I just voted; the nice folks at Discon III updated my email address (my fault) and I was able to pay my Site Selection Fee ($50 *), obtain my voting “token”, download and print out the ballot, placing an “X” in the box for Winnipeg.
I voted for Winnipeg because the alternative is voting in support of a regime that is currently engaged in genocide.
I know that’s harsh. I know that may feel like stretching the facts a bit to some, but it is the way I strongly feel.
There are other reasons as well, not the least of which can be summed up by the following, which was originally quoted in an article I wrote here:
Responding to the bid question “What do diversity and inclusion mean to you?”
““Diversity is about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin. Inclusion is an organizational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated.” (Yeah, emphasis mine.)
Apparently though, the Chinese government wants to use Worldcon as proof that the Uighurs, an ethnic and religious minority in China, doesn’t qualify under their definition of diversity.
Yes, the Chinese government, which has already publicly admitted as much –
“…new investors lured into the market by Liu Cixin’s Hugo win and the adaptation of his novel into a film. What had formerly been a community of underpaid amateurs transformed in the late 2010s into a scrum of holding companies and management entities, cannily exploiting the genre as a means of converting local currency into overseas rights-sales. Such speculation in Chinese sf, quite literally as a “futures market”, has had a demonstrable impact on its higher profile abroad.” (SF Encyclopedia)
Whether the Fans are being manipulated or the purposes to which a Chinese Worldcon are being manipulated is hardly a difference, though it is worth noting that we have not seen overt collaboration on the part of Chinese Fans and we’ll assume, absent voluminous and pointed evidence to the contrary, that they are not in collaboration with their government, but it hardly matters as the Chinese government is monolithic and ubiquitous and surveils the fans and visitors to their country with equal “diversity”.
Do not vote for Chengdu for 2023; a Chinese Worldcon at this juncture does not serve the best interests of Fandom – it only serves the purposes of a genocidal dictatorship.