Friday, September 14, 2007

The Second Day in the LDP Sweeps: or, I'll Work for Food

I lost my money, I lost my car, I lost my house

It looked like the revenge of the doves, with Makoto Koga (Niwa-Koga faction; 46 members), Taku Yamazaki (Yamazaki faction; 38 members), and Sadakazu Tanigaki (Tanigaki faction; 15 members); lining up behind Yasuo Fukuda (Machimura faction; 80 members). If each one of them were able to deliver all their member votes that would already give Mr. Fukuda 179 votes out of the 387 Diet member votes. None of the other faction heads have made a move to support Mr. Aso (Aso faction, 15 votes). The other possible candidate, Fukushiro Nukaga, belongs to the Tsushima faction, which has 67 members. The 47 prefectural LDP chapters have three votes each, so the candidates will be contesting 528 votes. Since the winner needs an absolute majority to win (if necessary, there will be a run-off between the top two finishers), Mr. Aso is not quite toast yet. Still, one day later, things are looking bad for him. According to media reports, two specific issues are being raised against him:

1) He is too closely identified with the Abe regime.
2) He unwittingly told the world that he'd known about Mr. Abe's desire to resign two days before the deed. So, the party faithful are blaming him for allowing the resignation to proceed in the most god-awful manner conceivable, embarrassing and compounding the political damage to Prime Minister Abe and the LDP.

ADD: The next key indicator will be how well Mr. Aso does in expanding his support base in the Prefectural chapters, where he jumped ahead initially.

Also, a faction will not, cannot, necessarily deliver all its votes to a single candidate. The Yamazaki faction, for example, has had its share of pro-Abe members, and Mr. Niwa, the co-head of the Niww-Koga faction, does not see eye to ey with Mr. Koga. But at least the faction numbers give you a sense of what Mr. Aso is up against.


Durf said...

Yes, gone are the days when the faction bosses could growl at their underlings and get them all to line up obediently to vote for this or that person. Still, Fukuda looks like he's got solid support.

Jun Okumura said...

durf: Yoshiro Mori, the real power in the Machimura faction, inherited it just like the others, but has done an excellent job of growing and maintaining it. Thus, he has a stronger claim on his rank and file than the than run-of-the-mill faction leader.

And thank you for the kind words. I'm sure you are referring to my later post.