Well it's official now...at least pretty much close to nearly official. The ruling parties have agreed to call the Diet to order on September 12 and shut the whole shebang down on November 20.
A seventy day session means that no piece of legislation even approaching controversial will be passed. Seventy days is insufficient time to
- conduct debate on the bill,
- have the bill sail through the House of Representatives committee and the full House vote
- have the bill sit, unattended, in the foyer of the House of Councillors for the Article 59-determined sixty days
- see the bill passed using the ruling coalition's two-thirds majority to override the inaction of the House of Councillors
No time for an override means:
- no extension of the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean
- no meaningful reassignment of road tax revenues to the general fund
- no reform of the tax system (even as late as two weeks ago the papers were trying to guess the chances of the current, fiscally hawkish Cabinet's being able to chaperone the passage of a rise in the consumption tax in this session. Bwahahahhahahaha!)
The agreed extraordinary session does not even survive into even the last weekend of November.
The stage is set, if the ruling coalition so desires (What's to prevent it, aside from the Cabinet's abysmal popularity numbers?) for a House of Representatives election on the 23rd of December.
With nothing to run on except the passage of an emergency supplementary spending package.
What a mess this unrepresentative democracy has become.