises in reform.

Diumanpark compares the situation of the pan democrats with the dotcom bubble and points out that the pan democrats failed to transform democracy into more substantial practice and enterprise before the bubble burst.

2003年,因為董建華施政失敗多年,加上23條惡法,「民主」也如dotcom一樣,火速變成炙手可熱的概念。所謂七一效應,其實就是dotcom效應:候選人只要掛上「民主派」,身價暴漲幾倍。所以,民主派在上屆區選大勝。當然,今日誰也知道當日的大勝,只是時勢造就的泡沫,「民主派」三個字,散出負資產的燶味。

In 2003, because of Tung Chee-hua's failure and the legislation of article 23, “Democracy”, similar to the dotcom, became a hot concept. The so-called July 1 effect is in fact dotcom effect: when a candidate claims to be a democrat, his/her value grows. That's why the pan-democrats won in the last district council election. Now, everyone knows that their success was just bubbles created by the time. “Democracy” is devaluating.

本來,當日如此龐大的「民主集資」,民主派如果運用得當,將民主由概念變成實業,即使泡沫爆破,也不致兵敗如山倒,更可以是一家充滿前景的機構,伺機進身藍籌。問題是,民主派這幾年有沒有這樣做?

我支持民主普選,但從來不諱言對民主派失望。選民主派,只如一個有理性的人在雞肋和雞糞之間,必然選吃雞肋一樣。…

If the pan-democrats could turn the grand “accumulation of democracy” in 2003 into substantial enterprise, even though the bubble burst out, they wouldn't have lost the battle like this. It could transform into an enterprise or a blue chip in the stock market. However, did the pan-democrats try to do that?

I support democracy and universal suffrage, but at the same time feel great disappointment with the democrats. The reason why I choose democrats is like a choice between chicken bone and chicken shit, you have to choose chicken bone.

董建華腳痛下台,泛民主派氣勢立即大不如前。為甚麼?因為他們以為,零三七一的奇蹟,他們有不少功勞,民主運動從此一帆風順。但其實,那一場奇蹟,是因為有一個不世奇才董建華作為總召集,吹了六年雞,才成就的。

別再一次亢奮失禁。你們的對手是會用盡一切地下方法、擁有極之豐富權鬥經驗的中方。敵暗我明,如果還沉醉於一時的亢奮,亢龍有悔,便要好自為之。…

When Tung Chee-hua stepped down, the circumstance for the pan democrats has shifted. Why? They thought that they had contributed to the miracle in July 1 2003 and would have a smooth path in the future. However, it was a miracle; it only became possible because of the six years great work of the notorious Tung Chee hua.

Don't be drowned in delirium. Your counterpart would use all means to win the game. They have rich experience in power struggle. The enemy is in the dark, if we are still drowned in delirium, regret will follow.

今年投票率約38%,比2003年的44%下跌6%,但投票人數比上屆多六萬。換言之,登記選民增加了。這些選民來自那裏?君不見親中派何等落力幫街坊登記做選民嗎?民主派又做了甚麼呢?

This year the voting rate is 38%, when compared with 2003's 44%, it dropped for 6%. However, the voting population is increased by 60,000. Which means the registration of voters have increased. Why do all these votes come from? Don't you see the pro China clan has been helping the resident to get registered? What about the pan democrats?

Wongonyin bids the pan-dem party chairs to resign:

泛民大敗,各主席應辭職 !(梁耀忠除外)
pls, 快,馬上
這是為民主問責建立正確的文化
是你們這羣失敗領導者對民主的最後貢獻

Pan dem has defeated, their leaders should resign! (except Leung Yiu Chung)
please, quick, now.
this is for the sake of building up a responsible culture
and the last contribution for democracy among this group of lost leaders.

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