Friday, 30 January 2009

My Practically-Worthless Opinion On A Political Thing

I've just been asked whether I think Aso Taro is going to call an election to secure a mandate any time soon. I'm by no means an expert on these things, but the answer is 'absolutely not'.

Aso's approval rating is at 19% - less than half what is was four months ago. In September it looked like he could do no wrong. Apparently he then decided that he should therefore take this opportunity to do lots and lots of wrong, and by the sheer density of mistakes people started noticing. Unemployment has hit 4.4%, which, as Shisaku points out, is disastrous. And he's also getting a spanking in the Diet over his economic stimulus package. If he calls an election now he has no chance of winning.

What I think he'll do (and this is speaking from an ill-informed and politically ignorant perspective) is wait for something to happen. Something he can take credit for. If the economic slow-down slows down, he can try to take credit for that; if Korea does something about the abductee non-issue that the Japanese populace are so obsessed about, he can pretend he had some hand in it. Aso's chances can't really get any worse than they would be if there was an election now, so there's absolutely nothing to lose by waiting.

So if anyone wants to know what I think about that, there you go. But seriously, don't quote me on any of this shit.

Aso's "No, I AM a people-person" face