Monday, July 13, 2009

Election, Braindeath

Election time is finally coming around, and the entire Japanese politics blog world just wet itself in collective anticipation.

The LDP took a hammering at the polls in the local Tokyo elections, losing control of the local assembly to the opposition. Prime minister Aso Tarō's position was looking more uncertain by the hour; the long knives were drawn and the push was already on to force another leadership election. So he's pulling the trigger on the only gun he has left and calling for national elections on August 30th.

This most likely means that the LDP will go to the polls with Aso at the helm - the same Aso that is (fairly or unfairly) blamed for the recent election defeats in Tokyo, Nara and elsewhere, and that is openly being called a disaster for his party. Since the alternative - hold a leadership election and trot out yet another new face just weeks before the real event - is even worse, the LDP will probably just have to grin and bear it.

In a bit of delightful coincidence, the Japanese diet today passed a law defining brain death to be legal death. The purpose is to make it easier to obtain consent for transplantation, and to transplant organs from donors younger than 15 years of age (something that up until now had been illegal). It's a welcome change, and one that puts Japan in line with many other countries.

The parallels to a headless LDP still breathing and shedding disaffected members to other parties ahead of its fall is of course purely coincidental, but no less enjoyable for that.

1 comment:

RMilner said...

From what I've read, the DPJ is not a solid alternative but an agglomeration of various factions whose main characteristic is that they are not the LDP.