Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well, it is called a "party" after all

As my long time readers probably know, I usually stay out of politics as much as I can here on this blog and leave that sort of stuff to my political advisor. But the recent developments in Japanese politics are so entertaining that I feel the need to do a little post on this subject.

I think it is pretty well known how the large LDP (Liberal Democrats) and ruling DPJ (Democratic Party) are ripe with internal in-fighting, factions and just general political maneuvering internally in the parties. Usually when these internal conflicts reach the limit and the cup flow over, the troublemakers are either ousted or leave on their own to start up their own bigger and better party. The DPJ was originally (at least partly) such a splinter group of the LDP. Butto their credit, there are at least some tiny grains of ideological differences at work here with the DPJ being just a few inches to the left of the LDP.

Last year's catastrophic election for the LDP, who previously had a track record of almost five decades in power without any major interruptions (effectively making Japan a democratic one party state until now), is now obviously starting to take its toll. And now a number of amusing parties have splintered out from the LDP.

One of my favorites is obviously the party with the fantastic name みんなの党 "Everyone's Party" (which is the proper translation, but it seems like they want to use the title "Your Party" in English for some reason). For them it doesn't matter if you're a Stalinist, Conservative, Hitlerist or just old fashioned Anarchist, everyone should be able to find their place in this party as clearly stated by the name.

Then we have my second favorite, the party 立ち上がれ日本 "Rise up Japan Party" (again, this is also the proper translation although they themselves would like to call themselves "the Sunrise Party of Japan" in English) founded, again, by a splinter group of 5 granddaddies from the LDP with an average age of around 85-90 something. One of my favorite things about this party is how the 立ち上がれ/rise up can be applied to other parts of the body you want to have standing erect, but these old men are probably past that and the question is if they can be trusted in making Japan as erect as the name implies?

Just last week we had the final new party 新党改革 "New Reform Party" (I don't think they cheat that badly with making up a completely different name in English, it basically is the same I think) also founded by, who could have guessed it? A splinter group form the LDP! With the (relatively) popular former Minister of Health Labor and Welfare, Yoichi Masuzoe as the mastermind (ok, the party in itself is not completely new, but it was basically a dead shell that he now uses as a vessel to launch this new great party).

What I find most entertaining about these parties is that they don't really try to hide that they're splinter groups and that their names show no ideological standpoint at all and that the simple reason is because there is none. When the question "what is the difference between your new great erect party and the LDP?" is asked, it usually first gets kinda silent until they answer something completely different...

Sometimes I'm just glad that I'm not a citizen of Japan and don't have to feel any responsibility to actually vote for one of these parties...

1 comment:

jlpt2kyu said...

Q: What is the difference between your new great erect party and the LDP?

A: I [got kicked out of / couldn't be successful in] LDP

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