Does Japan need a political "third force" to challenge the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the main opposition Liberal -Democratic Party (LDP)?

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  • 1

    Seiryuu_Dan

    With both the failures of LDP and DPJ out for all to see, a "Third Force" would give hope to Japanese, or at the very least, maybe it will push either of the 2 major parties into action and be more productive and efficient, who had been lagging and draining Japan's economy with it's internal conflicts and struggles against external pressure.

    Whatever the case, maybe Japan can finally get it's wheel spinning again and give new hope for Japan and it's people.

  • 0

    Peter Payne

    DPJ has been a joke, inept at everything and carrying the idea of breaking campaign promises to a new record. Imagine how much Japan has sunk in the last 4 years? The LDP is not much better, clearly unable to offer enough leadership to keep a PM around more than 18 months, but being pro-business at this point is all Japan has. It's better than being openly hostile to business, as the DPJ has been.

    As for Ishihara/Hashimoto, I hope they fail as they are scary. On the other hand, something needs to be done.

  • -3

    Tigerta9

    Shintaro Ishihara is probably one of the few pols that is his own man. At 80 what's he got to gain except his legacy and that might be enough to keep him focused on at least following his conscious (whether you agree that is a good thing or not). Besides he's one of the few guys that you can count on to have the courage to be transparent and that alone brings value to a political debate scripted by kabuki.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    A third party, would be nice, BUT not the one that is springing up with Hashimoto and Ishihara.

  • -2

    Fadamor

    All third parties do is siphon-off votes from the two main parties. It gives the two main parties an excuse to be more entrenched in their views rather than trying to work out compromises. The more parties that are involved in an election, the more likely that you will not have ANY party gaining at least 50% of the votes.

  • -1

    Michael Craig

    About the only party that pretty much stayed the same is the JCP!

    They changed only their party principles, not their name!

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Yes, with the caveat that it not be run by nationalism-minded jerks, rehashings of all the greatest hits of the LDP and/or DPJ, or the rantings of blinking loons. So far, haven't seen that from any "third party" yet, particularly this devil-spawned abomination born of the unholy hate-coupling of Ishihara and Hashimoto.

  • 0

    GaijinNKyoto

    As long as it doesn't include people like Ishihara/Hashimoto maybe? Although the U.S. doesn't have a third party system either and I doubt even if we did it would make much difference. There is little historical evidence that third parties have ever accomplished that goal. The Progressive Party of Theodore Roosevelt, the American Independent Party of George Wallace, the Independent Party of John Anderson and the Reform Party of Ross Perot did not end legislative stalemates, and none achieved sustainability. Some like the Tea Party would have been better not existing at all as did more harm then good. It is estimated that a quarter of Americans consider themselves independents. But this independent constituency is quite heterogeneous and would be unlikely to coalesce into a united, cohesive third party. Any efforts to form a third party would likely result in splintering into multiple, smaller parties, each with its own agenda.

    One only has to look at the European parliamentary systems to appreciate the inherent inefficiencies of multiple political parties. The growing body of independents would be better served by leveraging their increasing influence within the current two-party system. Our system of winner-take-all politics is the problem. We need a parliamentary-style democracy and runoff elections on top of oodles of campaign finance reform. This will not happen any time soon, or at all if we continue hyping mythical centrism. So instead of a third party that would simply average the bad ideas that come out under the guise of centrism. Let us advocate a fairer system that lets all voices in the country be represented, and let the politicians form coalitions to get the job done. I think all of us be it US, Japan or otherwise could stand some political reform but what exactly that is and in what form is anyone's guess.

  • -1

    Kabukilover

    We do not need another right-wing outfit as a third party. the LDP and DPJ are already right-wing enough. Any third party ought to be left-wing to break the monotony. Once upon a time the Socialist Party was the real alternative to the right-wing LDP. It is now a minor party. If only that situation could reverse itself Japanese politics could be interesting again.

  • -2

    lachatamber

    I'm already taking steps to joining Ishin no Kai. and I can't wait for their new collaboration group to debut!

  • 1

    JapanGal

    Ozawa

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    A third party is definitely needed -- but none of the other 15 that exist fit the 'needed' bill.

  • 0

    iceshoecream

    A third party, a fourth one, a fifth one. No matter. Even with 6 different ones it'll be all the same, coz most of the current politicians suck big time.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "All a third party does is siphon off votes from the two main parties"

    Following that logic, all the second main party does is siphon off votes from the first main party.

    I see 27% don't care, lol.

  • -1

    iWorld

    It is not the number of parties, but the people and the society.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Japan needs a party and a leader that represents and acts on the views of Japanese people.

    As opposed to representing and acting on the wishes of a) the U.S.A. and b) other vested interests, large businesses, the ultra right wing, etc.

  • 0

    tranel

    Japan needs:

    a) a third and fourth (credible) political alternative to the LDP or the DPJ

    b) an upper age limit for politicians - mandatory retirement at 65. Far too many 80 year-old with ossified value sets running the show here. How about a law stipulating that members of the government cannot be older than 55?

    c) an upper salary limit for politicians. The AVERAGE salary for Diet members is now 20 million yen, not including perks. Cut in half at least. Ka-chunk. All savings go to expanding child care.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120210f1.html

    d) An efficiency drive throughout the civil service. For every step removed from a work process, regardless of what that may be, said department/ministry avoids a 1% budget cut.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    A poll from nikkei says 77% disappointed with "third force":

    http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNASFK26033_W2A121C1000000/?df=2&dg=1

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