China's fake presidential election inspires fake election fever

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 11:08am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 4:50pm

After almost ten days of tense anticipation during the 2013 parliamentary sessions, China's new president and premier will finally be named today and then start moving their books into Zhongnanhai where they'll spend most of the next ten years.

Wednesday night, some loyal subjects - from across the political spectrum, in a rare convergence - decided to have a little fun online with all the pomp surrounding the predetermined power transition and imitate what they imagine running analysis and Chinese live news coverage of a Chinese presidential election might look like.

A lot of smart political humour ensued, then Sina Weibo employees caught on and removed most of it from the microblogging site, but not before Chinese Twitter users made backup copies. Here's some of what was written:

@Republican: There's no doubt Xi will win in his home province, but the South also has the tradition of opposing the North. As a commercial centre, Shanghai values pragmatism, so the most battle-hardened, more experienced of the candidates will have the advantage there. Of course, we won't know the results until the last minute. If the losing candidate refuses to accept the results, he can always appeal the Supreme People's Court to arbitrate.

Given its ethnic composition, swing province Xinjiang is guaranteed to be the toughest battleground. In provinces like Henan which carry large numbers of votes, the biggest challenge for candidates will be to persuade voters to get inside the polling stations.

@Fake fish: As of 9pm, Xi and Li stood neck-to-neck with a difference of only 54,250 votes. The first one to gain more than half of votes in Sichuan province, western China's largest electoral district, before midnight tonight will be the winner!

@Election Daily: Shanghai's decision to require non-local voters to return to their hukou districts to obtain proof of voter eligibility is being challenged by the Xi camp, which calls the move an infringement of voters' rights. A survey conducted by Zero Corp. puts Xi's approval rating among Shanghai's non-local voters at more than 60 per cent.

@Bei Writer: Voter polls conducted in several central China swing provinces put support for Xi at more than 50 per cent. The candidate who wins central China is almost guaranteed to win the election, but votes in some swing provinces remain up for grabs. What it comes down to now is whether Xi will be able to win those votes by making any rousing speeches during the two parliamentary sessions.

@Typhoid Mary: The race is extremely tight now. The latest poll figures show support for Xi is soaring following his outstanding performance in the latest debate. Sixty-two per cent of voters said his debate performance will be a factor in determing whether or not they vote for Xi, and of the 26 per cent of respondents who said the debates will be a "major" factor in determining their vote, two-thirds said they support Xi.

@Slacker Ming: Will the Kuomingtang be able to make a comeback? We'll have to wait and see!

@MK---MK: Xi's ancestral home is in Jiangxi, which traditionally votes Red and is unlikely to have many swing votes.

Last night's fun also inspired a Google Doc "presidential poll"; Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou currently leads with 22 per cent of votes and a VP seat looking to go to imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo, however as of 11am Thursday a very small surge in votes this morning now has Xi Jinping at a 9 per cent popularity rating with 169 votes.

Other candidates include Ai Weiwei, Barack Obama, Li Keqiang, Feng Zhenghu, Pu Zhiqiang, Mao Xinyu, Tsai Ing-wen and Han Han.