politics

Low voter turnout could erode Abe's call for fresh mandate

45 Comments
By Linda Sieg

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
Login to comment

"Japanese voters, puzzled as to why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is calling an election now and unimpressed by opposition alternatives"

What's up with that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't believe 65% are interested in the election in December. So far, based on my polls, 100% of the people I asked think snap election is not necessary and not interested. But then again look at the news source in this article............Yomiyuri.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All government controlled, all government directed.

But 65%? I also got my doubts. I predict less than 50%, probably something aroud 40.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

It looks like Abe will be looking very foolish by calling for this totally unnecessary election and wasting the taxpayers money for no good reason. For that reason alone, the voters should think twice about not supporting him in this election.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think there should be a grassroots movement to boycott this election! Minshuto should distance itself until the movement gets momentum then hold a press conference and state that although the party does not believe boycotting the election is the right direction to take, the party understands the resentment and anger of the electorate towards Abe and the ruling party for wasting the taxpayers time and money on a ploy by Abe to do nothing more that reassure himself that his dictatorial agenda and achievements have the people's support.

Boycotting the election will have the opposite effect of a mandate and will de-legitimize the whole election result and most importantly, Abe's credibility and the majority rule of the ruling camp! Yes, the opposition parties would be annihilated in the lower house but it would ultimately lead to Abe's resignation as prime minister and Juminto would be pounded for supporting Abe and untold changes could take place as a result.

Juminto and Komeito would end up with a nearly 100% of the lower house seats from the current 2/3! What could Abe do? He would be responsible for a total upheaval of the Japanese parliament's lower house and NOTHING Abe or the ruling camp did from there-on would be legitimate in the eyes of the citizens. Juminto and Komeito, not to mention Abe and his cabinet's support ratings would become unmeasurable and Abe would have no other choice than to admit himself into hospital for a second and final time, he would be finished and so would his agenda of redefining Japan.

When all is said and done, untold consequences will be unleashed upon Juminto and Komeito for running roughshod with their political powers. Abe and Juminto would become front page news all over the world and would be perceived as undermining Japan's whole democratic system. They would ultimately be forced to sit down and work out some-sort of settlement with the opposition camps. I think the opposition should refuse to sit down across from them until Juminto makes public it's plan and when the public seems satisfied, the opposition parties should strong-arm the hell out of Juminto and force more concessions. They should start by insisting that for any talks to begin, Juminto must pass new legislation on electoral districting maps and cut the number of diet seats in-line with past recommendations and bring the voter disparity rate to as close as 1:1 as possible. They should take away the power of the prime minister to dissolve the diet/lower house and find an acceptable alternative. They should take this opportunity to undue as best they can the past 60+ years of fortifications Juminto have implaced to protect their rule and not just stop at the national level but go after the prefectural and local government systems as well.

Yes, this has many implications and risks involved but I think now is the perfect time to tackle this political mess Japan finds itself in. This is the perfect time to transform Japan from a plutocracy into a democracy and throw-out the privileged class who have shackled EVERY man, women and child with over 8,000,000 plus-yen in debt with pork-barrel spending which is unmatched by any other industrialized country. the list goes on-and-on but these are the possibilities!

But who am I kidding, just forget everything I've said. Minshuto, and the other insignificant morons in the opposition don't have the balls to risk losing the scraps they've been handed and would behave like starved and crazed dogs protecting them! Too bad Bushido is only found in books and not in the hearts and minds of those who we entrusted to lead us!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Surely this will be a landslide for the opposition?

Such is the opposition to nuclear by the vast majority of the country then it goes without saying that the government will lose.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Surely this will be a landslide for the opposition? Such is the opposition to nuclear by the vast majority of the country then it goes without saying that the government will lose.

Unfortunately the opposition are hopeless and the old folks who generally do bother to vote figure it's better to stick with the morons they do know than go with the morons they don't. The secretary general of the biggest opposition party even admitted they weren't ready to take power, and he wasn't even reprimanded. Tells you all you need to know about them. ,

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Rather than boycott the election, why not vote for someone, anyone, else? Politicians everywhere get away with a lot of crap because of voter apathy. Don't like Abe's snap election, think it's a waste of money? Vote for someone else. Give your reasons to pollers when they ask you. If the new people do a bad job, vote for someone else.

