politics

Top court says 2012 election unconstitutional, but not invalid

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I'm not criticizing Abe, but if something is unconstitutional doesn't that automatically make it illegal and therefore invalid?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

They've had this same problem for decades now, and all they do is talk about adding a seat here, removing a seat there, which essentially changes nothing. Electoral boundary lines need to be drastically redrawn to even things up, but as long as the court continues to avoid rocking the establishment boat and leaves the LDP foxes in charge of the national henhouse, nothing is going to change.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Jeff198527, remember this is Japan. Since the LDP took over the country, anything goes and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The best way to have a positive life here in Japan is to stop reading the English news about Japan and start watching Japanese news on TV.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Since the LDP took over the country, anything goes and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Wrong! There is something "someone" can do about it, the people! The problem is the apathy within the electorate to stand up and demand the necessary changes. BTW the LDP "took over the country", with the exception of a few years, way back when, before most of the posters here were born.

If there is a will, there is a way, the problem is that the populous is satisfied with the status quo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Any effective opposition in Japan has been destroyed for at least a generation. It doesn't matter where they draw the boundary line because the opposition was smeared at every turn by a compliant media and destroyed by the bureaucrats because they wanted to change the bureaucracy. Where are the phony approval polls about Abe? Why is there no criticism of Abe and people demand that he be ousted him from office? They have effectively turned Japan into a one party democracy again which is a small step from tyranny. "The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be rules by evil men" Plato.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The supine supreme court strikes again. It seems the judges have no idea what their job is. If, as they accept, an election is held under unconstitutional (illegal) conditions, it follows that the results must be invalid. Therefore, those elected under such a system have no authority to govern and the people have no obligation to accept or respect the outcome.

Although he promised to enact electoral reforms Abe did the minimum possible, despite being warned beforehand that it wouldn't be enough. Abe should be held in contempt of court, but I expect he will simply "reinterpret" the ruling as allowing him to carry on regardless.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru, I'm afraid I must disagree. LDP is too powerful. Anyone who stands up, WILL get knocked down. Read the news, past and present. It has already been proven.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hold on, are you saying that some constituencies have (widely) differing numbers of electors than others? How can that make for any sort of valid electoral system? A representative democracy is founded on each elected representative representing as close to the same number of electors as possible. Doesn't Japan have regular boundary reviews to ensure all electoral districts are as close to each other as possible? I've been involved in three in the UK and am just in the starting stages of a fourth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe told reporters he took the ruling seriously and would now examine it more closely.

Just like Fukushima? Abe is all lies!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ha ha! This is so Japan! It's illegal, but not really. Quite Judge Dread, "I am the law!"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm not criticizing Abe, but if something is unconstitutional doesn't that automatically make it illegal and therefore invalid?

Actually the first two are linked, but Japanese legal doctrine for better or worse allows the link between the 2nd and 3rd to be broken where sufficient public interest is at stake. (I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but I suspect it at least de facto does, for similar reasons).

In a purely theoretical sense, this is of course absurd, but as a practical thing it does make some sense.

For example, let's invalidate the 2012 election. This de facto implies that if the election was done "fairly", the representatives in power would have been different. But the current Diet undoubtedly passed some laws and modified some others during its existence. IF we say the election was invalid, what would become of those laws - you can hardly say the elected in an invalid election has a valid mandate to pass law. So do we roll back all those laws?

Further, the "destruction area" doesn't really stop here if we fully implement. If the 2012 election made with the imbalanced voting zones is invalid, by extension, every election made with these zones is invalid! Now think how many laws were made in that time - what of their validity? Should they be immediately invalidated? But that would be chaos to say the least! Or maybe we say that only laws passed since the 2012 election should be invalidated to limit the destruction area. But then it doesn't make logical sense since every election was unfair.

Finally, even if we say that we will not invalidate any existing laws (despite them being passed by 'unfairly-elected' legislatures), there's the problem of the new voting system. Of course, the new system will have to be made in a democratic way - presumably this means the legislature. But its validity has just been invalidated! It should have no mandate! But if it doesn't have mandate it can't pass the new law about the new (hopefully fair) electoral system!

You see, it is easy to say illegality = invalidity, but when the problem is as large as electoral zones come into play, it is not that easy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What do Abe and a tortoise on a post have in common?

