Monday, August 31, 2009

A seismic shift in Japan

Japan went to the polls yesterday in legislative elections, and the result has been an electoral earthquake. The Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan practically uninterrupted for the past 55 years, has been thrown out of office. The Democratic Party, which has never been in government before, now has a Parliamentary majority and will choose the next Prime Minister.

Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama is calling this a "revolution", and in terms of overthrowing and shocking the establishment, he's not far wrong. OTOH, Japan has merely moved from a party with 30% hereditary politicians to one with only 10%. And to these eyes, that doesn't seem like that much of a difference.