politics

Gov't to examine electoral system after lawsuits over vote disparities

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Abevotescamonomics!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll get my popcorn ready so I can enjoy this circus.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The stupidity of proportional representation is finally rearing it's head. People like Ishihara would never have been voted into office without it. Some candidates were 3rd or 4th place in their own districts I've heard and they STILL were elected.

One Person One vote! How hard is it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The LDP set this current system up years ago when they were forced into a coalition government with the Socialists and Murayama was elected as PM. It was whacked back then and still whacked today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But, he said, any attempt to even up the vote value of Japan’s densely populated cities with the emptying countryside risked creating geographically vast constituencies where inhabitants have little in common.

Sounds to me like they have everything in common. They are pretty uniform in their increasing desire for transfer payments, concrete, subsidies and pork, and, despite that, uniform in their slow death. It is just that, with reduced voting power, they would not be able to hold the cities to ransom so easily. Nor the LDP either.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ah, yes! A guaranteed landslide victory! Japanese democracy at its finest!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe's win wasn't lasndslide, more like mudslide.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The rigged electoral boundaries probably made little difference to the results of the last election and the ineffective supreme court will never annul an election.

What is very strange is Abe's crazy plan to change the system. He wants to reserve some seats for parties that get few votes. If you get lots of votes, you win. If you get few votes, you still win. What a daft idea. If a party gets few votes it shouldn't get any seats.

It should be straightforward to revise constituency boundaries, but the LDP will lose out on rural seats and are reluctant to do that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If this will help to get old "tummywobble"s Abe out of the PM seat and into something more suitable to him, such as running a sub-post office out in the sticks somewhere, this will be an excellent move.

Get him out now before he destroys the country!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yeah... we all knew that LDP has been rigging votes for decades. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to hold the office for 50+ years in a democratic state.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Something is rotten in the country of Japan... to paraphrase the Bard. I wonder how many more will turn out to be invalid, and will it lead to a new election?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah they'll examine the system, then tighten the restrictions on appeals. Without gerrymandering and weighted votes the LDP and DPJ would have died long ago. Think they'll give that up? Who will protect their Yakuza buddies then, much less the farmers and whalers? The last thing these guys need is any kind of oversight.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Observers say the legal challenges are aimed at bringing moral pressure on politicians of all parties to alter an electoral system that has become weighted in favour of those living in rural areas

Leave it to Japanese politicians to frig up a free lunch. As Yubaru says:

One Person One vote! How hard is it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You know, before you come to Japan you hear all these interesting stories about the place, but the longer you stay here the more you realize just how stuffed up the place really is. 17 PMs in 16 years and Koizumi held office for five of those years. There was also the allegations of buying votes and influencing voters in this election and now this. They should just let the yakuza run the country (if they don't already). At least they openly admit to being criminals. Japanese politicians are just as much criminals but they call it politics. Ozawa is a good example of Japanese political ethics and he was acquitted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

as I am not familiar overly much with Japanese elections, I cannot comment. Do you have a House of Representitives vs a Senate set up or is it something else?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One Person One vote! How hard is it?

You haven't understood the problem. The problem is about the effective weight of each vote and look around the world, you will not find a perfect system. Yes, it is hard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You haven't understood the problem. The problem is about the effective weight of each vote and look around the world, you will not find a perfect system. Yes, it is hard.

Oh I understand it very well, the LDP created the system now in place to keep themselves in power and give extra weight to the voters outside of the metropolitan areas of Japan BECAUSE it's those rural voters (farmers) that have typically kept the LDP in power.

They could very easily fix the system. Trash the proportional representation and increase by a small percentage the district votes and actually cut the total number of representatives and save a crap load of cash at the same time.

Cities, towns, and villages all over Japan have seen the numbers of council critters cut because of the overall costs, without losing representation either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh I understand it very well,

No you don't. What you are advocating is the one of the version of "proportional representation" system where the number seats givien to a candidate are directly determined by number of votes a particular political party receives. It looks like you are mixing "small size contituency" versus "proportional representation" in which based on the last election, the LDP gained sizeable seats to the former as opposed to the latter.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They could very easily fix the system. Trash the proportional representation and increase by a small percentage the district votes and actually cut the total number of representatives

Your "easy" fixes wouldn't fix the problem this lawsuit is about (although I don't understand what you want to say with "increase by a small percentage the district votes"). They would even make it worse, because a system based on single winners has even more problems with vote disparities. The effective weight of votes of minorities is close to zero in such systems and reducing the number of representatives makes it even worse. You have to be careful if you don't want to end up with a dictatorship of the majority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Re-apportionment is long a back office political party positioning kind of thing, with every 10 year census, in the US. How does Japan, under its relatively new post WWII constitution, address the timing of each national census and the distribution of voting strength? Its written into the US Constitution, thanks to those smart "founding fathers" of the Republic. But Japan's a Parliamentary system, not a Republic, and only so much can be laid at the doorstep of MacArthur and his recently passed assistance, the fine lady (her name anyone?) who helped insert provisions for equal rights between the sexes in Japans Constitution. Wondering. How different? Looking at this more closely may help find a way forward.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The effective weight of votes of minorities is close to zero in such systems and reducing the number of representatives makes it even worse.

