On their own private Titanic...
The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan received some welcome news today as Matsushita Shimpei, a 43 year old member of the House of Councillors (district seat, Miyazaki Prefecture) presented his application to join the LDP. Matsushita, a DPJ ally when first elected, dropped his membership in Reform Club, an LDP-friendly micro-party, in order to join the LDP.
Given how the bad news has been of late for the LDP, the gain of this one seat in the House of Councillors could loom large in the party's search for renewed relevance and self-esteem.
Or at least it might have had the chance to do so, if the Matsushita's move from the Reform Club to the LDP did not drop the number of Diet members in the Reform Club to four, making the micro-party ineligible for public funding -- necessitating LDP's having to accept the defection of House of Councillors member Yamanouchi Toshio (district seat, Kagawa Prefecture) from the LDP to the Reform Club, bringing the membership of the micro-party back up to the five-member minimum.
One step forward. One step back. Net result: zero.
Words cannot describe how pathetic this looks.
Later - For those who want to keep score, the official chart of the numbers of all members of the different parties and parliamentary groupings in the House of Councillors can be found here.