Saturday, June 19, 2021

I Ran

Watching BBC News earlier today, I was struck by some key characteristics of the current Iranian election:

  • The ruling elite selects the winner in advance and ensures that their selected candidate receives the most votes.
  • To make sure of this, many popular opposition figures are barred from standing for office.
  • The government also puts pressure on the media to suppress dissenting voices. 
  • However, the government does not exercise ultimate authority; on all major decisions, it defers to the dictates of a self-appointed higher power that tolerates no defiance.
  • In the face of this situation, many citizens are becoming disillusioned with the prospects of achieving change through electoral politics and are not bothering to vote.

Now, where else in the world does this remind me of?

Friday, June 04, 2021

Lest We (Are Forced to) Forget

Few people in Hong Kong take the South China Morning Post seriously as a news source any more, but one of the few remaining points of excellene in the paper is Harry's cartoons.  With the Victoria Park candlelight vigil banned for the second consecutive year, the June 4th Museum closed on the bureaucratic  pretext that it requires a public entertainment licence (massacres are so entertaining, aren't they?), and organisers of the vigil being arrested or already in prison, today's cartoon is particularly poignant: 

The Hong Kong Free Press also has a number of articles marking the date.  And Hemlock is incisive as usual - pointing out that the aurhorities' clumsy efforts to suppress remembrance of the 1989 events are merely bringing more attention to them (the Streisand effect at work).

P.S. A valuable resource: How to Respond to Tiananmen Trolls.