Monday, July 22, 2013

OK, So I Am Surprised, I Really Am


Hirano Tatsuo, my apologies, you really do know Iwate Prefecture.

When you quit the Democratic Party of Japan in April, I thought the decision daft or at least confused (Link). However, when the smoke cleared from the circular firing squad this Sunday night, you were the one still standing. Omedeto!

You in Iwate and Itokazu Keiko (running with Social Democratic, People's Life, Green Breeze and Communist support, of all the lefty things) in Okinawa kept the Liberal Democratic Party from sweeping all of the single seat constituencies.

May the LDP send more former college rugby coaches to run against you in the future.

Democratic Party of Japan, congratulations. Seriously.

Everyone knew you were a goner in the single seat districts. Everyone knew you were in dire straits in the proportional seat voting.

However, in the two- and three-seat districts, your candidates toughed it out.

This was a bad election for you, the party garnering fewer votes in the proportional side of the ballot than the New Komeito. Still, third place is far from a full blown catastrophe. With a new leader (Yes, Mr. Kaieda Banri, your time, though brief, is up) and some decent candidates, the party can revive to serve as an honorable opposition.

[An aside, but the most wicked bon mot of the morning? The commentator on the Asa Zuba! wide show who cheerily suggested to DPJ bigwig Nagatsuma Akira, "Well, now that there are fewer of you, it should be easier to smooth over differences of opinion."]

Your Party and Japan Communist Party, what happened to your supposed juice? You, the opposite ends of Japan’s economic policy prescription spectrum with your shared contempt for the bureaucracy, you were supposed to be the havens of protest votes forced to run screaming from out of the wreckage of the DPJ.

In the end though, you both came up short, with 4.7 million and 5.1 million votes, respectively.

This was your big day, your opportunity to do some damage on the proportional side. Your performance, however, was only OK, with strong district candidates bailing you out in the end.

Social Democratic Party, you live! Of course, by losing one of the two seats you were defending, you are now down to five seats, meaning that while you are still considered a party in Diet, you are at the five member limit.

So you live to die another day.

Anti-nuclear activists Kira Yoshiko (JCP) and Yamamoto Taro (independent), you not only won district seats in Tokyo, but shoved Takemi Keizo, an LDP Washington insider running as the representative of the health care industry into the fifth and final slot. You both now have six years to harass the nuclear industry and its supporters from the inside, rather than cacophonously from without.

Zing! No, Double Zing!

[How can anyone resist having a young (she’s only 30) Communist woman senator whose name is pronounced “Killer”?]

Japan Restoration Party, they must like you in the Kansai. They must really, really like you. At 6.3 million proportional seat votes, you are effectively half as popular nationally as you were seven months ago. With everyone was writing you off, though, winning six proportional seats must feel good.

It has been hard not to notice, though, that your two top vote winners in the proportional vote were:

1) a professional wrestler close to the Pyongyang regime and an eager participant in that regime's propaganda actions and

2) the militant anti-Pyongyang former finance ministry bureaucrat who has fought, fought, fought to win freedom and justice for those abducted by the DPRK

That these two are your #1 and #2 in the proportional vote reflects what we can only call awesome party message coherence.


唐山 said...

I can't help looking up Antonio Inoki's bio. Where does Mr. Hashimoto find people with such a fantastic life? So should we call him Muhammad Hussain Antonio Kanji Inoki now?

Adroit analysis of the election, by the way. With near dictatorial power, Mr. Abe can really help Japan find its way after being "lost" for so long.

Anonymous said...

Happy that some outsiders got in. By the way, Shisaku is mentioned in the 20-26 July issue of The Economist (p. 25 of the print edition).

Julián Ortega Martínez said...

[How can anyone resist having a young (she’s only 30) Communist woman senator whose name is pronounced “Killer”?]

Hahahaha, EPIC (I kinda like Ms Kira, though; maybe it's because left-wing female politicians here are not as likable as her).

As for The Economist mention, it's here.

jaichind said...

For PR it is

Result My Pred
LDP 34.7% 36.1 NKP 14.2% 14.0 DPJ 13.4% 18.0
JRP 11.9% 8.8
JCP 9.7% 9.6
YP 8.9% 8.0
SDP 2.4% 2.0
PLP 1.8% 2.2

The prediction I made I take the most pride in is the fact that LDP PR vote is below 35%. I always said that all those polls and then pundit predictions of LDP getting 40%, 45% or even 50% of the PR vote was hogwash. I said that LDP/NKP would be lucky to cross 50% although I predicted that they would barely cross it. They ended up at 48.9. What I take pride in is I know of no Japanese political pundit that made the call that LDP will be well below 40% like I did. And even I overestimated LDP PR vote by about 1%.

On the flip side, is my goof up on the DPJ PR vote. I predicted 18% it is coming in at 13.4%. Same with JRP which I predicted 8.8% and it ended up being 11.9%. I guess these two goof ups are mirror images of each other. My model had almost half of the JRP voter from 2012 being made up of unhappy DPJ but anti-LDP voters. I figured given the implosion of JRP last couple of months these voters would come back to LDP. It seems they just did not vote. I also think these JRP comfort women blowups had the affect of drive the fringe nationalist right vote to come out in large numbers to show their support of a hard nationalist position. LDP ended not getting that vote but JRP did. Also I assumed more tactical voting by various small center-left parties supporters in favor of DPJ than really took place.

One funny fact about this election is that HRP got 1.1% of the district vote. That the HRP can get 1.1% of the district vote shows how sad things have become that over 1% of the voting population would use their vote for a cult whose leader claims to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Cantare and claims he received a message from the spirit of the recently deceased "angel of light", former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, urging Japan to attack Mainland China and North Korea.