A confusing platform fails the alliance in 2016 Legco elections

Justin Wong

Only one of their five candidates won a seat in the Legislative Council elections. There are several reasons for this poor showing

Justin Wong |

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Members of Civic Passion show their unity before this month’s Legislative Council elections.

Only one out of five candidates from the alliance of Civic Passion, Proletariat Political Institute and the Hong Kong Resurgence Order managed to win a seat in New Territories West. That person was Cheng Chung-tai of Civic Passion. This is despite great support for the alliance among local teenagers and on the internet.

Before September 4, I had predicted that the leaders of the alliance, such as Raymond Wong Yuk-man or Wong Yeung-tat, would win seats in their constituencies. The former missed out on the last seat to Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration by 400 votes, while the latter lost to Civic Party candidate Jeremy Tam Man-ho by more than 12,000 votes.

The alliance lacked support from voters more concerned about the present than the future. Their platform of “creating a de facto referendum in the five geographical constituencies to allow citizens to participate in the creation of the constitution” is attractive to young adults interested in the fate of Hong Kong after 2047, but not to the middle-aged and elderly. Unlike young adults, the middle-aged and elderly voters believe that they have no part in the debate concerning the fate of post-2047 Hong Kong as they might not be around at the time.

The alliance has also rejected setting up a retirement protection scheme unless a policy that allows the government to screen applicants of the one-way permit system is implemented. The alliance claims that the scheme “uses public funds to provide for elderly immigrants from across the border”.

Their platform was pretty confusing, too. As well as promising “to allow citizens to participate in the creation of the constitution”, the alliance wanted to “make the Basic Law permanent”. Yet one of the alliance members, the Hong Kong Resurgence led by Horace Chin Wan-kan, had called for Hong Kong to become a city-state.

Article one of the Basic Law says: “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.” By making the Basic Law permanent, the alliance is admitting the rule of China over Hong Kong, which they vowed would never happen. But Hong Kong Resurgence wants separation from China.

The alliance failed to do as well as expected in the election, but they have growing support among the age group that will be eligible to vote in the next election. So don’t be too surprised if they gain another seat or two in the next Legco election.