3 days ago
Our City | 1 // This week's series of images shows the forms and textures of Hong Kong's residential spaces from three very different places, but with so much of our collective mindspace being occupied by the massive show of people power in our city, I think it is only right that my narrative today addresses my viewpoint and how this image speaks to it.
Hong Kong is a "sort of" democracy, and what led to the massive show of people power is the imperfection of this model of governance, which gives our people a range of freedoms and protections (under attack, as shown recently!) but makes it impossible for them to express their will through the most powerful and legitimate way - the vote. With no direct input as to who leads our city and with a stacked legislature where citizens only get to vote for a portion of the representatives, the people of this city have very little ownership of our leaders. We don't feel like that represent us. Instead our minds start to wander as to whose interests they really serve when they come up with odd, half-baked, or ill thought-out proposals - proposals that only come from persons who have little to no understanding of the electorate, because they're not accountable to the electorate. As I mentioned in my last post, Hong Kong's Government is often put at a difficult position of being "sort of" answerable to the voters, but also have to fall in line with the Central Government in Beijing.
So we end up with Chief Executives like Carrie Lam, who may have been exceptionally hardworking Civil Servants for most of their career, but who make truly awful politicians. Today's photo, of a rather opulent residential complex in the countryside near Yuen Long, encapsulates what I think of her. Ensconced in her ivory tower, surrounded by advisors who have little to no commonsense, she tries to govern, but when she has no real sight of what's beyond her narrow view of what's "good for Hong Kong", she is trapped in a gilded cage. What else could explain the recent decisions around the Extradition Bill? Surely anyone in touch with the sentiment on the streets would think twice that before attempting to ram through a law (Continued...)