New government API campaign ‘Don’t waste your vote’ under fire

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The Government has been blasted for using unwilling engineers in the new ‘take what you can get’ campaign of posters and APIs..

The Alliance for Peace and Democracy (保普選反佔中大聯盟) is gearing up for their march this Sunday. At a press conference yesterday, the spokesman Robert Chow (周融) reiterated that he didn’t want to see anyone destroying Hong Kong, specifying the Occupy Central movement. Participants will give a ‘thumb-up’ gesture to opposition groups who might appear during the march, he said. When asked whether the 50% nomination threshold was accepted by the Alliance, Mr Chow replied “Yes, why not?” The ultimate goal was to have a CE election that realise ‘one man one vote’, he added.


New People’s Party Chair and Executive Council member Regina Ip (葉劉淑儀) welcomed the 50% threshold when discussing it on RTHK’s morning show Hong Kong Today yesterday. Regarding pan-democrats like Alan Leong (梁家傑) from Civic Party who saw the high threshold as a step backward (the 2012 CE election required only 12.5% of the Election Committee for nomination), Mrs Ip said it was a different case as now the size of the Nomination Committee is much larger than the Election Committee.


Both Robert Chow and Regina Ip followed the same line that ‘one man one vote’ will do nicely for universal suffrage, regardless of some forms of screening. Not surprisingly, the Government is selling the idea in its latest PR effort. Adverts with protesters as background and the message “Your vote. Don’t cast it away” filled the public arena of late. There is also a video clip.


Know who you use


Interestingly, the background used in the video received harsh criticism. It caught the eyes of the group who turned out to be the protesters in the video clip used by the Government. They are the Engineers for Universal Suffrage (普選工程連線) with prominent member like Albert Lai (黎廣德) from the Professional Commons. Their belief is nothing like pro-Beijing groups or even the Government. Their push for true democracy means no screening and a nomination mechanism that conforms to international standards. The group urges the Government to retract the clip and cut them from the video. They also denounced the Government PR’s campaign which they believe aimed to convince people that as long as ‘one man one vote’ is achieved, people should accept any 2017 CE election proposal.


Writing in a newspaper column, Civic Party Chair Audrey Eu (余若薇) reminded Hong Kong people that Hitler was elected under ‘one man one vote’, and the latest North Korea presidential election is conducted under such form.


A collection of past, fairly non-political Public Service Announcements, also known as APIs.


VIDEO – Hong Kong’s Weirdest Public Service Ads

Vintage APIs – before the government used taxpayer money to sell politics.