Friday, May 15, 2009

The race is on

..and it's a sprint. DPJ (read:Ozawa) decided that an election for the next leader should be held sooner rather than later. It's due tomorrow Saturday, which is very, very fast. "It is" also decided that it's an election among the Diet members only rather than the party rank and file. The aim is clearly to push Yukio Hatoyama, a long-time Ozawa loyalist, as the next leader over Okada, the other front runner.

It's certainly fair enough; Ozawa may be leaving, but it's due to external pressures, not because he has disgraced himself within the party. It's only natural for him to have a say in choosing his successor. Besides, what's the point of being a politician if you can't even play politics in your own political party?

Will Ozawa's plan succeed, though? The majority of factions in DPJ lean towards Hatoyama, but Jun Okamura points out that the grassroots and the general public favour Okada. Enough diet members may well read the election tea leaves and break with their factions to give Okada the upper hand. Who will win? I have not a clue, but we have less than two days to find out.

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