• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 11:40am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
ELECTORAL REFORM

More than 500,000 vote in Occupy Central’s electoral reform poll: organiser

Voting began in online poll on reform plans for 2017 chief executive election at noon on Friday; voting system subject of one of the largest cyberattacks in history, experts say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 11:58am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 2:26pm
 

Poll

  • Yes: 82%
  • No: 18%
21 Jun 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 424

More than 500,000 people have voted in Occupy Central’s online poll on options for the 2017 chief executive election since it launched at noon on Friday, despite the online voting system coming under one of the largest cyberattacks in history according to experts. 

By 3pm on Saturday afternoon, 500,436 people cast their votes in Occupy Central’s unofficial “referendum”.

That was more than double the figure in the two-day mock election organised by the University of Hong Kong on March 2012, where 223,000 voters cast their ballot to have their say on who the city's new chief executive, while the actual election was decided by a 1,193-strong committee.

The turnout so far is also 80,000 people away from organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s target to get 580,000 people to vote, to match the turnout of a Legislative Council by-election in May 2010, which was triggered by the resignation of five geographical lawmakers who hoped to use the poll as a "de facto referendum" on the pace of democratisation.

Watch: Hongkongers voice their opinion on the referendum, democracy, and Occupy Central

Hong Kong permanent residents can pick one out of three shortlisted proposals on how to elect the next chief executive in 2017 via the smartphone app “PopVote” or by visiting the website popvote.hk until June 29.

They can also express their preference for whether Legco should veto any reform plan that does not provide a genuine choice of candidates to the public in 2017.

The voting platform has been operating smoothly despite being inundated by a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack of more than 300 gigabits per second at its peak, prompting organisers to extend the voting period from three days to ten.

Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the founders of the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, described the attack as a "world-class intrusion". 

"The world record attack is only 400 gigabits per second," he said.

Matthew Prince, the chief executive of CloudFlare, the website maintenance company that is providing technical support to the popvote.hk site, described the extent of the cyberattacks on Twitter and said the company was well prepared to counter the attacks.

People unable to vote online will be able to visit one of the 15 actual polling stations set up throughout the city on June 22, with another 10 stations open on June 29. A further opportunity to vote would be available to those wanting to vote at night at a polling station in City University from June 23 to June 28.

The central government's liaison office in Hong Kong has dismissed the vote as a "farce". A government spokesman said the “so-called civil referendum" had no legal effect as it did not exist in the Basic Law or local laws.

"The HKSAR Government has repeatedly stated that proposals on political development should be, legally, strictly in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress,” the spokesman said.

On public nomination, an element included in all the three proposals, the spokesman said the power to nominate chief executive candidates is vested in the nominating committee only under the Basic Law.

He also said this element was highly controversial in legal, political and operational aspects so the government believed it was unlikely to be adopted.

“There are many opinions in the community, including those from legal professional groups and individuals, that ’civic nomination’ will bypass or undermine the substantive powers of the [nominating committee] to nominate candidates and hence is, legally, highly controversial.”

“Politically, such a proposal will unlikely be conducive to forging consensus, and operationally, the feasibility of implementation is questionable,” he said.

But Occupy Central co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man said the government was avoiding public voices by hiding behind "ridiculous excuses".

"We have never said that our referendum has any legal binding effect," Chan said. "Why doesn't the government hold its own poll if it says ours has no credibility?"

Additional reporting by Lai Ying-kit

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321manu
Req has a point. It would be far less disingenuous of the CCP stooges if they actually lived in China for a few years to experience the CCP way in all its glory, before trying to prescribe it for all Hkers. At least that way, they could at least say they've walked the walk. Right now, they're just talking the talk.
req
China is going well. Making more money and leaving HK behind. Harsh if you're a rural peasant or deformed freak but hey, its luck and circumstances.
blue
"It seems all whymak can do is lash out regularly with his amateur psychologist rants."