What minorities here in Japan? No single vote should weigh anymore or any else than any other persons vote.

Re-district the entire country. Get rid of proportional representation.

1 person 1 vote.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What minorities here in Japan?

I'm not talking about ethnic minorities only, but anybody who has opinions which deviate from the mainstream. This can be due to ethnic, religious, professional, regional or family background, just to list some examples.

No single vote should weigh anymore or any else than any other persons vote.

In a representative system it is mathematically impossible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not talking about ethnic minorities only, but anybody who has opinions which deviate from the mainstream. This can be due to ethnic, religious, professional, regional or family background, just to list some examples.

Oh so according to you then any one with a minority opinion, mainstream or otherwise should have a larger voice than their one vote? They should have more power? If they are a minority they should get their butts on the road and get people to vote for them and put them in the majority, that's what elections are all about.

Otherwise you end up with the cluster friggin mess like Japan has now.

In a representative system it is mathematically impossible.

That's why the current system HERE needs to be scrapped, and the supreme's here seem to agree that one persons vote should not have 2 to 3 times more "value" than someone else's vote.

Redistrict the entire nation, get rid of ALL proportional representative seats in the lower house. Currently there are 480 seats in the lower house of parliament.

180 seats out of 480 were filled by proportional representation. As an example Hashimoto and Ishihara's Ishinnokai only got 14 seats by single constituency voting and 40 from proportional representation votes. That's ludicrous, that candidates who lost their local elections got elected into office anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru, I still do not understand your proposal. Are you saying minority parties like Japan Socialist Party, Japan Communist Party, Komeito Party, or Your Party should not have a seat in the Diet?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The decisions are effectively suspended until the supreme court rules on them, an event scheduled for some time towards the end of the year.

This is wrong. Article 213 of Public Offices Election Act says that courts must deliver judgment within 100 days of filing. They appealed to the Supreme Court right after the high court rulings, the Supreme Court will hand down the judgment in June. Since upper house election is expected sometime in July, we may have a "double election" this July.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, I still do not understand your proposal. Are you saying minority parties like Japan Socialist Party, Japan Communist Party, Komeito Party, or Your Party should not have a seat in the Diet?

I am suggesting that the "parties" are not the candidates. The candidates represent their parties, and all elected diet members should come from single seat constituencies.

So, as an example here, if a candidate from the Communist Party runs against a LDP member and wins, more power to them. Voters should vote for the candidates and what positions they take irrespective of the party, but currently individuals often times choose the candidate based upon the party affiliation and not their stance on the issues.

I am not 100% sure about this but as far as I know there are no prefectural level elections or lower here in Japan has proportional representation. Candidates are elected based purely upon who wins the most votes. It's only the Diet and that system came into being because the LDP feared losing their power and having to form coalition governments to lead in the Diet, hence a Socialist party member, Murayama (June 94 to Jan 96) becoming PM when his party formed a coalition government with one other smaller party, to rule because the LDP could not get a majority vote.

In my opinion that's the way it should be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The following is a link to the method used by the Japanese Diet to figure proportional representation........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Hondt_method

You almost have to be a mathematician to figure it out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru

I applaud you for finally looking up the electorial voting system of Japanese Parliament but your so-called solution is all over the place. First of all, you criticize the disparity of weight of votes on the small constituency districts while denouncing the proportional representation system which, in theory, is opposite of that where votes are weighed equally. As for Murayama (Coalition of LDP), LDP at that time were still a minority opposition party before the coalition so there was never a "fear of losing power" for they had none at that time. It's only when the Socialist Party decided to withdraw from the majority coalition that the Hata cabinet became a minority coalition party. Since the LDP and the Socialist party was going to pass the no confidence vote against Hata, the massive loss of seats anticipated by Hata and his coalition if it were to come at a lower hourse election, Hata resigned calling for a new election of the Prime minister within the Lower house members. Finally, as both gonemad and CH3CHO alluded to, without proportional representation, the minority (small parties that CH3CHO) will invevitably have no voice whatsoever for their representative party's candidate would surely lose in most all of the small constituency districts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am glad to see "Three Branches of Power" in Democracy is finally working in Japan. The Election reform of Japan is well overdue. Good luck.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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