Generation 40s – 四十世代

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愈年輕愈投本土/自決派一票

明報
筆陣
2017-05-11
蔡子強、陳雋文

上個星期(5月4日),通過整理選舉事務處公布的立法會選舉投票數據,點出近年年輕人投票行為模式的兩大重要特徵,分別是:

一、在雨傘運動之後,年輕人無論在區議會選舉或立法會選舉,投票意欲都有明顯的上升,尤其是立選,投票率增幅尤其驚人,遠高於中年及老年人的增幅;

二、年輕人對立法會選舉的投票意欲,要遠遠高於區議會選舉。

今個星期,通過整理兩個於2012年及2016年立法會選舉後所作的研究,再點出年輕人投票行為模式的另外一些重要特徵。

<u>愈年輕愈投票泛民 愈年長愈投票建制</u>

表1是我與同事馬嶽及前同事黃鶴回兩位教授,在2012年立法會選舉後所作的一個研究當中的部分數據。

當中可見,這些數據所呈現出來的圖象,與大家的常識脗合,那就是愈年輕的人,愈會在選舉中投票給泛民;相反,愈年長的人,卻愈會投票給建制派。在青年(18至39歲)組別,有差不多三分之二的人投票給泛民,與投票給建制的,相差42個百分點;至於中年(40至59歲)組別,雖然投票給泛民的仍然佔多,但差距已經明顯收窄,只餘7個百分點;到了老年(60歲或以上)組別,情况更出現逆轉,投票給建制的已經反佔多數,而且多出近12個百分點。

青年人初出茅廬,尤其是剛離開學校(當中相當比例指的是大學),仍比較理想化,心態上仍是比較嚮往民主、自由、人權等理念,對權威反感,因此投票時,也較鍾情民主派;至於建制派那套保守政治論述,不易聽得入耳,亦因此很難投建制派一票。

但中年人要「撐起頭家」,需面對生活壓力,供樓、畀家用、照顧高堂、負擔子女教育開支,慢慢就變得比較現實,亦更易接受建制派強調安定、繁榮、和諧的那套保守政治論述,於是也有不少人投建制派一票。

到了老年人,隨着步入暮年,他們不單心態上變得比中年人更保守,更抗拒轉變以至「激烈」的東西,且很多早年未有機會接受良好教育,對民主、自由、人權等理念比較「無感」,且大多數是早年大陸移民,較易被「愛國」、民族主義那套打動;最後,更是建制派「蛇齋餅糭」政治攻略的主要市場所在,於是更大比例的投建制派一票。

<u>那麼本土/自決派出現之後又如何?</u>

2012年立選,本土/自決派仍未成氣候;但到了2016年立選,卻變得來勢洶洶,他們甚至聲言要與傳統泛民、建制「三分天下」。那麼不同年齡層,尤其是青年人,他們的投票取向又出現了怎樣的變化呢?

表2是港大民意研究計劃在2016年立法會選舉後所作的一個研究當中的部分數據。

當中可見,在青年組別,投給「泛民+本土/自決派」的,與2012年那個研究一樣,都是佔了三分之二左右,且有所上升,由上屆的64.8%,上升至今屆的67.58%;相反,愈年長的人,卻愈會投票給建制派,到了老年組別,情况更出現逆轉,投票給建制的已經反佔多數,同樣多出近12個百分點。

但更重要的是,如果我們把「泛民+本土/自決派」分拆為溫和泛民(民主黨、公民黨、工黨、民協等)、激進泛民(人社同盟)、本土/自決派(熱普城、青政、眾志等)三大板塊,我們更能仔細看到青年人的投票取向。

<u>青年人對本土/自決派尤為鍾情</u>

從表2中可見,青年對本土/自決派最為鍾情,三成人投票給他們,冠於所有政治板塊;如果把「激進泛民+本土/自決派」合併來計,更進一步高達四成多,高於溫和泛民的兩成半,更遑論建制派的不足兩成。

這和大家的常識脗合,那就是青年人是本土/自決派的主要票源,最為鍾情本土、自決及其他激進政治主張,最為躁動不安、急於求變,易為這些激進政治力量所動員和吸納。相反,老年人卻對他們最為抗拒,亦最少投票給他們,只有5%。

我相信有讀者會問,前述我們在整理數據時,把年輕組別定為18至39歲,但如果進一步收窄為18至29歲,那就是真的剛離開校門最年輕熱血的那個年紀,情况又如何呢?表3我們整理了有關數字。

從表3中可見,我們看到情况更加一面倒,18至29歲這群人,有高達八成支持「泛民+本土/自決派」!他們更對本土/自決派最為鍾情,四成人投票給本土/自決派;如果把「激進泛民+本土/自決派」合併來計,更進一步高達五成,即是每兩票就有一票投給他們!

