Tuesday, August 18, 2009

..and They're Off!

It's the 18th, and the official start of the election campaign (never mind that we've been up to our knees in campaigning politicians for a couple of weeks already). Another twelve days and the thing will be over one way or another. Here's my predictions for the election, nice and precise so it'll be easy to see just how badly I did:

  • DPJ will be the largest party but they'll either just miss the majority mark or they'll get a razor thin majority that leaves them vulnerable to the whims of one or two diet members. Either way they'll need the support of other parties in the lower house, and will elect to work with the same parties they already depend on in the upper house. LDP will suggest a grand coalition but be turned down. They'll claim the DPJ is irresponsible, unpatriotic and really mean, nasty poopyheads for refusing to share when it was their power to begin with. So there.

  • The Insane Clown Posse Let's Preventatively Nuke Our Enemies To Increase Japans Greatness And Pave The Way For The Triumphant Return Of Our Alien Overlords, Jesus And Martin Luther To The Reformed Continent Of Atlantis In The Year 2400 Party1 Happiness Realization Party will get one surprise Diet member through the proportional representation system. Most of their voters feel very embarrassed about supporting them once they find out what the party platform really is.

  • The New Komeito will hold steady. They'll lose some loyal voters through attrition (many are elderly) but will pick up some LDP protest voters that sees a coalition partner vote as a safe way to show their displeasure.

  • JCP and the other small parties will continue to lose seats. With he current election system their days on the national scene is probably numbered, long term.

  • The LDP will face a historic loss. In the upcoming election for party leader its members will conclude that the problem was that a whole year with the same leader is just too long and kick Aso out of office. Aso, having been prime minister and led his party and himself into the history books, has nothing left to prove. He leaves politics to become a day-time TV talento with a penchant for bursting out in Enka at inopportune moments.

    For all its faults, and despite a loss of power, the LDP itself turns out to still be far too valuable as an umbrella organization for its members to abandon it. Instead it will have a couple of small hard-core ideological factions fighting for control over the direction of the party. Meanwhile, most elected members politely ignore them and transform the party into a generic election platform for their own individual agendas. The LDP becomes the first true franchise party where anybody with a will and a wallet can join to push their own agenda.

So there you have it. If I turn out to be right for some strange reason I will of course revisit this post to gloat a bit. If I'm wrong you'll never hear a word of this again.

#1 I'm not joking. Of course, their beliefs are really no more absurd or divorced from reality than that of any religion; the old established ones just have a patina of age and a lot of followers to gives them a veneer of respectability.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know the Happiness Party was quite so sane. Compared to two other religions that seem to have way too much influence in Japan, I don't think we can complain.

    I'm not so sure that the JCP will decline. After the inevitable sell-out by the DPJ, and the coming depression, some folks will look for an alternative.


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