Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Messing up BOJ Appointments Beats Gasoline Tax Surcharge Beats Missing in Action: The Yomiuri Polls

The latest Yomiuri polls (15-16 March) came out, and nobody comes out smelling roses. Now yesterday, I wrote a post showing you how the LDP could do a little ju-jitsu on the DPJ. Just to be fair (and I did vote for both parties over the last two elections), I’m going to show you how the DPJ can spin the Yomiuri numbers.

“True, we the DPJ did not do too well in the latest Yomiuri polls. In fact, 59.4% of the responders do not appreciate our treatment of the BOJ Governor appointment, while only 25.1% do. However, the LDP’s gasoline tax surcharge is doing even worse, with 64.2% favoring its elimination. And the Fukuda administration did even worse with its treatment of the Atago-fishing boat collision, with a 74.1% disapproval approval rate.

“We are aware that in the choice for most favored party, we dropped 2.4 percentage points. However, the Fukuda administration lost 4.8 percentage points, or twice as much support.”

There are, of course, other ways of arguing the numbers. For example, the responders continue to favor an agreement between the two sides on the gasoline taxes by an overwhelming margin of 63.3% to 28.5%. On a broader point, they continue to support the LDP (33.1%) over the DPJ (17.6%) nearly two to one. But the top spot is firmly in the hands of: None of the Above - it registered a bigger gain than the LDP, the Communists, the Socialists and the New Japan Party put together - at 41.9%. In fact, it makes you wonder what the Japanese public would do if they could actually vote for None of the Above.

I’m sure you’re not the only one who has also wondered, Does None of the Above happen to go by the name of Junichirō Koizumi? Well, I think that the probability of Mr. Koizumi taking back the Prime Minister’s chair - it’s probably his for the asking, but no one really knows until he does - is only slightly higher than Condoleezza Rice being picked by the Republican Party as its Vice President nominee. That makes it higher than zero, but if you’re holding your breath, I hope for the sake of your health that you’re actually a fish.

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