Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Banzai! Changing of the Guard in Japan

On Sunday, the Japanese voters sent the upstart Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) into power, ousting the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that has ruled for over 50 years.

It was a landslide. The DPJ claimed 308 out of a possible 480 seats. Prior to this election, they had only 115 seats. The LDP went from 300 seats to 119.

The recent election in Japan was significant for a number of reasons. It replaces the corrupt, good 'ol boys system with one consisting of hope and change.

At some point, people get so feed up with the status quo and vote out the bums. This typically happens when the opposition is able to offer a charismatic leader. More often than not, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Seemingly, the new administration consists of governmental novices. The challenge for the DPJ is how to deal with the powerful government agencies that have been "ruling" for decades.

They have grandiose Keynesian spending plans -- populism at its finest -- though it will be tough to outspend what the LDP has done over the past 30 years, but they'll give it a shot.

There seems to be restrained optimism in the financial markets.

The LDP deserved its ousting. But I doubt the DPJ will do any better. Just like most two-party/coalition nations, there is very little difference between political groups.
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

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