這似乎真的應驗了一句:愈年輕,愈激進。

(本文部分數據由港大民意研究計劃提供,特此鳴謝港大民研計劃以及鍾庭耀和Edward Tai)

(傘運前後年輕人的投票模式剖析 三之二)

2016


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Hong Kong Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai should come down from his ivory tower

South China Morning Post
CommentInsight & Opinion
2017-05-08

Alice Wu says with his latest idea for yet another impractical voting strategy, the Occupy Central co-founder shows that he does not understand the complexities that come from working with people

Human progress owes a lot to the many who have taken on the rigorous exercise of repeating their experiments, toughing it out through the painful cycle of formulating, testing and modifying hypotheses without any promise of a favourable outcome. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Benny Tai Yiu-ting cannot be accused of lacking conviction and boldness. The associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong who initiated the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement has so much faith in his “path to democracy” that it’s almost of Biblical proportions. Following Occupy, he initiated “ThunderGo, the strategic voting scheme for the Legislative Council election last year, led Citizens United in Action to launch a “civil referendum”, via an online app, ahead of the chief executive election in March, and most recently unveiled “Project Storm” for the 2019 district council elections.

Occupy Central turned into something even Tai admitted was “beyond what [he] imagined”. Though somewhat dulled by time, the emotive reactions evoked by the mere mention of it remain strong today. It was his brainchild. But when it hit the ground in the autumn of 2014, it quickly spiralled out of control. Love and peace were lost in the process. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Unfortunately, Tai seems to have learned little from that. When real people are involved, things get messy; that, in essence, is politics. Subsequently, his strategic voting weapon – ThunderGo – was blamed for contributing to the defeat of a few pan-democrats due to a lack of accurate information flows, which is a very practical problem that should have been foreseen. Similarly, his civic referendum for the chief executive election this year failed because it did not address the security risks involved when handling people’s personal information. So, in short, it was again inexecutable. One cannot simply ignore the human factor – people can get hurt, for real.

And now, there are reasonable grounds to suspect the practicality of Project Storm. What Tai proposes – for the pro-democracy camp to try to field candidates in all constituencies in the district council elections – is simple fantasy. Political parties field as many candidates as they can in elections, as that is their bread and butter. Resources, or rather a lack of, usually dictate matters. Imagine if there were unlimited political aspirants and unlimited resources to cover campaign costs. There would be no uncontested seats, for one thing. Yet, maximising outcome with minimum wasted effort and expense is something we all have to live with, including politicians.

Tai’s plan also requires that all pro-democracy parties take up his campaign message. But no amount of “faith” will achieve this, unless he is ready to get involved in the day-to-day frustrations and hard work of dealing with people who have their own minds and ways of working. He will have to deal with people trying to align different views and interests for a common cause (basically, the work of running any political party), rather than just telling them what to do without a care for what that entails.

Tai saw Occupy Central as a political and social awakening. It’s time that he, too, was awakened to reality. Once is chance, twice is coincidence, the third time is habit. His loftiness extends beyond his ideas. And should he not address that – the arrogance that he is somehow above the very real and messy problems people face – the impracticality of walking his path will remain, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever shall be.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA


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Hong Kong must now heed the lessons of Occupy, and move on

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
OCCUPY CENTRAL
2015-10-06

Gary Cheung

Gary Cheung says we should learn from the collective failure to bridge the political divide, rather than looking for heroes where there are none

Hundreds of people gathered outside government headquarters in Admiralty on September 28 to commemorate the first anniversary of the Occupy Central protests. Yet, supporters of the civil disobedience campaign and pro-democracy movement should move beyond commemorating the event and chanting slogans demanding “genuine universal suffrage”. Lessons need to be learned if Hong Kong’s democracy fight is to move forward.

As Spanish philosopher and novelist George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” With these words in mind, all those concerned about the development of our city should reflect on how the historic talks between top officials and student leaders, at the height of the protests last October, became a missed opportunity.

