Monday, July 13, 2009

The Tokyo Metropolitan Elections Results!

It is getting on toward 4 a.m. in the great city. Most of the city sleeps, I hope.

While not a total wipeout, the results yesterday were bad for the Liberal Democratic Party, bad for the Prime Minister and bad for Governor Ishihara Shintarō.

The final totals, in the 127 seat assembly.

The LDP-Kōmeitō alliance failed to retain its majority in the chamber, falling 3 seats short of the 64 necessary.

The Kōmeitō fielded 23 candidates. Every single blanking one of them won a seat.

The LDP fielded 58 candidates. Twenty of them lost.

On the happy faces side of the aisle, the DPJ fielded 58 candidates...and only 4 of them failed to win office.

The Communists, who have been trumpeted in some quarters as a resurgent force due to unhappiness with the current economic order, got lightly toasted instead. Ambitiously fielding 40 candidates, one more candidate than in the last election, they crashed from 13 seats to a mere 8.

How atypical is the victory by the DPJ? The last time the LDP failed to end the night as the #1 party in the assembly was 44 years ago.

Governor Ishihara, who has been allowed to run amok for years now, will soon feel the sting of the lash. Look forward to months and months of fun as the the likely DPJ-Communist-Seikatsu working alliance demands an accounting for

1) the New Tokyo Bank (they call it a bank but it was really more of a fireplace into which was thrown local tax revenues in an attempt to keep zombie companies warm).

2) the move of the Tokyo Wholesale Fish Market from Tsukiji to Toyosū.

3) just how much the Ishihara's pursuit of his Olympic dream has cost the city so far ... and how much it will cost it in the future.

Just a note - it is probably no longer appropriate to call the DPJ "the opposition" anymore. With tonight's thumping victory, albeit in the Tokyo elections, the DPJ is perhaps better described as "the presumptive majority party."

I was trying to think what the LDP should be called in this instance. "The presumptive opposition" is too feeble. "The tottering, decrepit ancien régime soon to be consumed in the fires of revolution" sounds about right.

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