Friday, July 10, 2009

Everybody’s Dumping on the LDP…So What Are the Alternatives?

The other day, I talked to some people who are intimately involved with but not of the LDP. This and other conversations only confirm what we’ve been seeing in the mainstream media (and the tabloids) in recent months: Aso has been an unmitigated disaster, and the LDP is in total disarray. I’ve also heard from people associated with the LDP/DPJ world speculating about a Communist surge in the 12 July Tokyo Prefectural Assembly election, or even personally voting, just maybe just voting, for the JCP.

The LDP is set to lose, in Tokyo as well as the national election, but the DPJ fails to inspire while the Socialists aka Social Democrats, long dead as the go-to protest party, has barely enough life to beg for a seat at the upcoming DPJ feast (faintly echoing the Socialists’ unholy coalition with the LDP that spawned the ill-fated Murayama Administration and destroyed the Socialists for most practical purposes). And I keep coming across anecdotal evidence that favors the JCP.

I can’t imagine the JCP coming in ahead of the Komeito in Tokyo or nationally. Still, it’s positioning itself to be the only place to go if you want to use your protest vote instead of sitting this year out—and there are an awful lot of undecided floaters still out there. If the floater do decide to go to the voting stations, chances are, they’ll end up denying a working majority to both coalitions…in Tokyo and across the nation. For that alone, the Sunday Tokyo election is worth watching.



Mark, I’ll try to get back to you over the weekend.

3 comments:

Deepspacebeans said...

The anecdotal evidence is largely due to both the wishful thinking of socialists and social democrats with little elsewhere to go and the very successful PR campaign of the JCP over the past year which has been strongly publicizing a rapidly growing membership.
This, combined with their decidedly non-communist policies really seems to put them in a position to almost certainly make a gain this election as they are picking up both the votes of people equally tired of the LDP and the DPJ and those who find themselves on the left with nowhere else to go. Could they overtake the Komeito in Tokyo? I suppose it is possible... though I find it unlikely. Could they do it nationally? I sincerely doubt that.

Amathev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jun Okumura said...

The anecdotal evidence is largely due to both the wishful thinking of socialists and social democrats with little elsewhere to go and the very successful PR campaign of the JCP over the past year which has been strongly publicizing a rapidly growing membership.

I suspect that the recent rise in JCP fortunes as well as the more recent, anecdotal evidence that I’m seeing (which, to be honest, I have yet to see reflected in the latest Yomiuri poll) is occurring among the unaffiliated floaters rather than “socialists and social democrats.” I’m sure the media exposure helped the JCP, but that wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been membership gains and increased book sales in the first place.

Could they overtake the Komeito in Tokyo? I suppose it is possible... though I find it unlikely. Could they do it nationally? I sincerely doubt that.

Agreed. But again, the point is that a JCP mini-surge will increase the chances of the LDP staying ahead of the DPJ in the Tokyo Prefecture Assembly—although it further diminishes the virtually nonexistent chances of the LDP-Komeito coalition maintaining a majority—and the DPJ team being denied an outright majority in the Lower House election.