Monday, July 22, 2013

Upper House Election

We've had an election for the upper house here, and the results where entirely predictable, and fairly muddled. For personal and other reasons I no longer dedicate much time to read and think about Japanese politics; I know this comes as a relief for most of you.

In short, the DPJ predictably collapsed; Hashimoto's new party has lost most of its new-face appeal after his blunders; LDP regained much of its former support; and the Communists gained a few seats. All very predictable, almost inevitable, and as a result only about half of all voters actually voted. Many people didn't see much appeal in any candidate, and since the outcome was inevitable anyway there was little point.

Tobias Harris has a long, good analysis of the result. The short of it is that LDP didn't manage a majority of their own, so they depend on New Komeito for support. The parties in favour of constitutional reform didn't get a supermajority, so nobody can press through any changes unopposed. And as New Komeito is against removing the pacifist clause among other changes, Abe will have a hard time actually changing the constitution in the direction he wants.

Our Man In Abiko has a short take on the election that pretty much sums up my own mood on it as well. People I don't care for won the election, but it's not like there was a credible alternative; and besides the shape of the post-election landscape means it doesn't matter much either way.

No, I'm not going to return to regular political posts — don't worry — but I did want to get this off my chest.

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