On Monday, Hong Kong’s media were busy fussing over trivialities after Sunday’s Legco elections, getting bogged down in irrelevant details like names of candidates and parties; who won, who lost; turnout down to 45% compared with 55% in 2004 etc, etc.
But Network News Broadcast - the authoritative voice of reason that unites the nation every evening at 7pm - remained above the fray, maintaining objectivity and impartiality by focusing on the issues that really matter. Sixty seats needed to be filled. Sixty seats were filled - successfully. The voting began at a particular time and ended at another, later time. And it lasted a certain number of hours.
Moreover, while Hong Kong’s media kept saying that far fewer people actually voted this time around (no wonder Hong Kong has problems with all that negativity), note this: 5% more people were registered to vote.
Here’s a translation of the Network News coverage in full (sorry, no link - I can’t find it online at the moment). Read and learn, Hong Kong media:
The results of the elections for the fourth Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region were announced this morning. Sixty candidates succeeded in being elected as members of the new Legislative Council.
The Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Pang Kin-kee, announced in the morning that 1,524,000 voters cast their ballots in the geographical constituencies, with a turnout of 45.2%. 127,000 people voted in the functional constituencies - a turnout of 60.3%.
Voting in the elections for the fourth Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR began at 7.30am on August 7 and ended at 10.55pm. Voting lasted for about 15 hours. 3,370,000 people were registered to vote in the geographical constituencies of this election - 5% more than the last election. 230,000 people were unofficially registered in the 28 functional constituencies - 15% more than the last election.
The chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Donald Tsang, said the election process had been fair, open and just. He said the SAR government hopes to establish a more harmonious and cooperative administrative-legislative relationship with the new Legislative Council in the coming years, face all challenges together and serve the residents of Hong Kong.
The Legislative Council is the legislative organ of the Hong Kong SAR. Members of Hong Kong’s fourth Legislative Council will serve a four-year term, starting from October 1, 2008.
And that is all you really need to know. However, for those still curious to learn more, the Network News item was actually a condensed version of a longer Xinhua article which also spares its readers the extraneous details of who won and who lost the election. The English and Chinese versions are almost the same, but the former does let the side down at one stage, failing to mention the good news about more registered voters, and instead referring to the lower turnout. I suspect sabotage by a foreigner.
One particularly interesting fact I learned from Xinhua’s article: apparently there were no elections in Hong Kong before it returned to China.
Before Hong Kong’s return in 1997, the members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council were appointed by the British Hong Kong authorities.
Take that Lord Patten, Baron of Barnes.