Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's local election time in our neighborhood. Banners are up entreating residents to "Seriously and studiously carry out the legal regulations regarding elections, and ensure the smooth running of an election according to the law."


Posted in the bulletin board at the gate to our community is the list of candidates for being elected representatives to the People's Congress, posted by the Congress 筹备组 (preparatory team?).


Since I'm a sucker for data, this name list is interesting to me.

Sex Year Month Ethnic Party Edu Work
1 F 1950 6 Han CCP MS gov
2 M 1964 7 Han Peasants BA gov
3 M 1958 8 Han CCP AA gov
4 F 1962 1 Han CCP AA gov
5 F 1944 12 Han CCP MS gov
6 F 1971 1 Han CCP AA gov
7 M 1956 11 Han CCP AA gov
8 M 1955 2 Han CCP AA gov
9 M 1952 3 Han CCP MS gov
10 M 1958 6 Han Public AA com
11 M 1952 3 Han CCP MS gov
12 M 1951 4 Han CCP MS com
13 M 1962 2 Han CCP HS com
14 M 1971 4 Mongol Public Masters com
15 F 1949 5 Han CCP HS gov
16 M 1958 10 Han CCP HS gov
17 F 1941 9 Han CCP MS gov

Some trends:

  • A majority of candidates were born in the 50s. The oldest will be 68 this year, the (two) youngest will be 38.
  • Education is inversely correlated with age, and the most common levels of education are completion of middle school and AA degrees (junior college/vocational).
  • Eighty-two percent of the candidates are members of the Chinese Communist Party. The only other party represented is the Peasants and Workers Democratic Party.
  • Three quarters of the candidates already work for the government, mostly on neighborhood committees, with titles like secretary, Party team leader, 留守人员(?), doctor at a health clinic, and Party branch committee member.
  • The private sector candidates come from middle and upper management.
  • The most interesting candidate — in that his background is very different from the rest of the group — is candidate #14. Besides being one of the youngest candidates, born in 1971, he claims Mongolian heritage status, is not a member of any political party, is the only candidate with any higher education (MA), and works as a manager in a consulting company.

It would take a lot of background information to explain these, which I don't have time for right now. The next step is a narrowing down of the list through discussion by the 选民小组, and then the actual election will take place. It's all laid out in the 上海市区县及乡镇人民代表大会代表直接选举实施细则 (Detailed Rules for the Shanghai Municipal District and Township People's Congress Representative Direct Elections), for those interested.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Incredibly, the UI designers for our office printer seem to have geared it towards people who feel compelled to press the same button over and over again to communicate their urgency to the machine (like at crosswalks). Pressing the green button over and over again seems to solve any just about any problem aside from paper jams.

Monday, June 01, 2009


From our Sunday outing to Jiaxing (嘉兴), a little Hangzhou with rice-dumplings. Forty-five minutes by train from Shanghai.


■ Departed SH at 1pm, RMB 13 for a 46 minute train ride to Jiaxing.
■ Taxi to Nanhu south gate.
■ Boat tour of Nanhu, island, pagoda, etc. RMB 60 pp.
■ Lunch at small local restaurant, finished off with rice dumpling from Wufangzhai.
■ Taxi to Yuehe Laojie (月河老街), a restored water-town street in downtown Jiaxing.
■ Dinner along the river at 月庭轩; good food, great service.
■ Taxi back to the station, 8:30 bullet train back to SH.

More photos on Flickr.