Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ozawa foresees an early election

As the natural culmination of the shift in momentum that has the DPJ pressuring the government on all fronts and feeling confident enough to boycott HC deliberations to protest the government's passage of the FY 2008 budget last week, the DPJ is once again preparing for an early general election.

Speaking to reporters in Hamamatsu, Ozawa Ichiro said, "Anticipating that there might well be a dissolution of the House of Representatives and general election during the current Diet, we are hastening the backing of candidates."

He also emphasized the issues that contributed to the DPJ's win in last summer's HC election: "The life of the people is the thing [the central issue in the general election campaign]. It is understood that the mistake of 'market economy omnipotentism' is growing inequality."

I still think that an early election favors the LDP, even if some of the party's elders — Mr. Mori, for example — think otherwise: for all that Mr. Fukuda's popularity has fallen, he remains more popular than Mr. Ozawa, and the DPJ clearly needs more time for its candidates to make themselves known to voters. So with that in mind, a pre-G8 general election remains plausible, if not highly probable.


Bryce said...

I think you are underestimating the undecideds who stood at about 40% last time I checked.

And is the LDP ready for a new leader? If Fukuda wins unconvincingly and resigns or *gasp* the LDP loses, the leadership may go to one of the individuals who have been preening themselves for the role since before Koizumi stepped down. That would not be good for party unity as most of the usual suspects (Aso particularly) seem to be pushing barrows that nobody else wants to sit in. That's why Fukuda was so right for the job at the particular time he came along. No barrows.

I still think he's okay, despite the growing public dissatisfaction. But then, he wasn't meant to be liked. He was merely supposed to calm things down.

Anonymous said...

Bryce, I must disagree with you. I feel that in the last month, the LDP has developed a more accepting stance towards Koizumi. Now that Aso has fleshed out his policy and has become more likable to the Japanese public, I feel that Aso has the potential to unite the LDP in ways that Fukuda isn't able to at this time.

Willie said...

How important is the popularity of Ozawa in all this? Isn't the bigger issue whether voters want to continue with the old system? Unless there's someone like Koizumi on the scene, it would seem the DPJ can simply make the old political argument about "Are you better off now than a few years ago?" Of course, for decades, this argument helped the LDP.