Sunday, July 11, 2010

So what's the point again?

Oh, there is an (upper house) election today. That's what all those signs are about, and for those unfortunate enough to live near a station, what all the screaming through loudspeakers by candidates was about.

The early results from NHK (very early, most based on exit polls IF I am not mistaken) is interesting only because of the performance of the new Your Party which is a strong number four (corrected 9:24pm) so far---5 seats to the New Komeito's 7.

According to exit polls, those who opposed a consumption tax increase voted roughly equally between the DPJ and LDP. That's not a surprise I suppose, since the 10% figure was floated by both. Support for the tax increase was closely split too, with those opposing the increase only a few percentage points ahead of those opposing.

Michael Cucek, of Shisaku (required reading for anyone interested in Japanese politics) has written an essay for The Diplomat which is more interesting than the actual election titled Japan's Meaningless Election:

[Addressing pre-election polls showing about a third of voters undecided] "the failure of 3 out of 10 Japanese voters to have made up their minds is down to one simple fact—the election has no meaning, or at least its meaning has changed so many times over the past few months and weeks that a reasonable person could well be asking what they’re actually voting for."

I am glad that I don't have to make that voting decision as I would find it easier to explain what I was voting against than for.

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