Indeed, the outcome may have been different had officials delivered what was expected. During the talks, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told leaders of the Federation of Students that the government would submit a report to the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office to reflect the public sentiment since the protests began. The government would also consider setting up a multiparty platform for talks on constitutional development beyond 2017.

However, Professor Joseph Chan Cho-wai, a political scientist and one of the middlemen involved in bringing the two sides together, said that during preparatory meetings, officials were positive about their suggestion the platform should also cover methods for electing the chief executive in 2017.

Chan said Lam “backtracked a bit” during the talks. He and Gloria Chang Wan-ki, another intermediary, regretted that students had not pressed Lam for more details. Worse, student leaders failed to adhere to a prior understanding of giving a “mixed response” to the proposals, that is, not rejecting them outright while maintaining they would not fully meet their expectations. Instead, they lashed out at the government when they spoke to protesters that night. Some criticised officials for “playing tricks” and “fudging the issue”, effectively burning their bridges. No further dialogue was held.

Government officials meet council members from the Federation of Students last October. Photo: Sam Tsang”What if?” is a favourite question of historians. What if students had reacted less militantly or stuck to the “mixed response”? What if there had been further dialogue? While it is unlikely that Beijing would have made substantial concessions on how to elect the chief executive by “one man, one vote” in 2017, there was a chance for students and pro-democracy groups to fight for a more democratic blueprint on the basis of the government’s proposals. Even if Beijing had still rejected all room for amendments, a positive response by students to Lam’s olive branch could have avoided playing into the hands of hardliners in the central and Hong Kong governments.

In times of uncertainty, many Hongkongers look for heroes and have condoned the misjudgments made by the students during that momentous period in the city’s history.

History will remember the efforts of Chan, Chang and others who came forward. The role of University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson, who joined Lam and the middlemen for a meeting at his residence on October 16, should also not be forgotten. That meeting helped pave the way for the talks five days later.

Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, lamented: “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

Huxley will be proved right if we do not bother to learn from the lessons of our history.

Gary Cheung is the Post’s political editor


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Playing at politics: Student leader’s tell all of HKU council’s rejection of Johannes Chan’s appointment was a poor decision

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2015-10-05

Alice Wu

Alice Wu says by disclosing what he heard behind closed doors on why Johannes Chan was rejected for a senior post, student leader broke his own pledge but failed to further the academic’s cause

The University of Hong Kong’s pro-vice-chancellor saga became a witch-hunt the moment the news media got involved. And once that happened, what has always been an internal university matter and process was thrown into the public domain. All gloves were off at that point – and the wish to keep that process inside the university became absolutely “wishful”.

Academic politics doesn’t have a reputation of playing nice to begin with – think Columbia University professor Wallace Stanley Sayre’s famous quip: “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.” Throw into that mix the increasingly ferocious and vindictive nature of the news media and its love for stoking and exploiting fears, and there was very little chance of a happy ending.

The pro-vice-chancellor appointment has been politicised. And it is tragic. But however monstrous the process, no one can take away Johannes Chan Man-mun’s international standing and his achievements as an academic, professor and counsel.

All politics could do was take away Chan’s pro-vice-chancellor seat, which measures meagerly against what he has already accomplished. We can be sure that his crucial work in public law and human rights and stimulating public debate over Hong Kong’s legal developments will continue, regardless of whether he manages staff at HKU. His words will continue to carry weight.

But consider what politics has taken away from the university’s student union president Billy Fung Jing-en. Perhaps he felt justified in not respecting the council’s confidentiality pledge since the body had already gone against the usual practice of rubber-stamping the search committee’s recommendation. Perhaps he felt compelled to disclose who said what due to the “ludicrousness” of their comments. Whatever his reasons, his future is now at risk.

Johannes Chan’s crucial work in public law and human rights and stimulating public debate over Hong Kong’s legal developments will continue, regardless of whether he manages staff at HKU. Photo: Sam Tsang

Deliberative privilege is there to foster free and frank debate, to protect those who participate in the debate from harassment, censure and recrimination – regardless of whether what they say is ludicrous or not. By outing who said what and openly speculating about who voted which way in a secret ballot, Fung is participating in the very things he is standing up against. There are reasons for rules and practices. Fung proved that things were nasty, which we already knew; why else would Professor Yuen Kwok-yung quit after the students’ storming of the council meeting in July? Yuen did not reveal what was said in the council meeting; he considered that the politics was beyond his faculty and he would be better off returning to his work in infectious diseases and mucor spores instead.

