Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tracking Koike's ambition 12

Tracking Koike's ambition, Day 12, 12 October 2017

You have to hand it to the various party leaders, they are all keeping up fairly punishing schedules, appearing beside their respective party candidates all over the country. Most of them have their own electorate battles to run as well; Abe and Koike have the country and Tokyo to run, respectively. 

It is apparent that people are drawn to seeing Koike appear. It adds extra pressure and expectation on her that doesn't exist in quite the same way for other party leaders (although Edano continues to draw numbers). Koike's party, Kibo, lays out the next day's schedule prominently on twitter and follows through with photos, video and wrap up comments by Koike at the end of the day. 

I guess they are lucky that the campaigns are relatively short. 

This evening's media highlighted an interesting two-candidate race in Nigata 4, between two women, Kaneko Megumi for the LDP and Kikuta Makiko, formerly of the Old Dems and standing as a non-aligned independent but with endorsement from JCP and Shamin. Both have parliamentary experience with Kaneko winning the electorate from Kikuta a couple of elections ago. As a member of the old Dems, Kikuta has spent the last two terms in parliament on the back of her party's proportional list; this time as an independent, she doesn't have that safety net. The media has pitched the battle between the two as having much 'bad blood' and Kaneko has the added ignominy of having been in headlines earlier with her husband's extra-marital affair becoming public (he was also a parliamentarian). Politicians are paying for affairs these days in ways they haven't previously. 

For Kikuta, everything is on the line; for Kaneko, she has the party list to fall back on. This one is a real challenge no doubt for voters...another electorate to watch.

And in other news, media outlets are already predicting numbers and 'winners' based on electorate surveys. They are projecting a 300+ win for an LDP-led coalition, prompting some discussion via twitter (courtesy of AP reporter Yuri Kageyama) as to why there doesn't seem to be a liberal alternative in Japan. (Another part of this project.)

We'll see, there are still ten days to go.