Adam Richards over at Mutant Frog Travelogue has been doing a lot of heavy lifting of late, trying to make some sense of this Sunday's Tokyo Metropolitan District assembly elections. His overview of the election is a nice piece of work, even if he overstates his points at the end.
However, as I saw the local Liberal Democratic Party candidate ride by yesterday in the front seat of his loudspeaker-bedecked election van, his face a rictus of sickened determination, with nary a wave nor a glance sidewards, I had to wonder why the candidates of any party other than Democratic Party of Japan are even bothering, at least in the core 23 wards and inner ring of cities.
An approximation of the thinking process of the voting public, in aggregate, when looking at the candidate poster boards:
1) The LDP guy?
NO, NO, NO. They have to go.
2) The Komeitō lady and the Komeitō Man?
No and No. Not because they don't look nice -- it is just that they are, well you know, those people.
3) The DPJ brigade?
Holy moley, how many of them ARE there? Anyway, way too flashy. What do they think they doing, trying out for careers as business casual fashion models?
4) The Japan Communist Party Lady?
Fine, we DO need more day care centers. But I don't know anyone else who would vote for her, so why waste my vote?
5) The Tokyo Life Network candidate?
Hmmm...they're a food coop, right?
6) The independent candidates?
No, I am NOT going to give my vote to a person running as a P.R. stunt.
and suddenly, there's no one left.
At which point the voters will be in a quandary. They look deep inside. From a dark, quiet place will arise a name:
And in the flood of resentment for the LDP's self-interested misrule of the last 40 years, and in order to put some check on Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintarō's titanic ego, the voters will, with annoyance, commit to memory the names of the DPJ candidates.