Today we had the 47th elections of the members of the House of Representatives. It was snowing in the northern region, which contributed to a low percentage of voter turnout.
As the governing party is said to have more core voters, the lower voter turnout is likely to result in a lower participation of swing voters, majority and latent critical to the governing party. The bad weather condition is not the only factor for the lower turnout. While the last election in 2012 meant the change in the governing parties, this time the alternative to the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was not apparent.
A part of the result may deserve attention.
First, the LDP seems to win as much seats as before the election, but some oppositions such as the Democratic Party and Communist Party also seem to increase their proportions in the Parliament. Therefore the result as a whole may not provide a predictable indicator for the future of some policies, among them the consumer tax raise as one of the most important.
Second, the above result may reiterate again the institutional effect of election rules in Japan, which is not favorable to small parties without base neither in any circumscription nor widely through country.
Third, parallel to the low voter turnout, policy evaluation and prognostics during the election campaign is not related to the selection of the policy package or the country’s direction to come. There are so many crucial issues to be decided and this election remained unclear, from my viewpoint, what to be taken.
Fourth, the unconstitutional circumscription imbalance and the accusation on some LDP deputies for bribe scandal have not been solved. The former has been pending for a long time and only partly modified. The latter is totally obscured by the fact that those deputies were just reelected.