Monday, January 14, 2008

68 and 55

Exactly one month ago (on December 15 and 16) the Mainichi Shimbun conducted a survey of the public's attitudes toward the Cabinet, the parties and politicians in general. That the Mainichi editors chose to release the results of the survey on January 6 meant that the release was
1) not exactly timely and
2) sort of got lost in the this year's damn near eternal New Years holiday hootenanny.

Which is too bad, for at least two of the survey's numbers are eye-popping.

The first astonishing number is 68, as in 68% of those who think the Abe-Fukuda transition meant very little, leadership-wise.

"In the transition from the Prime Minister Abe Shinzō to Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, do you believe the character of the government changed?"

Has changed for the better 14%
Has changed for the worse 11%
Has not changed  68%
The above goes a long way toward explaining why some folks were pushing hard for a Cabinet reshuffle in late December. When over two thirds of the voters see no differences in character, why not go for broke with a new lineup reflection "Fukuda color"?

The survey's second stunning number is 55--the percentage of men who wanted the Democratic Party to win the next House of Representatives election.

"In between the LDP and the DPJ, which do you want to win in a House of Representatives election?"

Men & Women
LDP 33%
DPJ 46%
Some other party 13%

Men only
LDP 31%
DPJ 55%
Some other party 8%

Women only
LDP 34%
DPJ 38%
Some other party 16%
Change for change's sake is a guy thing, to be sure. Nevertheless the huge gap in between the LDP and DPJ support levels among men versus the small gap among women gives one pause (No, I do not know why they were permitted to say, "Some other party" when the question did not allow that as an answer). Clearly, some folks are going to have to rework their images of the core population groups behind the two main parties.

In either case, with the numbers like the above, does anyone think the DPJ is at all worried about its purported lack of preparedness for a snap election?

Does anyone think that the LDP will heed the editors of the Nikkei, who in an end of the year editorial* called for a dissolution of the House of Representatives immediately after the passage of all budget-related legislation so as to "ask the public its opinion"?



* Nihon Keizai Shimbun, "Seiji no antei to shakai no shinraikan o torimodose." December 30, 2007, p. 2.

No comments: