A landslide victory for Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of Japan

(Submitted on January 2, 2013)

As a result of the general election of the House of Representatives (Lower House) on December 16, 2012, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) achieved a landslide victory and regained power after three years of being in opposition. Shinzo Abe, the leader of the LDP, officially became prime minster on December 26. Frankly speaking, I did not vote for the LDP, so from this perspective I would like to make a wish list (but focusing on two items only) for the new government.


First and foremost, Abe should remain in office for the next four years (until the next general election that is expected within four years). There has been a flip-flop of prime ministers every year; in fact Abe is the sixth prime minster in a span of merely 6 years. It must be pointed out that it was Abe who first became prime minister in 2006, but resigned only after one year citing his deteriorating health: so he was the catalyst for this cycle of rotating political heads. This time he must stop the flip-flop once and for all.  


Secondly, I would like Abe to pursue policies in such a way that the LDP manifesto will be implemented gradually without causing “shocks” to the pulblic; nobody can tolerate drastic changes going from one extreme to another(like his proposed agenda for re-writing our constitution).


Abe’s LDP is already geared up for the next Upper House (House of Councilors) election which is expected in July, 2013. The LDP are aiming to control the Upper House as well, which is currently under the strong influence of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the main opposition now. Is it a good choice for the people to let the LDP gain an unbreakable hold over the Diet (Parliament)? That depends largely on how well the LDP can manage in the next few months or so.


The photo below shows the entrance of a ballot station at a nearby primary school on election day.



The banner indicated that there were three votes: first for a Lower House representative from their local constituency, second a political party for the proportional representation of the Lower House , and lastly for the rejection of any proposed Supreme court judges.

Here is some information on selecting Lower House representatives: from local constituencies, 300 representatives (one from each constituency), and from proportional representation 180 representatives, so 480 in all. The LDP got 298 seats whereas its main opposition, the DPJ, barely managed 57 seats (a devastating defeat for them). The constitution of Japan stipulates that the Lower House holds supremacy over the Upper House, especially in terms of passing finance bills and ratifying treaties as well as selecting a new prime minister.      



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