Friday, May 24, 2013

Afloat Upon A Raft Of Unusual Stability

Just how aberrant are the levels of support for for this Abe Cabinet, compared to the support ratings for the cabinets of previous prime ministers?

Here is the graph of the cabinet support ratings of the first year (in Hatoyama Yukio's case, the seven months) in office of every prime minister since Keizo Obuchi (1998-2000).

[Click on the image to see a larger version in a new window.]

Freakish? You bet. Not even the cabinet of fabled outlier Koizumi Jun'chiro (green dotted line) enjoyed the stability of support that Abe 2 (thick red line with nodes) has enjoyed over its first five months in existence.

The real sad sack tale? Kan Naoto (dotted yellow line). Starts out with 61% support in May; has 65% support in September.

What happens in between, in July and August? A collapse of support to 39% and 41% respectively -- just in time for the July 2010 House of Councillors election. The ruling coalition loses control of the House and thus control of the legislative agenda. Short circuited is the Democratic Party of Japan's plan to rule the country based upon a new set of priorities and principles. Kan and his successor Noda Yoshihiko must go hat in hand to the Liberal Democratic Party, begging the LDP to please, please, please vote for bills drawn from the LDP's policy program.

None of that kind of nonsense going on now, is there?

Data source: NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute

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