Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If the Refueling Operations Are So Important, Why Not Use the Supermajority?

Nobutaka Machimura, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, is quoted here as saying, “Japan will drop out of the battlefront of the war on terror because of extremely domestic reasons. This will leave a large blot on Japan’s future, in the sense that Japan will be relegated to the minor leagues by giving up its responsibilities as a member of the international community.”

“Extremely domestic reasons” as in: We’re afraid that the opposition will pass a censure motion in the Upper House that will force Prime Minister Fukuda to call a snap election?

Now I’ve always had difficulty in understanding this logic, which says that exercising a constitutional prerogative inevitably leads to an early election, when the LDP knows that, regardless of the Moriya scandal, at the end of the day, Yomiuri and Sankei are going to support that. More seriously, if the LDP follows the advice of Bunmei Ibuki, its Secretary General, and Shigeru Ishiba, the Defense Minister, and leave the OEF-MIO refueling extension bill to be taken up again when the Diet reconvenes in January unless the public opinion polls show a two-thirds to 60% majority in favor, then it is giving up its responsibilities as the public's representative.

Few things can be more damaging in the long-run than a loss of political will, particularly when a plurality of both the public and the mainstream media has your back.


MTC said...

Okumura-san -

It is not a lack of political will; it is the curse of conventional wisdom. I have heard a lot of folks paying homage to the 60% majority idol. I do not who crafted the damn thing (clearly someone with only a poor grasp of the term "numerical majority") but it has become the consensus view among "thoughtful individuals".

Drives me bonkers.

Jun Okumura said...

And to think I used to wonder if it was a ruse by Prime Minister Fukuda, to make the DPJ feel bold and overplay its card, then tear up the censure resolution and laugh in their faces as they failed to gain public support for a snap election.