Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Across The Board

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, whose economics is beloved of liberal economists Joseph Stiglitz (Link) and Paul Krugman (Link), is about become the first non-American to receive the hardline conservative Hudson Institute's Herman Kahn Award. (Link).

Dig it.

Responses to the question "Which party do you support?"
NHK News poll of September 8-9, 2013

In just a year since Abe's election as president of the LDP, he and his Liberal Democratic Party have become the unexpected colossus, spanning the ideological spectrum. Only the thin ultra-liberal, anti-business left end of the political stick is left open for the Communists to hang onto. Otherwise, the LDP and its coalition partner the New Komeito are everywhere.

Public opinion polls find a majority of voters supporting the idea a vigorous alternative to the LDP. However refreshing such a faith in politics-as-renewed-by-the-possibility-of-electoral-defeat, after Abe and his party move into the room, there is precious little oxygen left to breathe.

And the struggle for breath has become oh, so ironic in the case of the party whose campaign slogan for the July election was "We will be the power to protect livelihoods" (Kurashi o mamoru chikara ni naru) -- a.k.a., the Democratic Party of Japan. The DPJ now finds itself in dire straits if it cannot somehow find a way to lay off a big chunk of its own workforce. (Link)

Oops-a-daisy! (Hey former prime minister Noda, how's that manly sudden dissolution offer working out for ya?)

As for the Japan Restoration Party, with all the crud that Ishihara Shintaro has been saying the past few months about his co-leader Hashimoto Toru and Hashimoto's core program of converting Osaka from a prefecture to a metropolitan district, is it correct to even label that mad vessel a party?

The members of LDP certainly could still blow this sweet deal they have right now. They could get greedy and start pocketing some of the money they have tossed into economy through fiscal irresponsibility and monetary slaternliness. They could start fighting ordinary citizens to push through mega-projects making little economic or environmental sense (completing the capital ring roads, digging the Linear Motor Car Line from Shinagawa to Nagoya, restarting nuclear power plants in of questionable geomorphology). They could mess up the march of economy policy out of an inability to sacrifice some of their supporters.

Right now, however, they are on a roll -- right over every other party except the JCP.

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