An elected official's livelihood depends on how well they don't offend their constituents. Not voting is the same as giving blanket approval to whatever goes on in government. It says, "I don't care, do whatever you like." Vote for someone else. They only way government is going t learn, is if you start voting for someone else.

Neglecting to vote doesn't give Abe a mandate, but it sure doesn't give him an admonishment either. It's not as good as he might have hoped for, but a low voter turnout won't give him much anxiety. Why should it? He and his are still in power. But Abe did say that he would resign if hi part didn't get a majority of the vote. There's you answer. Vote for someone else.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

PM Abe wants the LDP members of lower house to have another extra 2 more years, that is 4 years, before voting to pass very "unpopular bills". So they can not be voted out after 2 years. According to the polls, many Japanese voters : (1) Do not want the nuclear reactors restarted. Radiation from radioactive wastes and from nuclear accidents takes hundreds to thousands of years to decay to safe levels. Radiation has been proven to cause radiation sickness, cancer, etc. (2)Do not want the consumption tax raised because it reduces their amount they can spend on buying goods. It lowers their living standard. (3)Do not want the Japanese military to fight outside Japan in conflicts, wars, etc. which do not affect the security of Japan. PM Abe does not have the votes to "revise" the Constitution, so he tries to get around it by "reinterpreting" the Constitution. This is very dangerous for the Japanese citizens. Imagine the government can take away your rights and freedom simply by "reinterpreting" the Constitution. (4) Do not want to reopen the wounds with neighboring countries caused by World War 2. They do not want to revise past apologies and do not want to reopen old historical issues, just like Germany and Italy. I urge all eligible Japanese voters to exercise the most important right they have, that is, to vote for leaders they can trust that will protect their rights, freedom, health, and way of life. I believe a Lower House with no party having a "big" majority is best to prevent the one party from abusing its powers, taking away the rights and freedom of citizens.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Surely this will be a landslide for the opposition?

As much as the LDP (current government) sucks, the opposition is made up of one party that completely failed the country when they were in power a few years back, and then a smattering of other tiny parties that usually have a single mandate, and are not organized whatsoever. There is no viable alternative to the ruling party. People may be unhappy with the LDP, but the alternative is even worse. Abe knew this when he called the election. So it's kind of a smart move on his part, even though he's screwing the country in doing it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It doesn't matter how little Abe wins by. If he wins he'll claim it as a fresh mandate to do whatever he wants for the next 4 years (or until he is kick out by his party, which will likely be very soon).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nepotism and a continuation of the same families retaining power over a public convinced that its for the best with no conception of choice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

spbpb Nov. 25, 2014 - 11:00AM JST

Rather than boycott the election, why not vote for someone, anyone, else? Politicians everywhere get away with a lot of crap because of voter apathy. Don't like Abe's snap election, think it's a waste of money? Vote for someone else. Give your reasons to pollers when they ask you. If the new people do a bad job, vote for someone else.

That is exactly what Abe is telling voters to do and this plays right into his trap as most voters don't feel there is a viable opposition to vote for! It's like asking the electorate to choose between smelling someone's dirty feet or another person's sweaty behind!

Either way, both choices stink and are most repulsive so hopefully most will choose neither and stay home and rain on Abe's parade. He nor the ruling coalition will have ANY mandate and Abe will become nothing more than a toothless lion who's own pride will be forced to eat him alive, all in short order.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“I don’t understand why they are calling an election,” said Hiromi Tanaka, a music teacher. Tanaka said she planned to vote but thought many who, like her, don’t hold regular jobs would not. “They don’t think it has anything to do with them.”

What the heck is wrong with these people? Their apathy disgusts me! Yeah, they'll all will sit around and whinge about the economy and how badly Abenomics is screwing up their livelihoods, but they couldn't be bothered to actually get off their sofas and voting! The low voter turnout will work in Abe's favor cos those that will vote are the political extremists that support the LDP, as it has been for the last 70 odd years. When the DPJ gained power the voter turnout was one of the highest in the last half a century. Abe knows this and he is counting on this to extend his term. This is also why he delayed the second sales tax increase cos he knows he will become public enemy #1 after doing so. Get up off your sofas and do something to help yourselves, you apathetic bunch of whiners!

