Friday, October 20, 2017

Tracking Koike's Ambition 19

Tracking Koike's ambition, Day 19, 19 October 2017

Koike explains herself
Are the recriminations already beginning behind the scenes? Will Koike be blamed for 'things not going as planned'? Mid-afternoon today, Koike responded to questions about her use of haijo (排除) early on in the party mergers to imply she would exclude members of the old Dems who didn't fit with her plan or sign her largely conservative policy platform. It does have a strong connotation of exclusion or expulsion in Japanese, even when she tried to finesse the verb register to sound more polite about it (a brief linguistic nerd moment, forgive me) it came across as quite harsh...understandably offending some member of the Dems. 

Koike explained that while it might have a harsh connotation that wasn't her intention, rather she used it as a way to convey a sense of close agreement on ideals, platforms and policies for the party. (Asahi Shimbun, online, 19 October 2017, 3.00pm) 

Japan's tomorrow, let us decide
It might end up being the moment people point to in searching for reasons for not achieving the previously lofty ambitions in the short term. In the long term however, as has been mentioned, it has succeeded in sorting out the policy mish-mash that was the old Dems. This election might serve as a platform for better opposition outcomes in the next election (not due now until 2021 but who knows...). 

And while we talk about the use of social media by the parties, it is also worth mentioning  the efforts the bureaucrats are going to to get the voting message out. Certainly, my timeline here in Tokyo is replete with 'promoted tweets' by the Tokyo Election Committee (kind of equivalent to our Electoral Commissions in Australia). quite regularly. And today on the train to work I noticed that the carriage I was on was full of ads to remind people to vote, 'to decide on Japan's tomorrow'. Makes sense, quite a few students travel on that train. 

Tonight, Koike posted another video reflecting on the day but telling the story also about some school children she met who expressed interest in politics and that, for her, to encourage the next generation in that way, was very satisfying...looking for gems in the face of defeat? She's not giving up though, the national tour continues tomorrow.

Three days left. Media outlets predicting a comfortable LDP win. What has the 'Hope' plan meant?