Liberal Democratic Party Deputy Elections Chairman Suga Yoshihide traveled to Yokohama yesterday to reassure the head of the Kanagawa Prefecture LDP that when he said he wanted a ban on the children of retiring Diet members running for the seat being abandoned by his or her parent starting with the next election, he did not mean the next election. What he meant of course was the election after next , you know, the NEXT election.
So the threat that reformist former prime minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō -- who hopes to hand over his seat to his second son Shinjirō -- should be only one of two political dads dinged by a party reform proposal seems to have been averted.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Japan has submitted a Diet reform bill banning relatives within three degrees of kinship from inheriting Diet seats. Given that 1/3 of the current crop of district LDP representatives are inheritors of their seats, the bill has about as much a chance of passing as a ban on alcohol in drinking establishments.
Is this an empty legislative gesture inappropriate for a time of crisis? Of course.
Good for the fourth-generation-Diet-member-Hatoyama-Yukio-led DPJ's image as the party of change? Certainly.
So why not go for it?