Monday, November 26, 2012

The LDP Wins a Majority in the House of Representatives? Other Stuff Too

I’m sure that anyone who comes here also follows the Shisaku blog, so you’ve probably seen this already. Please do so if you haven’t before you continue.

Okay? Now then:

If the media polls are to be believed, the LDP should be coasting to victory with one-third to two-fifths of the popular vote producing what is likely to be a massive LDP-Komeito victory as they sweep through the House of Representatives single member districts, possibly even an LDP simple majority, while the DPJ comes in third behind Ishihara and Hashimoto’s JRP. The numbers have not moved meaningfully since the polls from the week before, which suggests that the commotion around the meeting of rather different minds regarding nuclear power (!), TPP(!), and the consumption tax hike(!) has done little to diminish the JRP allure (but may have halted its momentum). Barring an unforeseen game-changer—North Korea delivering the rest of the abductees, a Shinzo Abe (but not Hashimoto) sex scandal are possible, but not plausible, candidates—public perception of the main players appears to be coagulating into a not-too-enthusiastic vote for both Abe and the LDP, which will produce disproportionately large electoral returns for it because of the electoral system. And Japan will wind up with a government that will be hard put to claim a popular mandate, much less a working majority in the House of Counselors.

And Governor Kada is making an announcement tomorrow, not today. In the meantime, I’ve looked around at media reports some, and it appears that she is serious about jumpstarting a new party. But my money is still on Kawamura’s attempt at bandwaggonning to end in failure. I have nothing against Kawamura personally, who seems a forgiving, inclusive, bonobo type of human being. And I like that. And Kada is not your typical academic. She has a political family background that indicates that she will not shy away from an alliance with Kawamura or Ozawa if she believed that it would further her political aims. But unless I’m missing something, that same expertise should be telling her not to hitch her cart to a couple of old nags headed for the…

BTW here’s one thing going on that I don’t understand. Negotiations for the Noda-Abe, head-to-head debate—the other opposition parties are complaining because the pair have a mutual interest in keeping the Ishihara-Hashimoto coalition out of the spotlight—are stalling because they cannot come to terms with the platform for the debate. Not for long, most likely, unless Noda and the DPJ forget to remember that beggars can’t be choosers.

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