Candidates unveil their small 'secret weapons'
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying often cites 'a stool, a notepad and a pen' - which he used in district visits during his campaign - as among his '10 secret weapons' for shaping himself as a leader willing to listen.
For some candidates jockeying for Legislative Council seats in the September 9 election, their children are their secret weapons. James To Kun-sun, Democratic Party candidate for the district councils functional constituency seat, is an expert in deploying this device. The image of his eight-month-old baby boy, Samuel, was almost as large as that of the incumbent lawmaker on his bus advertisements.
The Civic Party's Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, 44, who is partnering with incumbent Tanya Chan to run in Hong Kong Island constituency, showed off his Polish wife, Gabriela, and four daughters - Monika, 15, Natalia, 13, and twins, Maja and Kaja, 11 - at his campaign kick-off function last Thursday. Many onlookers on Great George Street, Causeway Bay, said his girls were beautiful and Tanya Chan, 40, joked that Kenneth should adopt her.
In support of her father, Monika said: 'I know if he gets elected, he will inspire many people in Hong Kong to make it a better place.' But there are times when 'secret weapons' have not worked so well.
To help their father defend his seat in the Kowloon East constituency, Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit's twin sons, Clarence and Adrian, 18, performed as masters of ceremony at an election campaign kick-off function in Wong Tai Sin on Tuesday. But they would have done well to do more background research on the people they were introducing. Only after they asked the party's founding chairman, Kuan Hsin-chi, to speak did they find out Kuan was absent. They were also unaware that the party's candidates contesting in Kowloon West, Claudia Mo Man-ching and Joe Wong Tak-chuen, were not present when they asked them to say a few words. Colleen Lee and Tanna Chong
Don't believe all the polls tell you...
Statistics sometimes speak louder than words, but that may not always be the case for opinion polls on local elections.
Even before the two-week nomination period for the Legco election, which started last Wednesday, various research organisations started releasing their polls. But the survey conducted by Baptist University's Hong Kong Transition Project on the popularity of candidates in the Kowloon West constituency - released a day before the start of the nomination period - raised more questions than it posed to respondents. It did not even state the percentage points of public support each candidate received in the constituency.
So it is entirely up to you whether you believe the survey results showing that Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, who won a seat in Kowloon West in the 2008 Legco election with 19,914 votes, the lowest among the five winners in the constituency, ranked first in the survey.
Another poll conducted by the Hong Kong Research Association gave surprising results indicating Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king enjoyed public support of 9.9 per cent in the battle for the district councils functional constituency, 3.9 percentage points higher than veteran DAB leader Lau Kong-wah. It was carried out by an automated telephone system, instead of real interviews. Tanna Chong and Gary Cheung
...and don't forget your sense of humour
If bitter rivalries and juicy attacks among candidates are too intense for some voters, political parodies may be helpful in lightening up the atmosphere of the election.
Just as in the past, pro-government Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) candidates' publicity continues to be the main target of parody. DAB vice-chairman Lau Kong-wah's poster titled 'Win for All - Lau Kong-wah' was transformed into 'Win for All - Lau Kong-wah must be defeated'.
It is the second time Lau, who served in Legco for more than a decade, has been parodied. An earlier poster featuring Lau titled 'What will Hong Kong become?' was also changed into 'How will Hong Kong die?'
DAB candidate Christopher Chung Shu-kun was another target of political mockery. One of Chung's earlier posters with the title 'It's time to upgrade' was re-edited by internet users to imitate a breast enhancement advertisement. Tony Cheung