3 ( +5 / -3 )

I disagree with this idea. I think if the voters don't want Abe in power, they need to vote for someone else. Not voting sends absolutely no message, except that either the voters don't care, or that the opposing parties have offered no viable candidates. Either way, Abe gets in. If he is in, he will get what he wants.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder if the feeling right now is how Japan felt politically during the end period of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 1860s. Just a major loss of credibility as the Japanese government has really struggled to formulate an effective response to economic troubles at home and a rapidly changing international context.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Low voter turnout is usually a combination of people happy/content with the status quo and/ or no viable alternatives. I got to give DPJ's stance of not giving Christmas "wish list" type promises in this upcoming election like they did last time.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Not voting sends absolutely no message, except that either the voters don't care, or that the opposing parties have offered no viable candidates.

The opposing parties have no viable candidates.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Farmboy Nov. 25, 2014 - 12:11PM JST

Not voting sends absolutely no message

It clearly shows voter discontent and lack of support for one's policies and NO MANDATE . This was the main reason Abe called for a dissolution and snap election in the first place.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Mr. Perfect

I don't understand your reasoning. I accept that Abe might not get a "mandate" with a low voter turnout, but I don't see how that makes him a toothless lion. If everyone who doesn't like Abe stays home, then only his supporters come out, giving him and his party real power , mandate or no. With a population that won't vote against him, he can do whatever he wants.

Voting for someone else sends a message. Forcing Abe to make good on his promise to resign if his party doesn't get a majority sends a message.

In a democracy, citizens talk to their government by voting. Not voting is the definition of doing nothing. Politicians don't care about groups that don't vote. And they shouldn't care. If you won't hold them responsible, then they aren't responsible to you.

So vote in some crappy opposition party. Do it because they're different. And then vote them out too, if they really are crappy. Keep voting out parties and leaders until someone in government finally gets the message and listens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

spbpb Nov. 25, 2014 - 01:52PM JST

In a democracy, citizens talk to their government by voting. Not voting is the definition of doing nothing. Politicians don't care about groups that don't vote. And they shouldn't care. If you won't hold them responsible, then they aren't responsible to you.

Japan isn't a democracy, it's a plutocracy as evident in all but a half-dozen years since the end of WWII that the opposition held the reins. With the exception of Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), nearly every sector and organization, not to mention the entire bureaucracy, opposed the two opposition led governments from August 1993~January 1996 and September 2009~December 2012.

The LDP, has been in power nearly 65 years and in didn't stay there on it's own merits, it had a lot of help from it's friends! Ask any Japanese person who has been around a while about democracy. I'm always remind here that "democracy is just a word"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Shinzo Abe's penchant for this snap election exposes his undisguised demagoguery. The gross political theatre, depressingly highlighting the hapless ineptitude of a opposition in a fundamentally broken political system.

All the false claims and promises of reformation that would herald an era of fairness, economic stability and social mobility, degenerating into a $500m act of electoral manipulation, cynically stage managed into a mandate.

Pretty pretty please without haste, harass your legislative/ lawyer makers/ representatives at every turn, lobby for change, make them work for your vote.

The consequences of voter apathy can be witnessed for all to see in Europe where overall turn slumped to just 43%.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's time to vote for the JCP, the only party that has consistently opposed the ruling oligarchy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sadly I'm not surprised in the slightest

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two points: a. LDP is less of two evils and DPJ is worse. b. Abe is already a damaged goods, winning the election may make him look good on the papers (no pun is intended), but he is facing mounting challenges to turn the tide of a diminishing Japan including deep rooted deflation, and the odds is not on his side with his competence records. Do I mention both friends and foes of Japn in the world don't him seriously any more ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It doesn't matter how little Abe wins by. If he wins he'll claim it as a fresh mandate to do whatever he wants for the next 4 years (or until he is kick out by his party, which will likely be very soon).

