News articles are reporting that a significant political shift has occurred in Japan, where the ruling party apparently has been pulverized in an election. The Liberal Democratic Party, which has controlled the government in Japan for decades, is forecast to go from a large majority in the lower house of Japan’s Parliament to a small minority. The BBC summarizes the differences in the platforms in the two parties here.
I’m not sure that elections in other countries say anything about politics in America, but in Japan the combination of a recession and record high unemployment proved to be a potent force for change. What also is interesting is that the Liberal Democratic Party has been in control of Japan pretty much continuously since 1955 — for for all but 11 months since that time. It is impossible to imagine America governed by one party for such a long period of time. We have a strong tradition of quick dissatisfaction with the party in power and a resulting “throw the bums out” reaction.