Twisted Diet

September 12, 2007

In the Upper House elections held a month ago the Democratic Party of Japan, who were previously the minority party, grabbed the most seats in the Upper House of the Diet (think the Senate), but not the majority.  However, this now means that the LDP controls the Lower House and the DPJ controls the Upper House.

Any bill that the Lower House passes needs to be passed by the Upper House to become law.  If the Upper House rejects the bill or if it sits on the bill for sixty days, the bill can still be passed by the Lower House with a 2/3 majority.  The pundits are calling this Upper/Lower House split the "twisted (contorted) Diet (ねじれ国会)" and some folks say that the people of Japan immediately want the Lower House to be dissolved and elections to be held.

I feel that the results of the elections are more subtle.  The majority formed by the DPJ in the Upper House gives us a chance to see
if they indeed have what it takes to govern.  Polls show that the majority of people voted for the DPJ as a protest vote against Abe, not in support of the DPJ.  Since we're finally seeing meaningful debate and dialogue between the two parties, perhaps a twisted diet is good for the physique.

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