If the students’ storming of the meeting was not conducive to solving the problem, the breaching of confidentiality was of no help to anyone, especially Fung. He has tarnished his integrity, and his action did not help Chan get appointed. Nor did it prove that there was any academic interference, which is at the heart of the appointment controversy. “He said/she said” serves little purpose, in fact.

What Fung did gave him media attention, but he paid for it with giving away his “word”, which closes doors and will strip him of opportunities in the future. Any breach of confidence, in a whole list of professions, cannot be justified where confidentiality is required. No matter how “ludicrous” he may find the rationale, many people, including potential employers, would be worried – and rightfully so – about when Fung might be next “compelled” to risk others’ right to nondisclosure.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA


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Is the pressure being put on the University of Hong Kong payback for being a political troublemaker?

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2015-08-20

Timothy O’Leary

Timothy O’Leary says HKU, not unlike Socrates the ‘stinging fly’, plays a vital role in society by nurturing young minds, and should not bow to political pressure

Speaking as a professor of philosophy, I am very encouraged to see the strength and occasional virulence of recent attacks on the University of Hong Kong. This is a sure sign that the university is carrying out its true mission in society.

Last year, during the events of the Umbrella Movement, the university played a key role in the most important social movement this city has seen in recent decades. The streets have now been cleared, but the recent events at the university suggest there is still one piece of work the government wants to conclude. HKU, it would seem, needs to be shown that harbouring, encouraging and educating troublemakers will not go unpunished. And it is particularly the Faculty of Law that has drawn the anger of the establishment.

As a philosopher, I might be envious at this focus on that faculty. After all, philosophy is the original troublemaker. Socrates, in ancient Athens, described himself as a stinging fly who would bite the citizens of Athens to try to wake them from their thoughtless sleep. And, in the classical Chinese tradition, Zhuangzi mocked, provoked and harangued his fellow citizens to make them question their rigid, traditional ways of thinking.

Recent events in Hong Kong, however, show that this role of stinging fly is by no means limited to the discipline of philosophy. It is, in fact, the role of the university as a whole – humanities, social sciences, law, natural sciences, even medical sciences. The mission of the university is to provide a place for the free and open pursuit of knowledge. Its mission is to nurture young minds, to open them to new horizons of possibility. If those new horizons encompass new forms of government and society, that is something of which the university should be proud. If those visions bring young people peacefully onto the street, then the city, despite the inconvenience, should be grateful.

To provide a place in which this can happen is not something for which a university should be punished; it should be praised. Socrates was condemned to death by the pro-establishment parties of his city on a charge of “corrupting the youth”. In accordance with legal practice in Athens, he was offered the chance to suggest a lesser penalty. He suggested that he should be offered food at the city’s expense, like the Olympic athletes, in recognition of his contribution to public life. For this blatant arrogance, he was executed.

Nobody is about to be executed in Hong Kong. For that we should be thankful. But, in a way, something just as serious is happening. HKU, as the flagship university in the city, is being subjected to political pressure. Public discussion in Hong Kong often appeals to the value of rationality. Well, is there any other rational explanation for the recent actions of the HKU council? How else can we explain its continued stalling in the appointment of Professor Johannes Chan, former dean of the Faculty of Law and therefore the former “boss” of the much-maligned Benny Tai Yiu-ting? The explanation given by the council chairman, that we must wait until a new provost is appointed, is absurd in the extreme.

This is not just a matter that affects HKU. It affects all the universities in Hong Kong, it affects all the schools in Hong Kong, and it will affect all the people of Hong Kong. If the university is forced to bow to political pressure, the whole city will suffer. The only question facing the people of Hong Kong is, do we want our leading university to be an institution that does the bidding of its political masters, or do we want it to be independent of such short-term political demands? Do we want a university that bows to political pressure and toes a party line, or a university that nurtures a new generation of independent, creative and critical thinkers? Members of the HKU council should consider these questions when they next meet. They should be aware of the potential damage they will cause the university they serve if they continue to refuse to follow established practice and approve this appointment. Before they swat the stinging fly, they should think of the invaluable service that the fly performs for our city.

Timothy O’Leary is professor of philosophy and head of the School of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong