Philip Bowring: Playing Along in Hong Kong
From The International Herald Tribune, via A Glimpse of the World:
No one in this city has any illusions about enjoying a democratic system of government. Nonetheless, the current campaign for the “election” of a new chief executive is a curious spectacle, one that mixes a sense of unseriousness and good humor with some slightly disturbing echoes of Soviet-style “elections.”
This is fantasy democracy, so it is fitting that the preordained winner is Donald Tsang, the man whose government subsidies brought Disneyland to Hong Kong and is identified by his colorful bow ties. He has the backing of Beijing and of most of the 800 (out of seven million) people permitted to vote. The only outstanding issue is whether any other candidate will get 100 of those 800 to so much as win nomination and thus take the process to a formal vote.