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Monday, September 13, 2004 

Post-Election Analysis

Christine Loh: "The 2004 LegCo election was characterised by:
1. Poor management of the election with too few ballot boxes and other problems.
2. Ability to get vote splitting strategies right for the Geographical Constituencies (GCs);
3. Surprises in the Functional Constituencies (FCs);and
4. Hong Kong voters are irrepressible."

Dow Jones: "Strategic errors in how pro-democracy candidates tackled Hong Kong's complicated proportional representation system also likely cost them a couple of seats."

IHT/NYT: "Cyd Ho, a rising star of Frontier, a minor party that also favors democracy, unexpectedly lost to Choy. Voters deserted Ho in droves and supported Lee in far greater numbers than he needed to retain his seat. Hong Kong's system of proportional representation essentially rewards political parties that get each candidate elected with the narrowest possible margin of victory, encouraging any additional voters to support another candidate from the same party or an allied party."

Economist: "Many professionals in Hong Kong are broadly pro-Beijing because they see it as being good for business. Even among normal voters, there are many who see an increasing need to stay on Beijing’s good side, given the territory’s increasing integration with the mainland. For a lot of voters, democracy is important but stability even more so."

BBC opines:
"the fact that the election ended in a virtual stalemate may have increased the possibility, according to some analysts, of Beijing finally agreeing to open a dialogue with Hong Kong Democrats - or at least some of their more moderate allies.

While the election result may be held up by Mr Jiang and other conservatives as a sign of the effectiveness of their policies, it may well be even more welcome news to his rival, current president Hu Jintao, since it opens the way for a new, more consensual approach which would better suit his own style.

"Beijing will say the election result shows the Democrats are not as strong as they claim, but it will respond by mixing its toughness with some soft talking," said James Tang, dean of social sciences at Hong Kong University.

A local opinion poll recently showed that most Hong Kong people prefer China's leaders, for all their ideological differences, to their own."

Update: Daai Tou Laam has more on details that is not seen in western media reports.

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