....but they sure are not telling much.
NHK nightly news just broadcast the result of their new weekend survey. As I expected, appearing to pass legislation and engaging in the everyday activities of governing is pulling the Cabinet's support levels up off the floor. At least it gets some of the public's eye off the Cabinet's less attractive features. The Cabinet's support rating rose 5% from last month's 21% to 26%, while the disapproval rating sank 5% from 66% to 61%.
Even with the improvement, however, these are still incredibly bad numbers for the Prime Minister.
Asked how the Prime Minister should respond to the passage of a censure motion by the House of Councillors, 49% said that Prime Minister Fukuda should dissolve the Diet and have an election. Another 11% said he should simply resign. Only 30% said he should continue as he has been doing.
Asked what kind of government would be ideal after a general election, 23% answered "a grand coalition," but nearly identical percentages wished for an LDP-dominated (22%) or a DPJ-dominated (22%) coalition government.
In straight, one party-only government, a DPJ-only government had twice the support (11%) as an LDP-only (6%) government.
When asked when the PM should hold an election, given the need for one, the plurality (38%) said, "After the Toyako summit, in the fall." The second choice, though, that of 26% of those polled, was "in the fall of 2009, at the end of the House of Representatives term." Only a very few of those polled wanted an election ASAP.
Asked which party they support, 33% said the LDP (up 3%) and 26% said the DPJ (down 4%).
What? Maybe it is a margin-of-error thing.
As for the over-75 eldercare system, 52% of respondents said they supported it but thought it should be reformed. 35% thought it shoud be rescinded. Only 7% (?) thought it should be left as is.
But then the weirdness started.
When asked whether they appreciated strongly or to a certain extent the bill passed by the House of Councillors rescinding the new eldercare system in favor of a return to the old system, 59% said yes they do. But when asked whether they either appreciate strongly or to a certain extent the ruling coalition's efforts in the House of Representatives to modify the new eldercare system to make it less onerous
59% -- exactly the same number -- of those polled said yes.
As a political wedge issue, the eldercare insurance system seems to be a wash.
So the public as interviewed by NHK is pretty much evenly split on policy and political orientation. However, the voters like neither the PM nor the current Diet.
Later - Now that NHK has some of the numbers up, I have made some adjustments and additions.
CogitAsia Podcast: Assessing Xi Jinping’s Economic Reforms
28 minutes ago