Who Needs Democracy When You Have Reality TV?

July 13, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Perhaps seeing how popular Donald Trump became by yelling “you’re fired”, a reality TV show has been launched in the Chinese province of Shanxi writes The Economist:

  • Contestants on the show are local city officials within the province who have to convince judges that their city is the best city.
  • The studio audience then votes. The city that wins gets to play host to a lucrative tourism-development conference.
  • This is unprecedented on many levels. Local officials engaging with the public is rare enough. But to have their performance evaluated by the masses is unchartered territory for the Chinese government.
  • Contestants have risen to the challenge. One suffered from a slipped disc, but continued to rehearse her speech flat on her back.
  • The government seems to allow it because the province’s economy is slowing. The show is great exposure and a boost for tourism.
  • The people, for their part, wonder if it’s possible to arrange something similar, but include all the provinces, and maybe even call it an “election”.

Read more here.

Source: The Economist