Who says Shanghai’s not ready for democracy!?

shanghai ballot 1.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

This was sent to me by a reader in Shaghai, and it’s too good to pass up. Here’s what they wrote.
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Last night I saw this article (below), in the Shanghai Daily. In a nutshell, Shanghainese can vote online for the colors of the city’s new garbage trucks. I thought this was amusing because on PD we have discussed how some Chinese leaders maintain that the Chinese people are “not ready” for democracy, meanwhile nothing is ever done to make them more “ready”.

Well, first we had voting for the Super Yoghurt Girl. Now we have voting for the color of Shanghai’s garbage trucks! I say elections of national leadership can’t be far off! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Personally, I’m hoping Shanghainese readers will place their vote for the dark blue color scheme, which would add a dignified splash of color to the city. However, if the voters choose the day-glo lime green, I just may join those declaring that Chinese are “not ready” for voting.


Vote for construction garbage vehicles!

Winny Wang
Shanghai Daily
February 15, 2006

THE colorful fate of nearly 6,000 vehicles
transporting construction garbage in Shanghai will be
decided by an online vote at www.sh1111.gov.cn
starting today. The vote will close on February 25, by
9am.

The activity aims at changing the appearance of the
vehicles, to better fit in with the city’s image. The
government will award 100 yuan (US$12.42) to 100
voters from a lucky draw. Ten of the first 1,000
voters who pick the same winning color will win 1,000
yuan.

Shanghai generates more than 20 million tons of
construction garbage every year, which is carried by a
fleet of designated vehicles. These vehicles, which
are often driven and parked carelessly and seen as
ugly, and influence residents’ lives and the city’s
image.

The government will begin a three-year campaign to
improve the appearance of these vehicles before the
World Expo.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

Do you have to be a Shanghai resident? I vote for lemon color!
Seriously though, it is a slippery slope that Shanghai has set itself on. First the people vote for sanitation vehicles next city buses…where will it all lead?

February 16, 2006 @ 6:44 am | Comment

Americans’ lack of ability to choose their own garbage truck color will now surface in China’s next human rights report on America..

February 16, 2006 @ 3:13 pm | Comment

Garbage truck democracy in Shanghai

Via Peking Duck and Asiapundit we learned of this posting in the Shanghai Daily: The colorful fate of nearly 6,000 vehicles transporting construction garbage in Shanghai will be decided by an online vote at http://www.sh1111.gov.cn starting today. The vote wi…

February 16, 2006 @ 5:23 pm | Comment

Because I didn’t see an actual link to the voting page:

http://www.sh1111.gov.cn/ztcpx/tp.asp

It requires a valid national ID number to vote.

February 16, 2006 @ 7:30 pm | Comment

Thanks Micah.

February 16, 2006 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

I don’t understand, isn’t this transparency in gov’t that you guys have been calling for? Now that there’s a substantial step made in giving citizens information and encouraging public participation, and you make fun of it. Please stop contradicting yourself.

February 16, 2006 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

CH, darling, we are saying we wish this right to vote could be extended beyond garbage trucks. get that?

February 16, 2006 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

Right on, rich.

Choosing garbage trucks is a joke to the people who wish there to be representation and transparancy in China. Nation wide local elections would be a vast improvement than choosing garbage truck paint, which has almost no bearing on the well being of the Chinese people.

February 16, 2006 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

Skystreaker, remember – initially, voting in the US was restricted to white male land-owners. You gotta start somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

Little things like this and Super Girl are giving people a subtle taste of voting. In this case, although the issue is not a political one, Shanghainese really are participating in a gov’t decision. That’s worth something. Maybe before long they will get a chance to vote on garbage collection ordinances or something similar. Who knows?

Genies are hard to cram back into bottles.

February 16, 2006 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Choosing garbage trucks is a joke to the people who wish there to be representation and transparancy in China. Nation wide local elections would be a vast improvement than choosing garbage truck paint, which has almost no bearing on the well being of the Chinese people.

For a city like Shanghai, the population is about 20+million, to say that garbage collection has no bearing in people’s lives is truly disgusting. Anyone even remotely familiar with city planning knows that garbage collection and sewage processing is of critical importance. By triavilizing the public service of the municipal gov’t and its benefits on the citizens, you have just shown that you don’t give squat about the welfare of the Chinese people.

February 16, 2006 @ 11:22 pm | Comment

“For a city like Shanghai, the population is about 20+million, to say that garbage collection has no bearing in people’s lives is truly disgusting.”

I think that the point being made is not that the public service of trash collection has no bearing on people’s lives, but rather that the color of the truck hauling the waste is irrelevant. You see, it is ironic that people of Shanghai are allowed to vote for the color of the garbage truck but not for the sanitation commissioner.
If you are able to muster a powerful defense for your deeply held conviction that the color of garbage trucks is integral to the well-being of Shanghai’s burgeoning populace, I would love to hear it. Your task should be easy, as the CCP have a long and well-regarded record where civic aesthetics are concerned.

February 17, 2006 @ 11:24 am | Comment

Liu, thank you for clearing that up to China_hand.

February 17, 2006 @ 12:38 pm | Comment

You’re either retarded, or a great debator because you reframe the issue. In either case, it’d devoid of common sense and reasoning.

February 17, 2006 @ 12:51 pm | Comment

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