2 article(s) found.
Mass Production of Individualized Services: Machine Politics in Hong Kong
Keywordconstituency services; non-programmatic benefits; Hong Kong elections; machine politics; pro-Beijing parties
Political machines are built to distribute spoils, buy support, and influence election outcome. Existing research argues that political machines target poor and illiterate voters because their votes are cheap to acquire with non-programmatic benefits. Using the case of Hong Kong, we critically examine the extent to which the ruling coalition utilizes non-programmatic benefits in elections where votes are generally too expensive to purchase. Using interviews with local councilors and data from the 2015 Hong Kong Election Study, we find that: (1) pro-Beijing parties tend to specialize in the provision of highly individualized services; (2) demand for these services tends to come from non-poor citizens; and (3) unable to monitor individual votes, pro-Beijing parties use services and benefits to influence the turnout of the recipients, rather than their vote choice. These findings suggest that the growing electoral strength of pro-Beijing parties in Hong Kong reflects their responsiveness to constituent demands.
Political Party Supporters in Hong Kong Elections (in English)
The conventional approach of measuring party identification is applicable to political systems in which (1) the electoral competition is mainly between two major parties, (2) both parties are established and entrenched, (3) the electoral system is stable. To gauge party identification in a multi-party setting or in an early stage of election and party development, a modified and novel scheme is required. This article takes the vote choice as the starting point to gauge the sentiment of support among the Hong Kong electorate towards the political parties. An elector's vote choice is cross-checked by a number of other factors in order to ascertain the strength of the support. Through such a multiple step scheme, the approximate proportion of political party supporters among the Hong Kong electorate in the first two legislative elections held respectively in 1991 and 1995 can be estimated. Thus, the scheme can be a feasible one to substitute political party identification for the sake of gauging and measuring the relationship between voters and parties in the early stage of electoral development in a particular territory.