Exactly. I'm sure the LDP will spin the whole situation to suggest that anyone who doesn't vote tacitly approves of what the government is up to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"low voter turnout"

There's no excuse for this. If you have the right to vote and don't exercise it, you blow your chance to have any say in how you are governed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PM Abe, you are missing an arrow. There should have been four arrows. Even if your three arrows policy work the outcome is meaningless without the fourth arrow. The fourth arrow would be the arrow that ensures that the workers at the bottom of the economic scale feel the effects of the abundance at the top (big corporates profits). You were honest enough to say that those at the bottom should be feeling and not (and not are feeling the trickledown effect. What measures do you have in place to make that 'should' becomes a definite 'ARE'?

I hate politricks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wasting time, and money is what PM Abe is doing. If Abe were truly concerned with how voters feel, he'd hold a referendum, not an election. A referendum would give a more accurate read of how people feel about his policies.

Japan isn't a democracy, it's a plutocracy as evident in all but a half-dozen years since the end of WWII that the opposition held the reins.

Mr Perfect is right here. The political elites of Japan don't necessarily see themselves beholden to the needs, and wants of the electorate. Japan's politicians pay lip service to democracy. That is evident in its long standing, interventionist approach to the economy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@FarmboyNOV. 25, 2014 - 12:11PM JST I disagree with this idea. I think if the voters don't want Abe in power, they need to vote for someone else

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Do you think someone will become a candidate to oppose him in his ward in Yamaguxchi ken?.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sir, The black side of democracy is indecisive verdict of the people. When there is no majority of seats in Parliament, the government will not be able to deliver the promises made and in the process, democracy is paralysed and governance is affected. India has suffered for nearly a decade due to compulsive politics and political black mail due to coalition of parties. Let the people of Japan decide decisively and march ahead. S A Srinivasa Sarma sas_sarma@yahoo.com Hyderabad, India

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe this snap election is more a typical political ploy to distract the general voting populace from the true root cause - Abenomics is not about curtailing government spending, nor about more rigorous fiscal responsibility. Abenomics, as I understand it with my limited if not diminished mental capacity - is bluntly "INCREASE government spending (and therefore government debt) to rebalance the economy and reduce government debt.

I'm definitely NOT an expert in economics, public finance and management - but Abenomics seems equivalent to increasing the line of credit and use of an already overtaxed, abused, and overextended credit card, in the hopes that it will somehow miraculously cure my credit indebtedness woes.

From an investment perspective - the expected return on investment can't even competitively outperform simple bank savings account interest.

I truly don't understand government based economics and financial management - either here in Japan or back home in the good ol' USA.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's time to vote for the JCP, the only party that has consistently opposed the ruling oligarchy.

Good choice! In my book (even though I'm American), these guys are the best opposition party Japan has to offer.

They got more people into the Tokyo metro assembly (17) and the Upper House (11) last year, didn't they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you think someone will become a candidate to oppose him in his ward in Yamaguxchi ken?.

Toshiko,

That's a good question, and I really don't know the answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Perfect...right on. I'm with you, but the boycott has to be organized and publicized. Everyone in the world needs to know why people didn't participate. LINE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and any other social media to get the word out, but is the Japanese public ready or already too complacent? Heck here in Okinawa in one of the districts we have Kokuba (LDP), Akamine (JCP), and the loser Shimoji (believe he's getting backing from Ishin). The only one who is talking sens is JCP.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It may be hard to change until things are really bad due to (1) the power of the bureaucrats (2) the selfish interests of the construction lobbies/JA and (2) the selfish interests of many (not all but enough) people over 60.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dbsaiya Nov. 26, 2014 - 06:54AM JST

... the boycott has to be organized and publicized. Everyone in the world needs to know why people didn't participate. LINE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and any other social media to get the word out, but is the Japanese public ready or already too complacent?

Yes, but it would need the energy and motivation of the Japanese youth for this to happen and they are the wildcard and monster the LDP fear most. Keep the sleeping and ignorant youth from voting and getting involved and focus on the elderly who are growing in number and you keep power.

The political system in Japan is too corrupt and is fixed in favor of the ruling dynasty, the LDP, and as a result, it has nearly locked itself into power. Look people, if you think elections in this country matter than you are unaware of how the Japanese society as a whole operates. ALL the laws in one way or another protect the government, and guess who from, the people! There are very few cases that reach courts, especially the Japanese Supreme Court that ever rule in favor of citizens who file suit against the government with a very few in favor to give the impression that it's impartial. Money flows like rivers into the coffers of Juminto from nearly every industry feeding the machine and with that money comes corporate leverage in legislation drafted to the benefit of said industries.

