chapter  2
17 Pages

Popular protest and electioneering in a partial democracy: the case of Hong Kong wan-chaw shae and pik-wan wong

Academic research on popular culture in Hong Kong over the past three decades has focused mostly on the analysis of media culture and cultural identities of Hong Kong people rather than the cultural aspects of election and popular protest (Ng and Cheung 2001). Similarly, with only a few exceptions that aim at exploring the interplay between culture and politics (Ku 1999; Wong 2000a; Lam W. 2004), the conventional political science approach to Hong Kong politics has tended to focus on a few concerns, e.g., analysis of Hong Kong people’s political orientations, political institutions, election processes and outcome, evolution of electoral rule, roles of political parties and other interest/pressure groups. (e.g., McMillen and DeGolyer 1993; Choy et al. 1995; Cheng 1999; Kuan et al. 1999; Kuan et al. 2002; Lau 2002; Ma and Choy 2003; Sing 2003; Sing 2004). While these are no doubt important issues, there is as yet insufficient attention given to the various forms of political participation as expressed in mass rallies, the internet, and other newly emerged popular cultural practices in Hong Kong. This chapter attempts to address this lacuna by examining in some detail both the form and contents of these emergent political-cultural practices and performances that have been observed in the 2003 and 2004, 1st July prodemocracy mass rallies and the electioneering of the Legislative Council (LegCo) election in 2004.