LDP set to sweep polls, surveys say
Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE
"LDP set to sweep polls, surveys say"
(Kwan Weng Kin) The Straits Times
Most of the major media conducted polls over the weekend to seek the trend of voters toward the general election on coming up on Sunday, 9th. While the legitimate media has been very careful in reporting the results in detail, so as to avoid preconceptions by the voters, all the polls seem to indicate that the ruling LDP is coming in strong. Although there have been reports of LDP possibly losing the people's support because of the messy fumbling in firing the head of the public highway corporation, the popularity of Prime Minister Koizumi and the recently appointed chief secretary of the LDP, Mr Abe, has been causing a synergistic effect across the country.
Another reason for the LDP's favorable performance speculated by some is, that it has little to do with the LDP itself, but as indicated in the article introduced above, that the presence of Komeito party is playing a big part, which has formed a coalition with the LDP since 1999. Although at that time the coalition invited strong dissents from various religious groups, for this election there seems to be a number of LDP candidates who must rely on the support of the Soka Gakkai, the group that backs Komeito, to win the election.
As for the DPJ, Democratic Party of Japan, which was formed through the merger of two largest opposing parties immediately before the dissolution of the lower house, there have been comments that the party's tactics may have backfired. The DPJ has proposed to the voters that this is the time for Japan to opt for the two-party system, such as in the US or the UK, where two parties, both capable of leading the country, would compete in winning the trust of the people based on their policy issues. The idea is fine, as itself a political assertion, but having no track record of its own, critics comment there is no substance for the DPJ to compete against the LDP. Another tactical mistake noted is that the DPJ has placed its leader Mr Kan, and his newly acquired colleague, Mr Ozawa, themselves as the symbol image of the party, against the already proven to be popular Mr Koizumi and Mr Abe of the LDP.
That said, there is a genuine possibility that the consequence of the election would be much different from these speculations, as the polls themselves revealed that there are still more than 30% of the voters undecided as to which names they would mark at the polling booths.