With the Legco elections only a few days away, most people are focused on election day itself rather than the outcome and the changes that will come with it.
It’s almost certain that pro-independence candidates will replace washed-up pan-democrats as the new standard-bearers of the pro-democracy movement.
The pan-democrats have only themselves to blame.
For the past 20-years, they have been cheating the people of Hong Kong out of their vote with empty slogans and have failed to achieve real progress in the democratization process.
All they do is beg their traditional supporters to continue to vote for them by repeating the cliché that if they lose their so-called “decisive minority” in the next Legco, there will be no one else to stop Leung Chun-ying from ramming anything he wants through the chamber.
What nerve to call themselves “democrats” when they can’t even come up with a plan to fight for democracy.
To make things worse, they have resorted to a smear campaign against the pro-independence camp to save their own seats.
Such dirty tricks might work for some of the older voters but not with the younger ones.
The 2014 Occupy Central movement raised the political awareness of an entire generation of young people.
So the smear campaign against pro-independence supporters, now regarded by many young people as their new hope, will only fuel contempt for pan-democrats.
The rise of the pro-independence faction is unstoppable. Its candidates are likely to win a number of seats.
They might split into two — the “yellow ribbon” and “blue ribbon” factions, not because of a difference of opinion but only to appeal to a wider demographic.
“Yellow ribbon” refers to the indigenous faction that rose to prominence before the 2014 protests (the Neo Democrats led by lawmaker and former Democratic Party member Gary Fan Kwok-wai is an example).
They are pro-independence but with a lower profile.
“Blue ribbon” refers to the more radical and higher-profile pro-independence faction that came in the wake of the democracy protest movement.
This includes Hong Kong Indigenous, whose candidate, Edward Leung, was barred from running in this Legco election.
The pro-independence faction will become a new political force to be reckoned with in the next Legco.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 30
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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