The slapdash creation yesterday of the Japan Party of the Future (Nippon Mirai no To) in part answers the heretofore burning question, "Where is the umbrella party of the left, the correlate of the Liberal Democratic Party as the umbrella party of the center-right, now that the ruling Democratic Party of Japan has effectively expelled all of its anti-consumption tax, anti-nuclear power and anti-Trans Pacific Partnership members?" (Link)
Funny how political realignment, which was assumed was going to result in urban, free-market, multilateralist, liberals facing off against rural, crony-capitalist, bilateral relations and traditional social policy conservatives has become a four-way fight between parties and close allies with market socialism, social conservatism, activist foreign policy, regressive social policy, patriotism, fiscal rectitude, loose monetary policy, subsidies and education reform all in a jumble.
Considering how many parties have formed and disappeared over the last two weeks, it is not out of place to wonder whether the voters will be given enough time to discern what the various electoral alliances stand for.
The whole mad process of creating viable electoral groupings should end on December 4, when the final party lists are announced. Politicians have become so addicted to rebranding, however, that they may still be redefining themselves during their last speeches in the final hours of December 15.
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