Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why the DPJ and LDP Keep Posting Crappy Documents. Plus, the Blank Margins

First, the crappy documents. I think I now know why the DPJ and LDP keep posting crappy PDF documents around election time—the few occasions that people might actually read them. And no, I’m not talking about the contents.

Imagine that you and a bunch of fellow party members are in a smallish conference room, taking in a trial screening of material for your election campaign. There’s an election platform mockup on the computer screen, courtesy of your party’s PR agency. Only it’s not your usual 15-20 inch laptop screen, it’s a 45 -inch version that your party could afford well before no one but the very wealthy could because it had the multibillion-yen government subsidy to play with. The 45-inch resolution makes the document a perfect fit, no zooming out necessary. And the letters do not look so densely bunched together.

But if you and your fellow party members ever bothered to take another look at the document on your home computer screen (or Heaven forbid tried to download it on your smartphone), you might notice, right? And if we the voters were actually reading those documents before casting our votes, someone might be annoyed, and complain, right?

I rest my case.

Now, the blank LDP margins. I just realized that Facebook homepages have blank margins, too. Well, the one on the left anyway. The one on the right appears to be there for potential “sponsors.” I see this ad for “Mature Dating” in the right-hand margin of Shinzo Abe’s Facebook page. Do they know something that I don’t know? About Abe? About me?

But that just raises more questions. Does the LDP leadership know that its ad agency might have swiped the idea from Facebook? Is that why the words “intellectual property (知的所有権)” and “creativity (創造)” never appear on the election platform? Does Facebook have a copyright on that layout? Will Facebook sue?

In the meantime, think about taking out an ad on the LDP website. The margin on the right, as pure as the driven snow, is waiting for you, Mature Dating Sponsor.


Jan Moren said...

If I were a DPJ campaign manager I'd buy me some prime ad space through their ad network right this very moment. Then scream bloody murder about breach of contract, anticompetitive business behaviour and strangling free enterprise (the ad network) once it's inevitably pulled.

Philippe said...

The LDP carry ads on their website? How low… Do they really need money? Oh, right I see: google ads scripts in the source.

I like Jan Moren's idea there.

PS – is it just me? That LDP website is terribly slow (accessing from Fukuoka).

Jun Okumura said...

Jan, Phillipe:

Did the DPJ have an exclusivity contract with its PR agency? Otherwise, it won’t work. And it calls attention to its own crappitudeI haven’t found it particularly hard going, Phillipe. Maybe it’s the hour—lunchtime?—and the LDP website doesn’t have great servers. They should just go cloud.

BTW the post-Hashimoto/Ishihara-merger JRP is looking increasingly like the LDP as it’s dropped the anti-nuclear and anti-corporate donations language from its policy platform in deference to Ishihara and the latest flock of b/c-list Diet members rallying around its flag. The JRP candidates who have been putting up their own money for their campaigns and forfeitable deposits and forking over another 1000 K to HQ to fund national PR must be mightily p!ssed off. Should I just vote for the Communists and call it a day?

Jan Moren said...

Well, the Communists do have principles, and even live by them. That alone makes them pretty much unique in political Japan. Worth rewarding with a vote simply for that? Yes, perhaps.

Jun Okumura said...


The Japanese Communist Party is now definitely closer to the Scandinavian social democrats than its Cuban namesake, though they still tend to demonize big business. But the associative powers of that name are strong and the Social Democrats are too fractious to be a viable candidate for merger.