Also he'll hypocritically accuse everyone who was pro-democracy of being "full of venom" when it's totally unfounded and projection more than anything else.
321manu
Well there goes our resident amateur psychologist whymak again, droning on about the kinds of experience and expertise those who disagree with him may or may not have.
This is the thing about CCP stooges - the desire to toe the CCP line and to lick boots is so ingrained that they've lost all capacity for self-reflection. Fairly un-Chinese, if you ask me.
whymak does make the slightest iteration of what might become a not-totally-unreasonable point (unlike his usual work product): the pan-dems should be presenting a platform of what they would pursue, even while fighting for the right to formally present it (in the form of being able to be chosen to at least stand for election).
But here's the thing. We know CCP stooges will be allowed to stand for election. So where are all the grand plans from the Beijing types? I mean, BJ's plan post white paper is to guarantee that a CCP stooge gets the CE post. Surely they've made plans for what said stooge will supposedly try to do for (and to) Hkers once he/she is installed? Where might that plan be?
It seems all whymak can do is lash out regularly with his amateur psychologist rants. It is simply too difficult for him to conceive of and to answer second order questions. But that's ok. After all, you don't need intelligence or logic to be a CCP stooge; just healthy doses of dedication and piety towards the CCP cause.
Are you listening, CCP stooges? Ignore the training, and grow a brain. Good luck.
req
I'm curious to what extent these pro democracy supporters have lived overseas. Seems they've been brainwashed by good brand management of the west. Don't any of them think and realize who the good guys are?
Its very simple. If you don't like it here, get the bleeding duck out of this country. Its like some sick dependent who won't leave a company and makes a lot of noise. You're merely tolerated. But please do get out.
blue
"But after these pro-dems take the power, anyone with opposite opinions may be accused of colluding with CCP or working as 50 cents and then put to jail. This wouldn't happen? See your speech. If you have the power, you would certainly put some of the commenters here to jail. Would you? Spare me please . . . ."

Oh please. True freedom lovers would die before they would ban you from posting your rubbish. Enjoy your 50 cents son.
the sun also rises
What I read below is the anti-democracy pro-CCP idiotic blind loyalist named whymak (who graduated from the local pretigious St.Joseph's College decades ago but turns out to be a shame of his alma mater which pursues logical and rational thinking while maintaining high quality of English standard ) who yells insanely against all those lovely Hongkongers who yearn for a geniune universal suffrage in 2017 in our Chief Executive Election when we can nominate our chosen candidates, while all those qualified ones can run for the office besides casting their votes. Never just the right to vote for a bunch of chosen candidates (who are so-called patriots) favoured by Beijing authoriities.Maybe this 'whymak' has business interest on Mainland China, so defending the policies of that autocratic ruling regime becomes his vested duty---unavoidable and indispensable ! Shame on this brainless so-called patriot 'whymak' who used to attack all pro-democracy writers here in this Comment Column !
whymak
All I am hearing here is a bunch of headless chickens screaming nominations and elections. What do you do when you win one? You will be no better than Thai Red or Yellow Shirts and likely much worse because you are already acting like tribal Shiites and Sunnis with violent hate passions to match.
Do you know what takes to run and manage a small business – leaving aside large enterprises and governments – so that airheads like you could get paid regularly to blather in this column?
Am I right you have no idea about daily cash management, meeting payrolls, paying invoices and funding pensions? Now scale it up and think about running a bureaucracy and government.
Electrons in a conductor without electromotive force do no useful work. They move at all speeds in all directions and collide with one another. When this happens, electrons are forced to change directions against their “will.” Are you listening, headless chickens?
It’s easier to bring together millions and agitate them for a violent cause – to overthrow what feeds and clothes them, but much harder to get 10 people with useful constructive ideas to act in concert in a project. Am I right you are nobody like Benny Tai with no supervisory experience?
All cooperative behaviors could cause disruptive discontinuities even without perturbation. You want to create one.
In large corporations, we do scenario analysis to avoid catastrophe. Brainwashed morons in echo chambers denigrate it as strawman.
Sober up, morons!
whymak
(This is for people with keen minds, but not for morons I addressed to earlier. The electron metaphor should be footnoted. Scientifically, electrons are scattered by impurities. They "glide" through the lattice and collisions with other electrons are negligible. Interestingly, the metaphor is valid regardless of the presence or absence of EMF. No EMF, no work. Same applies to headless chickens. Judging by quality of their statements, it's safe to conclude that all hate China frequent writers have never had any period profit/loss responsibilities to themselves or to organizations.)
nicolas
This dignified that people of HK are very discontent with the present chief executive election system. Especially with the incumbent chief executive for his incompetency and lack of intergrity in handling HK affair. He's simply a puppet of the communist regime. HK people need a real universal suffrage without initial screening process. HK Chief executive should be elected thru popular vote by HK citiizen. Scrap the nominating committee because they're simply represent themselve and for their own interest only. Majority of them are wealthy businessman or pro-beijing people. Just a bunch of filthy rubbish nomination committee....

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