All the political and election laws are written in ways that make it impossible for the average Joe Tanaka to have a shot and are intended to keep those who wish to contribute new ideas and make waves out. Campaign trucks are not allowed to broadcast the individual candidates policies, nor can pamphlets, and the candidates just go around in circles blaring the candidates name and party affiliation. How on earth do you know whether you like the candidate if they can't convey their own ideas and If you want to run as an independent good LUCK. You need a small fortune just to get your name on the ballot then an army of supporters to spread your message and in the end, the unimpressed electorate just tick off the party which seems the lesser of 10 evils. And that brings me to the final nail in the coffin. There are so many opposition parties vying for seats that the vote is split and there is nearly no chance of garnering enough votes to capture a majority whereas Juminto & Komeito don't step on eachother's toes ensuring them of no competition. Yes, I read the news too that Minshuto and another miniscule party which comes and goes like the wind, have been trying to avoid running in the same districts but that's just two out of a half dozen or more.

"Vote for our half-dozen members and we will bring back stability to this once great nation!" * Who buys this crap anyways!

Democracy is just a word, it takes effort and citizens need to be informed. Democracy isn't just ticking-off some name, in Japan's case basically a party, and be done with it. The media is at fault as well as they just let the so-called leaders spout their lies and false promises without ANY challenge and how can the electorate be informed when there are just slogans, not meaningful debate on real issues. So yeah, the electorate is at fault but that's due to all the static and noise, false promises, continued failed policies, political corruption and graft, senseless elections and on and on and on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As I said previously, the gap between Japan and North Korea - in political terms - is narrowing

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@MrPerfect

There are only two ways citizens can affect government policy: voting (if it's allowed) and protesting.

If everyone got out there and voted not LDP you would see change in government. You're advocating that people boycott. If they were protesting in the streets, I'd agree with you. If people skipped work to picket, then the government might listen, and I would agree with you.

But if the election comes and goes, and most people just stay at home, and the LDP keeps its hold, how is Abe negatively affected at all? In fact, if people don't vote, Abe learns that he can do just about anything and the Japanese people won't hold him accountable. Japan might be more plutocracy than democracy, but non-involvement just preserves the status quo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

spbpb Nov. 26, 2014 - 01:43PM JST

There are only two ways citizens can affect government policy: voting (if it's allowed) and protesting.

Boycotting IS protesting! Many people have used boycotting to affect change.

If everyone got out there and voted not LDP you would see change in government. You're advocating that people boycott. If they were protesting in the streets, I'd agree with you. If people skipped work to picket, then the government might listen, and I would agree with you.

The government won't listen to any protests, even by people setting themselves on fire (self-immolation). Has Abe listened to the protestors in Okinawa who voted-out Abe's own puppet and elected a candidate who opposes the base relocation plan, NO, he still plans to go straight ahead with the plan as stubbornly as before.

But if the election comes and goes, and most people just stay at home, and the LDP keeps its hold, how is Abe negatively affected at all? In fact, if people don't vote, Abe learns that he can do just about anything and the Japanese people won't hold him accountable. Japan might be more plutocracy than democracy, but non-involvement just preserves the status quo.

Abe called an election which the people don't understand the need for. If no-one except your most ardent supporters show up to vote can you then claim to have a mandate by the people? Can he seriously expect to move forward with his agenda and say it's the will of the people after there was a massive campaign to successively boycott the election he called and nobody supported? He would be laughed at by everyone and he would be only fooling himself if he were to believe that.

In nearly all other countries I would say go out and vote the administration out of office but that won't happen here. Voter disparity, the heavily unfair proportional seats in both houses, the nearly dozen minority parties who split the vote making it nearly impossible for the opposition to pull off another takeover (as happened only twice before), the huge money funding Juminto, etc, etc, etc, etc, the list goes on. Minshuto has no chance to make change even if they or in tandem with other minor parties were to win because Juminto still controls the upper house and there terms last another two years, complete stagnation and the people will get fed up once again and back to square one.

