The streets are festooned with election banners. Vertical panels of light nylon cut to a standard size, mounted on thin poles which are taped and metal-wired to all available street furniture. Every square inch of air above the railings on the four-sided pedestrian overpass at a junction nearby now filled with shit-eating grins and colour-saturated backdrops. All fluttering madly in the Autumn breeze. From a distance it looks like Manchu infantry massing over the tops of the buses.
On each banner the image of a candidate looking cheerful and resolute. Poised on a mountain bike or dressed for the baseball diamond. Everywhere you look, some over-coiffed would-be servant of the people is giving you the thumbs up.
Only a few are unsmiling, concentrating instead on establishing solemn eye-contact with you the passerby. One has this as his slogan: Please give me one more chance! Another, this: Don’t let tragedy be replayed! Also: Don’t let Ah-Chung lose the election! Pathos sells. Now that the campaign is in its final desperate days, several have updated their slogans with Save XX!! in dramatic red-and-black characters. Also variations on Give Youth a Chance! and Women have the Talent!
The candidate who gets your support: a cheeky grin beaming off the side of city buses and an easy-to-remember message in two huge Chinese characters: 選我! VOTE FOR ME!
Didi in tears
as it’s lugged out the door: