Since calling an early election last month, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has shrewdly refashioned the image of the Liberal Democrats into the party of reform by fielding telegenic women as candidates and portraying opponents of his signature postal privatization bill as reactionaries.
The main opposition Democratic Party, whose gains in recent years now face erosion, has looked on helplessly. In the past, when issues were rarely raised in campaigns, politicians ran simply by promising favors to supporters, said Masayasu Kitagawa, a former Liberal Democratic lawmaker, independent governor of Mie Prefecture and now a professor at Waseda University. Kitagawa said.
To encourage political accountability and voter awareness, Mr. Kitagawa has been the leading proponent of election "manifestoes" detailing parties' agendas.
The word and concept was little understood in the general election two years ago, but it has taken root this time, with both main parties proffering their manifestoes. The illusion was formed in with the foundation of the Liberal Democratic Party, which focused single-mindedly on turning Japan into an economic power. With strong support from the United States and the powerful bureaucracy, as well as effective pork-barrel politics, the party's grip on power went unshaken for decades.
Internal factions vied for power, but decisions were made and some prime ministers even chosen in backroom deals. Because of the cold war and Japan's military dependence on the United States, the longtime opposition, the Socialists, were never taken seriously. Voters feared that "the friendly Japan-U. A split inside the party led to a month ouster from power in Dewey Classification He received a Ph.
His work examines parties and elections within both Japan-specific and explicitly comparative contexts. Book Preview Click the Google Preview button to view an excerpt from the book. More by Ethan Scheiner.
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Table of Contents 1. The importance of party competition and a model of party competition failure; 2. Opposition failure in Japan: background and explanations; 3. Clientelism and its determinants; 4.
There was hope on the left that opposition to the treaty would lead to an electorally successful Socialist Party. Two points make this puzzle all the more difficult to understand. It is possible to salvage the theory by arguing that LDP factions were the functional equivalent of separate parties. Altogether, the LDP won four more seats than it had in These structures greatly constrain the likelihood of a grassroots movement that can bring about party competition. More information about this seller Contact this seller. In important ways, the DPJ made substantial gains in , especially as party consolidation took effect.