Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Must be missing something

I know that it would be good for Japan for the LDP to lose, and perhaps stay out of power for a few elections until the DPJ becomes corrupt and the LDP can come back for a few terms until they forget who they represent and become corrupt and another party takes over until it becomes corrupted by power. Something like in the US, perhaps.

Although I sincerely hope the LDP gets pulled through the sewer for a while, I ain't got a nickel's worth of confidence in anything the DPJ says. The words all sound nice, and yea, they could hardly be worse than the LDP mess, I think it is mostly hot air. Look at the equine feces Kohei Otsuka excreted recently:

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan will try to contain budget spending if it wins this month’s election, even though it pledges to lower taxes and increase handouts for child care, lawmaker Kohei Ohtsuka said.

“We’ll want to step up efforts to maintain fiscal discipline in next year’s budget more than what was done with this year’s budget,” Ohtsuka, who is his party’s vice policy chairman, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “We’re going to do all we can to maintain fiscal discipline.”* Bloomberg

OK, it's kinda vague and wishy-washy, but anyone who has followed US politics recognizes this garbage. You can have all the government you want and not have to pay for it---we'll reduce waste and raise taxes on the other guy. It works well there, so why not here? Seriously. Why not? We've heard economists for years claim that this can't go on forever (unless the party which they support is in power and then it's all fine and dandy), but yet it does.

You have to wonder if any either of these parties have any real plans for anything other than to get elected then try to patch something together.

In my informal "focus group"---friends, a few co-workers, acquaintances, and relatives---I have sensed a lessening of enthusiasm for "change" itself and nervousness over what it will mean to have a new party in power.

A bureaucrat acquaintance shows the most hesitation---perhaps because the DPJ has been attacking the bureaucracy. He surprised me a few weeks ago by asking who I would vote for prime minister if I could. I could not give any decent answer as I have never given it any thought. "It's very hard to chose which person is most qualified," he said, which was a change from a few months ago when he was very much leaning to the DPJ. Then he added something else: "If the party changes and we get a lot of new laws, it's gonna be a lot of work for us."

My Japanese tutor, who knows and cares little about politics---when I told her that I had seen Katsuya Okada wearing a big fake grin and waving at everyone at one of the entrances to Kawasaki Station last Saturday morning, she had no idea who he was---had a similar line of thinking as my bureaucrat buddy, "It's really difficult to decide which to vote for."

N-san, the fellow afraid to drink poisonous-to-Japanese hard water, seems to have lost any interest in politics at all. He will, with the enthusiasm of a robot, still claim support for the DPJ but with none of the emotion and anger at the LDP that he showed in the spring.

As far as relatives go, nothing has really changed. They have hated and despised the LDP for decades and would vote in a bunch of lizards in preference to that party, but show no enthusiasm for the DPJ except that it can stand-in for the group of lizards.

What does any of that mean? Not much, if anything. Just like the promises of either the LDP or the DPJ, I'll bet.

Well, history being made and all of that. Change and such. Yee-haw.

*And in a recession, too! Kill two birds with one stone---stimulate and discipline.


  1. Holy Cow, Our Man can comment!!! Must be some aberration to be fixed shortly. Until you do fix it, may Our Man humbly submit, you are more cynical than he. You gotta love the short campaign season though, and so thoughtful of the pols to do it when most folk are on holiday.

    Comment vetting code was "chumspa". Just so you know.

  2. I'll have to work on that aberration, Our Man.

    I am the optimistic one in my household. I live with commie and socialist supporters.