Voters for Hong Kong’s new Election Committee plummet 97%, casting doubt on acceptability

The first salvo of the new electoral system revamped by Beijing was the Election Committee election in September. After re-registration, 7,891 people became voters in various subgroups of the Election Committee, a 97% plunge compared to the number of voters in the Election Committee before the revision, and the enthusiasm of new voter registration was not as high as Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor claimed earlier, only less than 80%. Political scientist Cai Ziqiang said that the authorities designed the election system with the goal of control, the number of voters fell sharply and became the world of the establishment is expected, but with the reduction of voter representation, the future turnout, even if not bad, it is inevitable to question the acceptability of the election.

According to the provisional voter register of the EAC published by the Electoral Affairs Office yesterday (18), among them, 2547 are individual voters and 5344 are corporate voters, a significant drop of 97% compared to the 246,000 voters in the EAC in 2016 before the revision. However, the EC electorate, which is smaller than the minimum population base of 12,000 in a constituency under the District Council, will elect a 1,500-member EC on September 19 this year to play an important role in the next three elections, respectively in the new Legislative Council election in December, the general election of the Chief Executive in March next year, and the eighth Legislative Council election in 2025 to nominate and vote.

A comparison of the data shows that the subsectors with a big drop in voters, mostly from individual votes to group votes, the original is the world of the democratic camp, but has now changed, for example, the largest drop in the “accounting sector”, voters fell from 26,001 five years ago to the current 39 people, a drop of 99.9%; by the medical and health services sector to merge the The “medical and health services sector” has been reduced from 48,576 to 80, half of which are hospitals; the number of voters in the social welfare sector has dropped from 14,130 in the past to 141, a drop of 99%, with voters switching from individuals to various social welfare groups, and the Social Workers Registration Board, which itself is a listed group, has not registered as a voter.

In addition, the representativeness of each voter also varies greatly depending on the number of voters in the sector. Take the “Education” sector after the merger of the higher education sector as an example, the number of voters has been reduced from 80,643 to more than 1,700, but it is still the sector with the largest number of voters, and they will elect 30 members; as for the Hong Kong Employers’ Federation, which has the smallest number of voters, 18 organizations will elect 15 members.

The new subsectors in the third sector are “grassroots organizations” and “hometown associations”. The former has the largest number of voters, with 404 groups, including “Modern Mothers Group”, “Happy Family”, “Friends of Tai Kok Tsui”, “Kam Tin Table Tennis Club”, “Chinese Paper-cutting Association”, “Tai Hang Concern Group”, and “Chinese Paper-cutting Association”. “Tai Hang Concern Group”, “Hanwha Secondary School Alumni Association”, “Ngai Kwan Tai Chi Association”, “Hong Kong and Kowloon Hawker Association ” and “Chilled Poultry and Livestock Merchants Association”, etc. These groups will join the new Hong Kong and Kowloon New Territories Divisional Committee, District Fight Crime Committee and District Fire Safety Committee in the fourth sector, with a total of 2,000 representatives, to replace the seats of the District Council Election Committee which will be abolished under the new electoral system.

According to Tsai Tzu-keung, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Administration at Chinese University of Hong Kong, the new electoral system seeks to control the election results without paying attention to the representativeness of individual sectors and whether they can reflect the interests of the sectors. Even for the education sector, which has the largest number of voters, the number of voters has been reduced from nearly 100,000 to more than 1,000 organizations, which may not reflect the mainstream opinion of the sector.