Tuesday, 1 September 2009

New month, new government

As you may know, we had a general election here in Japan on Sunday. The left-of-centre party previously in opposition won, ousting the right-of-centre party which had pretty much been in charge ever since the end of the Second World War!

The previous government had earned a reputation among many as arrogant, complacent and full of jobs-for-the-boys. Many people came to think that it was time for a change and I think that many of the votes on Sunday were 'not for X' rather than specifially 'for Y'.

I agree with many of the policies of the new government, but they do seem to have a lot of contradictions too. They are going to increase child allowances, but scrap tax deductions for dependents. They have pledged to further cut CO2 emissions, but also to get rid of tolls on highways and reduce tax on petrol. Some of their plans seem more right than left-wing, and their plans to reduce various taxes leave people wondering how they are going to pay for all their pledges, particularly as Japan as a country is quite heavily in debt...

Overall I can't help thinking that this party was so determined to win that they promised everything to everyone and that the population was so eager for a change that they voted for the opposition without paying too much attention to their manifesto. Still, it's quite exciting and it'll be interesting to see what happens next. And it makes a change from blog posts about sock monkeys, tomatoes and cute little boys, right?

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