Team-Abe need to be humiliated on not just a national level but in the eyes of the international community as well. Hell, people in Cuba ALL vote for the Castros but does that give Fidel or Raúl legitimacy at home, more importantly, internationally? Japanese need to try a new strategy if they really want change and raining on Abe's election party is a start.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Voters should NOT shun the December 14 2014 election. They can instead vote for candidate from any party except Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito. It is important that the LDP does not get a big majority in the Lower House so that it CAN NOT force through unpopular policies that you may oppose. These include : (1) State secrets protection bill that will allow the government to hide information like nuclear disasters, military adventures, etc. from Japanese citizens and restrict the freedom of the press. The problem lies in the "definition" of state secrets. (2) Under Article 96, amendments to the Constitution "shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify." PM Abe does not have the two thirds majority in both houses to revise the Constitution. He tries to get around the supreme laws of Japan, that is, the Constitution by "reinterpreting" the Constitution. (3) PM Abe's policy of raising the consumption tax is the same policy advocated by DPJ. This policy cost the DPJ the last election. DPJ has since said it will not increased the tax for a very long time. (4) Restarting the nuclear power plants. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster shows the power company and the government are very poorly equipped to deal with the disaster. Germany is getting only 18% of its energy from nuclear power and has pledged to shut down all nuclear power plants by the end of 2022. Major earthquakes can cause serious damages to nuclear reactors, leaking highly radioactive substances, contaminating water, air, soil and food. Radiation can kill people quickly in high doses, cause cancer, deformities in babies, etc.. If you DO NOT want PM Abe and the LDP to continue the policies you oppose, then go out and vote for the other party. Do not complain or protest his policies after the election. You can protest with your VOTE.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mr. PerfectNov. 26, 2014 - 03:56PM JST

Abe called an election which the people don't understand the need for. If no-one except your most ardent supporters show up to vote can you then claim to have a mandate by the people? Can he seriously expect to move forward with his agenda and say it's the will of the people after there was a massive campaign to successively boycott the election he called and nobody supported?

Yes, he can. Because no one will vote him out. You're not addressing my concern. If no one votes, Abe and his party retain all the power. You're saying that it will make him look like a laughing stock if no one votes. I say that Abe isn't so petty. He couldn't care less what anyone thinks as long as he gets his way in government. As Yamiko Otokawa pointed out in the post above, there are unpopular agenda items that he would like to force through.

I think Abe does get a mandate, even if no one votes. He can simply say, "Hey, I gave you a chance to vote against me. I even offered to resign if you did. But you didn't. That says, even if you don't love my policy, you're comfortable with it." Voting for a fractured opposition at least sends a message of disapproval to the LDP.

A mandate is important because acting without one means that people will likely vote against you in the next election. But if no one is going to vote in Japan, why is a mandate important? Boycott has efficacy when used economically. If you boycott political involvement, it's a boon to your opponents. They proceed unobstructed while you sit on your thumbs.

You want to humiliate Abe? Then vote for for anyone else. You talk about how broken Japan's government is, but the fact remains that its voting populace still has power to make real changes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spoiling your ballot: the third way

This Guardian article may be of some interest, it is a detailed example of ballot spoiling, although I am not sure that these spoilt papers are still counted in certain ballots or poles, and viewed in some countries as constituting an unlawful act

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/the-northerner/2012/nov/05/police-and-crime-commissioners-police-spoilt-ballot-paper-north-yorkshire

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if the voters won't engage in running on issues that they care about then nothing can change.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Voters should NOT shun the December 14 2014 election. They can instead vote for candidate from any party except Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito. It is important that the LDP does not get a big majority in the Lower House so that it CAN NOT force through

Good point, although I wonder if the other political parties truly oppose the consumption tax, or the second increase. Unfortunately, Japan, right now, has a choice between the lesser of several "evils".

Whoever wins, I don't see them not going through with the second tax rise (which needs to be delayed much, much longer than 2 and half years). There doesn't seem to be a huge difference between the big two.

The consumption tax increase was the "brainchild" of former PM Noda, and the DPJ (who ignored the fact that Japan's economy was in a weakened state). Although the hike was unpopular, and unnecessary, PM Abe goes ahead and implements the policy of the group he had long opposed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites