All entries for Saturday 23 September 2006

September 23, 2006

Elections in China

Nearly everything that China imports China also domesticates and fits into its own ways. So, the recent local democratic election of people’s representative can justly be called an oddity. It’s like a little democracy in a big unbreakable bubble of communism. There is little political agitation; there is no handing out leaflets with political agendas; there is literally no information on the choices we have. What we do have instead is big Chinese-red cloths with standard white hieroglyphs reading “People’s representative – People choose” hanging over trees and ramps. Each block of flats has a poster on the ground floor glued next to the elevators explaining who can vote, what is required for voting, where and when to vote. When I saw the poster I got so excited it felt like Christmas has arrived. However, none of my relatives sounded even vaguely interested in the event. I don’t think the majority of Chinese are the least bit politically conscious. Most of the people I know simply lay back and wait for new policies and regulations to arrive on a silver platter. Most people don’t care about new amendments to the Chinese constitution unless it directly affects them. When the international community blames China for not taking a bigger part and not using its economic influence to help resolve crises like that in Darfur, the only plausible explanation for China’s irresponsible behaviour I can find is in its pragmatic selfishness. And when the BBC comes up with articles titled “China village democracy skin deep” I wonder if they realise how much of a show those elections really are. I also wish I won’t be jailed for this blogpost.


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