Two for the price of one
Caution - no driver on board

Only in Hong Kong

A high-profile by-election in which the two main candidates are former civil servants (Democracy woman wins HK poll as the BBC rather strangely puts it).

How exciting is that?  In other places it might be a TV or film star, or at least a big-name politician, but not in Hong Kong.  No, we get two former civil servants, though admittedly both are very well-known.

One was widely reviled for her attempt to introduce security legislation (the so-called Article 23) that prompted 500,000 people to protest on the streets of Hong Kong.  The other ("Democracy Woman") is perceived as being unacceptable to Beijing, as if an elderly woman who ran the government under Tung Che-Hwa could really be any threat at all. 

Not that it matters, of course.  Members of the Legislative Council don't really have much power, so this amounts to an opinion poll on whether to press for democracy as soon as possible, or to be patient.  Which might explain why a meaningless by-election involving two former civil servants has actually been fairly lively.  Feelings do run high on both sides, and the two candidates represent what each side dislikes about the other.  Meanwhile, the rest of us look on somewhat perplexed.   

I suppose it's a classic 'chicken and egg' problem.  We don't have real democracy, so we don't have real political parties.  And life carries on fairly well in spite of that. 

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