China does hold elections, but they are not usually much of a contest. While independent candidates theoretically can run for local people’s congresses, their campaigns are often shot down on technical grounds. Candidates eyeing seats in the National People’s Congress (NPC) haven’t fared much better. Meanwhile, netizens joked last March about the “suspense” of the NPC election, when Xi Jinping was voted into the presidency.
The city of Nanjing boasts direct election of officials above the village level, but its people’s congress seems to be as much of a rubber stamp as the NPC. On January 16, the Yangtse Evening Post posted on Weibo about the election of Nanjing’s new mayor:
扬子晚报: Nanjing People’s Congress Elects New Mayor: The Nanjing People’s Congress is electing a new mayor. The candidate is Miao Ruilin. Today 514 representatives were present, and are currently marking their ballots (see photos). Yangtse Evening Post/Chou Huidong
扬子晚报: Miao Ruilin Elected Mayor of Nanjing: The results of the Nanjing People’s Congress vote: 509 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstain. Miao Ruilin has been elected mayor of the Nanjing people’s government. Yangtse Evening Post/Chou Huidong
Netizens were quick to deride the vote:
oO我不是花卷Oo: …This is a blessing for the decidophobic.
Damon寻达: The representatives must have been so torn between Miao Ruilin and Miao Ruilin.
四输五尽12: Does the single-candidate election count as China’s greatest invention?
顺祥: A democratic election founded on the truth of the universe! The most democratic election in the entire universe!
r-Sandman丶: This looks like a very difficult choice.
乍暖还寒cyl: Here’s what we should do: From now on, multiple choice questions on tests should only have one answer to choose from. Everyone will be happy.
枫叶TTQ：At least throw in a show contender.
平寧: Can a buffet that only serves one dish still call itself a buffet?
小丁201010: Waste of paper.
本_本: They were only letting you all know what’s going on. And you still think you’re the main dish.
风雨刀客: You just have to be elected, and you win by a landslide; just be investigated, and you’re corrupt; just have something bad happen, and you’ll cry your heart out.
貂锦胡尘: They have redefined “choice.”
弄死算了: Even Kim Jong-un has a ballot. That’s a given. Doesn’t this explain something else? Even the right to have a fake election is only available to the people’s representatives.
Read more about elections in China.
Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Cindy.