He didn't get up there by himself

He doesn't belong up there

He doesn't know what to do while he's up there

He's elevated beyond his ability to function

You wonder what kind of dope put him up there

1 ( +3 / -2 )

cleoNov. 21, 2013 - 08:36AM JST They've had this same problem for decades now, and all they do is talk about adding a seat here, removing a seat there, which essentially changes nothing. Electoral boundary lines need to be drastically redrawn to even things up, but as long as the court continues to avoid rocking the establishment boat and leaves the LDP foxes in charge of the national henhouse, nothing is going to change.

I agree, but rather than redrawing electoral boundaries why not just auto-calculate the number of seats based on population? Total number of seats divided by population of Japan multiplied by the population of the electoral area. Fractions are rounded down and assigned at the end on a "closest to the line" system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Twenty years ago I would have asserted that correcting the disparity in the value of one vote will lead to the bright future for Japan but what's needed now is not correcting the disparity but correcting the intergenerational inequality.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Abe is turning the Japanese economy around, and that really seems to bother some people.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"The best way to have a positive life here in Japan is to stop reading the English news about Japan and start watching Japanese news on TV"

I dont quite get the meaning to that, unless you are refering to the disconnect between what really goes on in Japan and what is reported in the Western media (fluff). I dont see how watching the J news would contribute to my happiness, however.

I also dont get how an election can be unconstitutional, but still be valid. Seems to be a very Japanese conclusion.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It seems that shifting equal weight to city dwellers isn't exactly fair either, though. Wouldn't that mean that cities would control everything, and that vast regions of rural areas would have almost no say even though their needs are quite different from those in metro areas? I think some kind of balance has to be worked out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wouldn't that mean that cities would control everything,

Even that would be fairer than now. At this point, the vote of one retired Alzheimer farmer (aged from 80 to 110 as all the mummified dead grandpas that still receive nenkin surely vote too) has the weight of 4 votes of the average Japanese worker (under 65, that can't even vote while he/she works/studies abroad). The fairness would be cities controlling 80% of national politics.

and that vast regions of rural areas would have almost no say

The reform would be for lawmakers only, the rural region would still have local representatives besides. The cities are never going there to tell them how to organize their gomi, hunt the bears in their mountains and put concrete everywhere nature can be sabotaged.

their needs are quite different from those in metro areas?

In what ? They need different laws ? A different international policy ?

rather than redrawing electoral boundaries why not just auto-calculate the number of seats based on population?

Japan would benefit of a system totally remade with one of the chambers not depending at all on location. There could be some elections directly at the national level for the government. But don't hold your breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cos

Japan would benefit of a system totally remade with one of the chambers not depending at all on location. There could be some elections directly at the national level for the government. But don't hold your breath.

I've seen this tried and the problem is accountability. When you're accountable to the people who elected you from a particular town or village then there's a definite sense of where the buck stops, but when someone is elected by "the people" and you're responsible "to the nation"... yeah, it doesn't work, because there are always enough competing agendas to use the old "divide and conquer" rule. I far prefer the direct representation system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is news for once!

A country led by people unconstitutionally elected! Pretty scaring, isn't it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the problem existed for how many years, DPJ kept on insisting that changes should be made then the unthinkable happened. DPJ won in the previous election. Then they stopped whining because they became recipients to the same flaw. Then the DPJ lost again with wide margins, then they again started whining and brought the issue to the supreme court....crazy country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I far prefer the direct representation system.

I agree. Imagine, for example, the bizarre idea that people in Japan freely elect their representatives and then the Emperor having the power to dismiss them at will. Whew, it is a good thing such a system does not exist in Japan, isn't it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In what ? They need different laws ? A different international policy ?

More work to prevent landslides, more evacuation shelters than they have now, more roadwork aimed at safety, different laws concerning farming, different laws concerning environmental protection, different proportions in the spending piechart, different access to foreign markets, etc., etc.. By the way, the mummified grandmas and grandpas have been showing up in cities as well, so their voting is probably fairly balanced..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No surprising, given that this is the land of suspended sentences, recognizing wrong but not correcting it (instead asking others to do it), etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did any of you people find which articles of constitutions are specified by protesters of 2012 election ?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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