And Just How Bad Was it for the DPJ?

Bad. Actually, very, very bad. While the DPJ managed to just pip the Japan Restoration Party for second place with 57 seats (down from 308), the “third pole” parties still did overall quite well with the JRP getting 54 and Your Party getting 18, for a total of 72.

Thus we have the governing parties of the LDP (294) and Komeito (31) with 325 seats, the “centrist” DPJ with 57 seats, the “third pole” with 72 seats, and the “left,” collectively made up of the Japan Future Party (9), the Social Democratic Party (2), the Communist Party (8), and New Party Daichi (1) with 20 seats. Perhaps most telling is the number of current  (7) and former members of DPJ cabinets (10) that lost not only their SMD seats but did not even make it back into the Diet on the PR list (17 in total!). That said, whether it be Okada, Hosono, Edano or Maehara who takes over, many of these people will not be missed by them as they rebuild the party, if that is even possible.

 Current ministers in the Noda cabinet:

Mitsui Wakio, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare

Kodaira Tadamasa, Consumer Affairs

Jojima Koriki, Finance

Nakatsuka Ikko, Financial Services

Tanaka Makiko, Education

Fujimura Osamu, Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tarutoko Shinji, Internal Affairs

It cannot be often that both the sitting finance minister and chief cabinet secretary, considered to be two of the top four jobs in the cabinet, lose their jobs outright.

Previous Ministers:

Hachiro Yoshio, METI (Mr “I’ll give you radiation”)

Kano Michihiko, Agriculture (anti-TPP ringleader and thorn in both Kan and Noda’s side)

Hosokawa Ritsuo, Health, Labour and Welfare

Tanaka Keishuu, Justice (Quit after connections to the Yakuza were revealed)

Komiyama Yoko, HLW

Kawabata Tatsuo, Internal Affairs

Hirano Hirofumi, Chief Cabinet Secretary (Hatoyama cabinet – widely considered to be incompetent)

Hiraoka Hideo, Justice (appointed someone with a criminal record to be his secretary)

Sengoku Yoshito, Chief Cabinet Secretary (Accused of sexual harassment, responsible for the Senkaku debacle by pressuring prosecutors to release the captain, etc)

Matsumoto Ryu, Environment (Abused two Tohoku governors after the tsunami, threatened a journalist, then blamed it on his Kyushu background and his blood type)

Not too many of the people from the second list will be missed.

Notable DPJ members who were “revived” on the PR list after losing their SMD seats include former PM Naoto Kan and Noda’s DPJ leadership run-off rival Kaieda Banri.

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2 thoughts on “And Just How Bad Was it for the DPJ?

  1. One good thing that came out from this DPJ wipe-out was that it helped dumped out most of the imbeciles in the second list you mentioned, coupled with Ozawa having bolted and Hatoyama finally confining himself to the dustbin of history, the DPJ could finally restart anew. Perhaps Noda intended this all along when he decided to dissolve the Diet, to cleanse the DPJ of these “impurities” through this baptism of fire, even if it means the end of his own political career.

    But whether it will have another stab at power is another question, but will it make the same Faustian pact it did when it decided to incorporate Ozawa all those years ago? Since the SMDs were specifically gerrymandered to favour the LDP. The DPJ only won in 2009 because Ozawa (who helped build this 1996 system) knew how to game this system inside-out himself.

    (BTW, does this election mean Ozawa and the Future Party, which he more or less hijacked, is merely a spent force?)

    Now that most of the economic problem has been dumped on Abe’s hands, the DPJ can now really focus on re-establishing its image as the saner alternative to the populist JRP.

    Speaking of the JRP, this election was no doubt called to stop them from fermenting into a real threat to both the DPJ and LDP. Their incorporating of the batshit insane Ishihara was no doubt for electoral convenience, but I doubt this alliance would last long, as they’re just so different. It’ll be just like the DPJ before.

    I’ve yet to have time to number crunch the data, but may I ask if the majority of JRP’s seats come from the Kansai region, which is their power base? If so, then it might bode well for Hashimoto as it means he would not need to rely on Ishihara in the long-term.

    Your Party has basically wasted the goodwill it received in the 2011 HoC election by basically doing nothing, despite holding a crucial minority (11 seats) to facilitate passing of some legislation which might benefit it. Instead, it more or less joined the LDP in opposing anything the DPJ proposes. So no surprise its position as the “middle-class protest party” is usurped by the JRP.

  2. Kinny – this should be a blog post in itself ;-) Much to agree with here.

    Noda has been very realistic about his long-term chances from the start, and that he would not be in power long by playing defense. He was right – but he still failed anyway. I think he was ultimately willing to purify the DPJ – but even he would not have believed the result would have been quite this bad. I think it was more directed as you note towards preventing the third pole from gaining sufficient ground to harm the DPJ’s chances of a coalition government with the LDP. As it was, the JRP and YP got more than the DPJ, and because the DPJ did so badly in the SMDs the LDP has ended up not needing the DPJ (in the lower or upper house) anyway!

    I will have a post on the JRP’s performance in a few days perhaps, but most of the SMDs the JRP won were in Osaka itself – it did okay in the wider Kinki area, and won the overall PR vote by 7 percent over the LDP. But it would need some kind of electoral change to be competitive. Without this, since the Komeito and the LDP having their bargain then the DPJ and the JRP and YP will essentially need to form a united front in the SMDs to remove them. The LDP didn’t do great in the SMDs – but it did well enough that none of the other parties had much of chance of picking up many SMDs. More on that later though.

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