Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Election Episode 14 Recap

In the 1960 U.S. presidential election, the campaign between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy was very close. However, a knee injury to Nixon affected the voters' confidence in him and he was defeated. On the other hand, in 2008, the young and physically fit Barack Obama soundly defeated John McCain, who was rumoured to have cancer.

In Nixon's case, it was not the knee injury itself that hurt him; it was the fact that he appeared on the television debate looking sickly after his hospital stay. 

The doctored audio clip of Yip Ching (Angelica Lee) and Cheung Kwai Lung (Gregory Wong) is released by HKMG. In it, Cheung pleads with Yip Ching to think about their relationship, but she tells him to wait until after the election because she must rely on Wai Man Hin's name to win. Gei Man Wai (Isabel Chan) personally vouches for the authenticity of the clip, saying that she recorded it a few months ago when she was still in a relationship with Cheung.

Speaking to the press, Yip Ching firmly denies a romantic relationship with Cheung. Cheung rebukes Gei in front of the media for making up this story as revenge against him.

Meanwhile, Song Man San (Liu Kai-chi) has been having hallucinations of Luk Wai To because of the side effects of his medication. He asks his doctor to switch to another medication, albeit a less effective one.

With the latest news about Yip Ching and Cheung, Tsui Kam Chuen (Daniel Kwok) is willing to switch sides. He goes to Song with two different statements that he has prepared for his press conference – one that continues to support Yip Ching and one that criticizes her as untrustworthy. Tsui offers to let Song choose which statement he should give.

At Tsui's press conference, he says that neither Song nor Yip Ching are desirable candidates and urges citizens to cast a "blank vote". Song analyzes this situation and deems it favourable for his campaign because he has enough guaranteed votes from loyal supporters. The blank vote movement will only affect Yip Ching's supporters and undecided voters.

The blank vote is a proposal which would allow voters to vote for none of the candidates in the election – essentially, a "none of the above" option. If more than 50% of the votes cast are blank votes, then the election is declared void and the whole process is restarted. The idea is meant to be a "safeguard" in case the nomination committee puts forth a slate of undesirable candidates (see post on electoral reform). 

Ho Chun Pak (Samuel Kwok) and other senior DALP members have a meeting to discuss Yip Ching's latest scandal. They draft a statement that effectively abandons her as the DALP candidate, but Fong Kai Chiu (Alan Luk) convinces them to give her a chance to speak directly to the membership.

The next day, Yip Ching arrives at the DALP headquarters. Before she gives her speech, she asks to have a word with Ho. She tells him that she has nothing to lose in this election, but what about him? If Song wins, he will surely use his power as Chief Executive to oppress the DALP. As leader of a marginalized party, Ho would have next to no influence. At least if Yip Ching wins, he still has a chance of yielding some influence. She leaves him to think about this.

Speaking to the membership via webcast, Yip Ching states that an audio forensic expert can prove that the audio clip of her and Cheung is fake. In addition, she shows evidence that Tsui is only advocating for the blank vote because he made a deal with Song to drop his assault charges stemming from the protest. Yip Ching urges the membership to go out to vote in order to counter the blank vote movement. Lastly, she calls on Ho to say a few words. This time, he gives her his full endorsement.

Cheung pays a visit to Song. He says a bunch of stuff while discreetly leaving a recording device in Song's office. After Cheung leaves, Song has another hallucination of Luk Wai To. He hurls things at Luk, which, in reality, is just an empty chair.

After watching Song's outburst, Cheung deduces that he must have some kind of illness. He asks Poon Tsz Wan (Eunice Ho) to investigate further. Then, as he walks outside, a car races towards him and knocks him out. He regains consciousness at the sound of his phone ringing and manages to get up and stagger away. Meanwhile, Yip Ching notices Song's hand shaking uncontrollably while watching one of his speeches. She tries to call Cheung, but cannot reach him.

Poon finds Lee Tsz Kwan (Mimi Kung) at the hospital and questions her about Song's health condition, but Lee refuses to disclose anything.

Song meets with Sum Suet Lai (Violet Li), whose HKMG will be setting up the official debate between the Chief Executive candidates. He hands her a set of questions that he wants asked to himself and Yip Ching during the Q&A session. Kong Yat Dong (Samson Yeung) interrupts their meeting to inform Song that Poon has spoken to his wife. Upon hearing this, Song rips up the list of questions. He says that it is no longer necessary because he predicts that Yip Ching will not show up for the debate tomorrow.

Poon continues her investigation and finds out the name of Song's doctor. She goes to the clinic to look for him, but he has just stepped out. He meets with Song outside, who has a plane ticket ready for the doctor to fly to Taiwan immediately, no questions asked. Song tells the doctor to stay there until after the election and promises to appoint him to the board of the Hospital Authority afterwards.

With half an hour before the debate, Yip Ching is prepping backstage. Song comes in and asks to speak with her. He offers her a deal: if she skips the debate, he will give her the missing page from Wai Man Hin's death report, along with a video of the car crash. Yip Ching has to make one choice...

Election countdown: 22 days

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