Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Mr. Hashimoto, You're Wanted On Line One
The Yomiuri Shimbun has a new poll out today (J).
The key takeaway is not the fall of the support for the Noda Cabinet to 30%, the lowest level since its inception. Noda wants to pass legislation that will raise the consumption tax to 10% by the year 2015 and rework the pension system in such a way that the self-employed who make a barely comfortable living will triple their national pension system contributions, whilst receiving only a risible increase in their payments once they retire.
Why should the government be popular, under such conditions?
In the perennial "making stuff up column" are the reasons why those opposed to the Cabinet feel the way they do.
36% say they have no hopes as to the current Cabinet's policies
24% say the prime minister lacks leadership
One has to guess that in order to make month-to-month comparisons, the pollster provides the interviewees with a fixed list of reasons not to support the PM, then asks the interviewees to pick one. As a consequence the responses always strangely tangential and dissonant, immune to shifts in the particular kind of leadership each prime minister exercises.
As for whether the government, in compiling the new budget, is combating government waste, only 7% of the populace thinks it is, while 89% thinks it is not.
Not a surprise when one reads news reports like the one highlighted in my last post.
Support for the Democratic Party of Japan fell from 25% to 16% since the last poll. This compares unfavorably to the current 17% support for the Liberal Democratic Party -- but not in a statistically significant way. The tumble merely shows that the January DPJ support number was an outlier and a fluke. The Mainichi Shimbun poll of late January had pretty much the same numbers as the Yomiuri has now, only with the DPJ and LDP numbers reversed.
A massive 54% of the population supports no organized party.
The real takeaway from today's Yomiuri poll can be found the type of government the pollees wished they had.
5% want a DPJ-led government
9% want an LDP-led government
23% want a DPJ-LDP grand coalition
53% want a government based upon a realignment of political parties and a new political fabric
Now far be it from me to draw dramatic conclusions out of just one set of numbers, but the answers to that last question seem to indicate that Japan has a fed up populace ready for yet more change.
Image courtesy: Yomiuri Online