HK Magazine Archive

How to Win an Election

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 March, 2016, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:58pm

The New Territories East by-election has given rise to rumors of impropriety, as elections everywhere so often do. Pro-Beijingers are regularly accused of enticing in the elderly with the promise of free food after they vote; a counter-rumor says that opposition parties told the old folk to hang on to their ballots as receipts, or they wouldn’t get the food at all. We’ve got some more great underhanded ideas for election success.

Make the Mark Six Work for You.
This is a complex multipart plan, but the rewards are considerable.

  1. Locate polling booth locations in busy commercial areas.
  2. With a little lick of blue and yellow paint, disguise the polling booths as Hong Kong Jockey Club outlets.
  3. Release a number of operatives into the surrounding areas. They will walk into crowded restaurants and stores, proclaiming that they know the next winning Mark Six jackpot. This is the number of your candidate.
  4. The word will spread and thousands will flock to the nearest betting place, which is your cunningly disguised polling booth.
  5. Congratulations, you have suborned this election AND made $400-something million in clandestine betting revenues. Go buy yourself a Mark Six ticket to celebrate.

Super Tuesday.
In the United States, “Super Tuesday” is the day on which several states all conduct their primary nominations at the same time, acting as a barometer for the actual presidential race. In Hong Kong, “Super Tuesday” will just be a Lan Kwai Fong happy hour where you serve people $50 beers and a few plates of crappy tapas as long as they vote for your guy. Never underestimate the drunken LKF vote.

Retarget the Localists.
The localist vote did extraordinarily well in the recent by-election, with Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung picking up 66,000 votes—that’s 15 percent of all votes cast. But fortunately, Localists are all about the micro view. You just have to narrow that laser-like focus to something more micro still: we suggest plastic Gundam robots or Tamiya model cars. That way they’ll never leave the house, and your election’s an easy win.

Learn from the Masters.
Previously missing bookseller Lee Po has just reappeared on Chinese TV, insisting that he left Hong Kong illegally simply in order to help mainland police with a case. Those interested in engineering results should be asking the mainland authorities for some advice on making the improbable happen, cause it looks like they’re REALLY good at it.

Glory in the Power of Democracy.
In this novel scheme, just concede that a) The opposition has no power to introduce bills in Legco and can only vote to obstruct or oppose legislation b) Even the pro-government parties can do little to influence actual decisions—so this is all a waste of time and it doesn’t really matter who wins anyway.