Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why It Matters

So what if the House of Representatives is elected via an illegal mechanism? What are the chances that Japan's heretofore supine Supreme Court will suddenly grow a spine and invalidate the election? The Court might try to issue a cease and desist order – only we do not know whether the Court even has such an instrument – and even if it did we can be pretty sure that the justices will come to the same conclusion that they did before: "Yes, it is illegal and No, we are not going to do anything about it."

Why obsess about it and use such fiery terms as "coup d'état"? Get a grip and calm down!

Aside from the very real question as to whether the conservatives can reconcile their love of capitalism and free trade with their provocative painting of China as a regional rival and a threat, I am trying to imagine how constipated the conduct of Diet affairs will become when all the membership and most definitely freshman legislators are tainted with the label of illegitimacy. With the exception of the Sankei Shimbun, which ignored the legitimacy issue, all the newpapers this morning agreed that the incoming Diet members would never escape accusations of having achieved their positions through indefensible means. (Link)

Will everyone go along to get along? Will parties in and out of power spend their time on issues of substance – or will they bash away at each other in round after round of point-scoring?

Folks have opined that the Japanese political system is dysfunctional. Are they ready for dysfunctional and illegitimate? How masochistic can one be that one would want to weaken the supports of an already unstable electoral system?

This seems is a huge price to pay for the decidedly minor positive of restarting the membership's term clocks before the New Years holidays.

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