Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Noda In A Landslide

Prime Minister Noda has won reelection as Democratic Party of Japan leader.

He won in every facet of the election: in terms of the votes of party supporters, in the votes of local legislators and among the members of the Diet:

In the combined party supporter and local legislator vote, the point totals were

Noda Yoshihiko 389
Akamatsu Hirotaka 42
Haraguchi Kazuhiro 92
Kano Michihide Michihiko 27

In the Diet members vote which has just been announced, the totals are:

Noda 429
Akamatsu 81
Haraguchi 62
Kano 86

The point totals are:

Noda 818
Akamatsu 123
Haraguchi 154
Kano 113

The next stage in the continuing drama is an expected reshuffle of the Cabinet and the party leadership on September 28. It is somewhat difficult to guess what changes can be made in the major ministry postings without causing undesirable disruption of various policy programs. In terms of the party secretariat, Koshi'ishi Azuma, whose major raison d'être was smoothing relations within the party, particularly with the now departed Ozawa wing, can expect to be replaced with an elections specialist.

Just who that might be is the question. It sure as heck is neither Okada Katsuya nor Maehara Seiji, the two members of the party's Second Generation most clearly in line for an increase in influence.

As for the tradition of giving special consideration to supporters of defeated presidential candidates, this in order to heal the rifts that the campaign may have opened amongst the Diet delegations, one can expect Noda to follow it. First because in his thank you speech he repeated his pledge of last year to be a "no sides" leader of the party, taking into account the feelings of the marginalized. Second, and on far more practical level, the DPJ-People's New Party coalition is only 10 defectors away from losing its majority in the House of Representatives.

While the losers today's leadership contest got taken to the cleaners, they will be a force that will have to be handled with care on September 28.

The problem child will be Haraguchi. He clearly made an impression on the local chapters and local assembly members through his insistence that the party has to return to its commitment to the policies of the 2009 Manifesto. He is, however, unpopular with his fellow Diet members, who see him as an untrustworthy opportunist. Just how he and his supporters are to be integrated into the party hierarchy, or government appointive positions, will be a major headache for Noda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kano Michihiko (not Michihide), pls.