• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    He took my heart / It was a landslide

    The obvious problem with “Koizumi’s Kids,” the freshmen Diet members who were elected as part of the groundswell of voter support for the prime minister in last year’s snap election, is that being non-traditional politicians, they’re likely to have trouble politicking. A solution being offered by the LDP is a seminar series:

    The Liberal Democratic Party will offer a seminar within the month to teach knowhow in three fields–Diet activities, election activities, and the planning of policy–to new Diet members elected to the lower house last year.

    The knowhow as described in the article is less a remedial version of a high school civics class than the sort of nuts-and-bolts knowledge people who found themselves elected officials more or less by accident need if they’re going to be able to maneuver. It’s probably good that the LDP is providing it. (And I daresay it seems less of a warning sign here that members of the Diet would need it than it might in a different country. Even in adulthood, the Japanese are very comfortable with lists and diagrams and things to help them navigate.) On the other hand, one wonders whether any of this clutch of chicks has a fraction of Koizumi’s conviction. Koizumi may not have succeeded in most of his reform agenda, but it was all built around a core of shared principles, and he knew how to plug away at it in PR terms. Whether he could have won on more points if he’d fought harder is an open question, but he was not, as is occasionally said, running on nothing but raw charisma (wonder whether Koizumi’s Kids will manage to display any of that, either, for that matter).

    The jockeying for the prime minister’s position in September continues; Abe is still the frontrunner. Various higher-ups in factions are appearing regularly to state that divisiveness is bad…or that putting factional unity above principle is bad…or that what’s really bad is China’s repeated attempts to interfere in Japan’s internal affairs. I haven’t seen anything particularly noteworthy in the last few weekends of political yak shows.

    Leave a Reply