Thursday, July 22, 2010

Electing a DPJ Leader

The Democratic Party of Japan is scheduled to hold a regular party leadership election in September. Prime Minister Kan Naoto is the prohibitive favorite to win this election despite the drubbing the party suffered in the recent House of Councillors contest. However, the rules for electing a party leader are rather Byzantine, leaving plenty of room for the running of an insurgent campaign, one that could give Kan and the rest of the current core party leadership serious angina.

The Rules for Electing a DPJ Leader:

The eligible electorate is divided into three sectors: a) registered party members and party supporters b) local officials who are DPJ members and c) Diet members.

To each sector is assigned a number of points, as follows:

a) Party members and party supporters - 300 points

Registered party members and party supporters mail in their votes to their local DPJ House of Representatives district headquarters. The candidate with the most mail-in votes from a House of Representatives district wins that district's one point. If a party headquarters fails to receive 100 total votes from supporters or party members, that district's point is forfeited.

The 300 potential points correspond to the 300 House of Representatives districts.

b) Local officials Municipal and prefectural assembly members - 100 points

Local officials Members of prefectural and municipal assemblies who are members of the DPJ all have the right to mail in postcards to DPJ headquarters with one candidate's name on it. After the votes for each candidate are tallied, these 100 local officials assembly members' points are apportioned to the candidates according to the D'Hondt system.

c) Members of the Diet - two points each

The DPJ members of the Diet from both Houses attend a joint party leader election assembly. At the assembly each member writes the name of just one of the candidates on a secret, written ballot. When the ballots are opened, each vote for a candidate is recorded as two points for that candidate.

There are currently 306 DPJ House of Representatives members and 106 DPJ House of Councillors members, meaning that a potential 824 points will be awarded through the direct election at the assembly.

The candidate with the most total points from this process wins.

That is what the rules say, until someone convinces me otherwise.

Source: DPJ website, "Daihyo senkyo kisoku"

Yes, that the URL for the rules regarding the DPJ's leadership election is written out almost entirely in English strikes me as weird and embarrassing too.


Anonymous said...

Dear Shisaku

By "local officials who are DPJ members", I assume you mean to say "prefectural or municipal assembly members who are DPJ members"?

The term "local officials" may be confused with local bureaucrats (chiho komuin) and I don't think they are given preferential treatment in the leadership election(even though some of them may indeed be DPJ members).

Just for clarification's sake.

MTC said...

Anonymous -

You are right, the construction I chose is ambiguous. Chiho giin should be rendered as you suggest.