Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When the Gods Want to Punish You...

...they answer your prayers.

Fukushima Mizuho, the leader of the Socialist Party, will be State Minister for the Birthrate, Consumer Affairs and Sexual Equality.

Shizuka Kamei, the leader of the People's New Party, the party established by those kicked out of the LDP for opposing Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's privatization of the Post Office, will be Minister of Financial Services and the Post Office.

Who would like to place bets upon fractious, strained relations between the parties in the new ruling coalition? Not I. Not now.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) also has a positive reason for being generous to its allies. In next year's House of Councillors election, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has 48 seats up for reelection, 33 of which are district seats. DPJ-Shinryokufūkai alliance has 49 seats up for reelection. The alliance would have to hold on to every one of its seats and then pick up 10 from either the LDP or independents to give the DPJ majorities in both Houses of the Diet (somebody correct me if I am wrong here).

Given the Japanese public's wise tendency to throw roadblocks in the way of absolute power (see the 2007 House of Councillors election) taking those 10 seats may be a more difficult task than many believe.

Better to err on the safe side by giving one's friends, no matter how minute and anachronistic, the toys they have always wanted.

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