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April 21, 2015

Communists Won Big in Japan’s Regional Elections

By Pater Tenebrarum, Acting-Man.com

Sometimes, Really Strange Stuff Happens

Voters seem to be in rebellion in a great many places. Occasionally they can really upset the apple cart, as has just happened in Greece earlier this year. The reason is easy to detect: growing economic hardship and a feeling that the wrong guys were bailed out after the 2008 crisis, tend to be good for political fringe groups. In spite of rising stock markets in many countries, the social mood seemingly remains negative. The problem is that most of these fringe groups tend to be even bigger statists and authoritarians than their political enemies (there are a few exceptions).

Image author: グラインドマーチャーシュ
Flag of Japan’s Communist Party – as far as we can tell, it depicts a cog wheel and an ear of wheat, representing the two classes (workers and farmers), that are usually supposed to bring communists to power, who will then proceed to show them what oppression really means.  
However, the phenomenon has so far been mainly confined to Europe, for obvious reasons. The most hard hit and economically weakest countries have seen support for either far-left or far-right parties soar, whereby one must evaluate each of these parties on its own merits. Some are simply dreadful, others are wrongly smeared in the mainstream press as being no different from the dreadful ones, although they clearly are different (UKIP in the UK and Germany’s AfD e.g. belong to the latter group).
Japan seems a particularly unlikely place for a voter rebellion, especially one that ends up strengthening the communist party of all groups. And yet, that is precisely what has happened in local elections over the weekend, in which the communists under the leadership of comrade (rather primus among the comrades) Kazuo Shii, just became the second strongest political force in the country, pushing the DPJ, the party that governed Japan a mere four years ago, into fourth place.
We must admit this left-of-field development still has us scratching our head. One would normally have expected a protest vote against the LDP and Shinzo Abe to help the DPJ, instead of almost destroying it. Moreover, the LDP actually won the election, so it seems it was not the main target of this protest vote, in spite of its incumbent status and its stubborn and vain attempt to end Japan’s economic funk by the same means that have failed with unwavering regularity for more than 25 years running. As an aside to this, we have actually no idea why the standard establishment doomed-to-make-things-worse program of printing a lot of money and running a huge deficit was ever dubbed “Abenomics”. It should really be called “same sh*t that’s been tried a thousand times already and never works”. Just saying. Given that Abe now “owns” the policy, he would certainly deserve to be on the receiving end of a voter protest.

Courtesy Pater Tenebrarum, Acting-Man.com
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