According to the Sankei Shimbun, the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party is planning to submit a no-confidence motion in the House of Representatives and a censure motion in the House of Councillors on August 7, one day before the LDP and its ally the New Komeito hopes to have their members in the House of Councillors to vote in favor of bills submitted by said Noda government. The leadership of the LDP is willing to stay its hand on the two disciplinary actions, however, if the Prime Minister Noda promises to ask for a Diet dissolution before the end of this current Diet session runs out, which as of now will be on September 9. (J)
I know none of that scans.
Let us see if it makes sense in gangster-speak:
"We look forward to conducting business with you, as we have agreed, on Wednesday. However, on Tuesday, we are going to shoot you...unless, of course, you agree by Tuesday to shoot yourself sometime within the next 40 days...and we expect you to stand by that promise to shoot yourself, because if you don't, we'll shoot you."
Nonsense, of course -- but even more so because, as we know, Noda does not have a gun and the LDP, if it wants to shoot Noda, will have to borrow ammunition from the Democratic Party of Japan.
What the heck is going on here?
It seems the little visit Koizumu Shinjiro paid to LDP headquarters on August 1 with six of his fellow Young Turks has paid some dividends, as the leadership seems to be singing from Koizumi's hymnal. The seven striplings met with party president Tanigaki Sadakazu and told him had he to repudiate the June 15 agreement made with the DPJ on passing the government's reform bills, including the bill raising the consumption tax. Barring a repudiation of the agreement, the LDP had to wave a no-confidence motion or a House of Councillors censure motion in Noda's face. (J)
That the LDP senior leaders would roll over and offer up their throats to Koizumi -- who, one must remember, is in his first term -- is ludicrous. However, so is the position the LDP finds itself. It holds veto power over any non-budget legislation, due to the DPJ-People's New Party ruling coalition's holding only 88 seats in the 242-seat House of Councillors. In response, Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko is sending to House only bills the LDP cannot refuse to support -- as they are drawn up based on promises the LDP made in its campaign manifesto. So while the LDP, which wants to act like an opposition party in the basest, most brain-dead way, by opposing the government at every turn, finds it has to accept what the government has been proposing.
The LDP leaders were not just pushed by Koizumi and the younger generation; the other opposition parties have presented their own threat to box in the LDP and the New Komeito. The seven opposition parties not party to the June 15 agreement met on August 3 and decided to submit their own no-confidence motion by June 8, in symbolic protest against the likely House of Councillors vote on that date raising the consumption tax. (J)
Pressed from both inside and outside, the LDP leadership is reduced to issuing absurd threats. Absurd not in the no-confidence motion's being dead upon delivery -- there is still a chance that some number of DPJ members greater than 15 will vote for the motion. Absurd in that the current government is following the LDP's policy script; a no-confidence motion cannot trigger a dissolution of the Diet; and the LDP leadership, to demonstrate it is still viable, must follow the lead of its most junior members and its pipsqueak political enemies.
The Leaderboard: Robert Holleyman
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