Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Upper House Election 2013

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a landslide victory in the House of Councillors election on July 21st, enabling the party to control both houses of the Diet with its coalition partner New Komeito and to proceed with the "Abenomics" economic policy mix.

After the convincing victory, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also LDP president, is likely to ponder implementing his pet project to revise the postwar Constitution. 

With half of the 242 upper house seats up for grabs, the LDP won a record 65 seats, eclipsing the previous record of 64 in the 2001 upper house election, under the current electoral system. 

The New Komeito party garnered 11 seats, giving the ruling coalition a combined total of 135 seats in the chamber to secure a stable majority in the 242-member assembly.

In contrast, the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) suffered a crushing defeat, winning only 17 of the contested seats, down from 44 before the election. 

The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) performed well, winning seats in prefectural constituencies for the first time in 12 years on its way to more than doubling its three contested seats to eight. 

The Japan Restoration Party and Your Party also captured eight seats each, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) secured one seat. 

The People's Life Party and Green Wind party failed to win any seats. 

The average voter turnout came to 52.61%, hitting the third-lowest level on record. 

The reading was down 5.31 percentage points from the previous 2010 election for the Upper House. 

Beginning with the latest Upper House election, political parties were allowed to conduct online campaigning, but this seems to have had little effect in raising voter turnout. 

Unattractive candidates and policies must have made many of Urawa residents go to Urawa festival rather than vote. 

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