The day that was

July 30, 2007

I suppose I stayed up all night because trying to figure out who to vote for in the upper house elections was something I was having problems getting my head around.

Since Abe took over as Prime Minister from Koizumi, it's been back to the good old days of LDP (Liberal Democractic Party) politics. 

  1. His cabinet ministers were appointed based on faction friendship instead of merit (this part is probably new).
  2. He invited all the anti-reform, pro-dirty money in the dark back rooms politicians that Koizumi kicked out of the LDP back into the LDP.
  3. He pushed for revising the constitution (specifically the anti-war Article 9 part of it) and introducing nationalism into the curriculum in schools.

    Every step he seemed to take seemed to be another step back to the pork and barrel, put everything off as late as possible and show me the money politics of the past.

With 1. . .he showed that he was worried more about keeping people in his party happy than us guys in the streets.

With 2. . .he hoped to get back the vote of the postal tribe.  That is postal workers, politicians and construction companies that were making good money off of projects paid for by our postal savings. With 3. . .he seemed to think that it was more important to make sure that the Japanese were not just increasingly stupid, but were stupid nationalists to boot.  Personally, I'd hope for more focus on raising the standards on the existing subjects in schools, less skirting around what happened during WWII.

That is to say more about what Japan did wrong in WWII and about also about how the country suffered as a result, every generation needs to learn that we just can not afford to ever go back to war again.  Also, instead of teaching the kids about a beautiful Japan, perhaps more emphasis on teaching the current system and getting more asses into the voting booths would be nice.

Not that the alternatives are that great.

The Democratic Party of Japan. . .the main opposition party.  Or the party of people who weren’t part of the cool clique in the LDP or were too far right for the LDP and split off to make their own party and then gathered with all types of opposition folks from the left, center, right and far right to. . .oppose.  At least they aren’t like the old Social Democratic Party who opposed everything that the LDP just for the sake of opposing the LDP. . .and that was their platform.  Though they did disappoint by opposing the postal reforms just for the sake of opposing the reforms, but they did get slapped in the subsequent elections as a result.

Then the Socialist Party of Japan, who was formerly the old Social Democratic Party. . .who decided a name change was in order when they found out that being the representatives of the North Korean regime in Japan was a bad idea especially after the North Korean’s admitted to abducting Japanese (right after the leader of the party denied that the North Koreans would ever do such a thing for the umpteenth time).  They also always seem to want to spend more money, but lower taxes. . .just what we need more debt.

The Communist Party, they also want to spend more money but lower taxes. The Kokumin Shinto. . .basically folks that were kicked out by Koizumi from the LDP, but were to whacko that even Abe couldn’t/wouldn’t invite them back. And then your usual gathering of even smaller parties and independents.  There’s also the Koumeito, the LDP’s coalition partner and representing the Sokka Gakkai cult.  I really don’t feel comfortable with politics that hold religion so close to their heart. At the end of the day, this was the upper house elections, the upper house really can’t get anything done without the approval of the lower house, so while the vote matters it doesn’t matter as much as the lower house elections, right?  But, then again, the lower house can’t get bills passed if the upper house doesn’t pass them. . .hmmm.

So, I went out there and voted. . .and then spent the day working in various Starbucks and Tully’s coffee shops in the Azabu Juban and Roppongi area.  The results are in.  Bummer for Abe.

For my sake, I hope that the like minded folk from the LDP and the DPJ get together and make two different parties. . .at least that’ll make it easier to vote.

Discussion, links, and tweets

Good Morning!