Friday, June 22, 2007

The Mother of All Defeats

I will have to write a lengthier post on the motivations driving this brain-dead stupid idea:

Ruling parties agree to Diet session extension plan, delaying July elections
Mainichi Shimbun

Ruling parties agree to Diet session extension plan, delaying July elections

Liberal Democratic Party leaders approved plans Thursday to extend the current parliamentary session, delaying next month's House of Councillors elections and giving the administration more time to push through legislation it hopes will boost its popularity.

LDP leader Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Komeito counterpart Akihiro Ota agreed to seek an extension of the session by 12 days until July 5, Ota told reporters.

The Diet has to vote on approving the extension, an LDP official said on customary condition of anonymity. The vote could take place as early as Friday, she said, adding that it has to be held before the current Diet session ends Saturday.

We will have to see if the LDP rank-and-file members come to their senses and vote this idea down today.

If the 12-day extension of the Diet session passes:

- Gunma Prefecture will have to hold two elections on consecutive weekends, since the gubernatorial election by law must be held one month after the end of the current governor's term.

- In Morioka, the elections will conflict with the city's summer festival and fireworks display.

- In Tokyo, if there is rain on the 28th, then elections will be held on the makeup date of the Sumida River fireworks display--an event that draws about a million attendees downtown.

- The summer break reconstruction and repair schedules of schools all over the country (public school gymnasiums and facilities are used as the voting centers) will have to be pushed back one week, leading to chaos in what is already, thanks to the Obon holiday, a panicked time in the public school facilities maintenance calendar.

- The tens of thousands of civil servants who are scheduled to serve as poll workers and ballot counters will see their early summer childcare and vacation plans fly out the window.

In brief, the inconvenience and expense will make a good many persons even more pissed off than they already are at the ruling parties. The question will then be not be "Will the Democrats win big?" but "Do the Democrats have a sufficient number of good candidates running in the two- and three-, four-, and five-person prefectures to deliver the Mother of All Defeats to the ruling coalition?"

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