Monday, 17 December 2012

Japan election results: My two yen

Folks popping by here for my take on the election may be disappointed as I'm in the throes of turning these Japan Election Diary notes into a book, should be published within 24 hours. But I will say this:

Abe won, kinda. Yes, yes, his LDP got a landslide and the DPJ dissolved almost into third place behind Ishin no Kai, Ishihara and Hashimoto's variety show. But before we go believing Japan has turned right wing or reactionary or whatever, just bear in mind a few facts:

1. Turnout was abysmal. I think 59 percent of the electorate.
2. Noda of the DPJ held on to his seat.
3. Ozawa got in.

The pendulum of government swung into the reactionary camp, but the country is the same on December 17th as it was on December 16th: disillusioned with its leaders and unhappy with the options it was presented with.

Just need better options. But don't look to me, I can't even vote.

See you tomorrow.

5 comments:

Jan Moren said...

Just a couple of corrections: It seems DPJ held on to second place ahead of Ishimoto/Hashihara. Also, turnout was about 59%, still the lowest in recent history.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Much obliged! Will make those corrections.

dr kildare said...

59% isnt too bad worldwide.

is the electoral system first past the post?

increasingly in the UK we're seeing the growth of smaller parties.back in the 1950's I think only three per cent voted away from tory or labour now it's well over 25%.

bizzarrely you can still get a 50 seat majority in the uk parliament with crica 34% of the vote.

no wonder so many dont bother.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Well Dr, Japan has you beat there. 300 seats are fptp, 180 are PR. The LDP took 2/3 of the seats: 294 of 480 on a vote of 28% as there were 11 parties contesting seats. The LDP were deeply unpopular, but cleaned up. Divide and rule. Turnout was the lowest in postwar history of Japan. No mandate here.

Btw, did you know Mandate was a magazine for gay men? Just saying.

Daniel McBane said...

Being dissatisfied with the options in an election is unfortunately a global problem and one that is mostly unavoidable. Public office simply attracts a certain kind of person and it's not the kind of person who'd do the best job.