Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phi Slamma Jamma

I obviously did not think they had it in them.

However, faced with a Liberal Democratic Party threat to submit a censure motion against Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko tomorrow, the members of the Democratic Party of Japan ignored the bad optics of the LDP opposition parties boycotting the Diet plenary session to cram not just the bond issuance bill but the electoral reform bill, which the Special Committee on Political Ethics and Election Law sent to the floor of the House of Representatives only yesterday, down opposition's throats. (J)

Now that the bills have passed the House of Representatives, they go to committee in the House of Councillors, where the opposition, led by the LDP-New Komeito alliance will have to justify on camera why they are pushing the government to the edge of fiscal crisis and what is wrong with the DPJ's electoral system reform bill.

And wouldn't ya knowit, even though the DPJ, the LDP and the New Komeito divvy up the chairmanships of the House of Councillors committees thusly:

Full Committees
DPJ 12
LDP 10
New Komeito 3

Independent Sub-committees

Investigative Commissions

the chairs of the Finance Committee and the Special Committee on Political Ethics and Election Law are both members of the DPJ.

Did I say something about electoral reform being the crown jewel of the 2009 election, the prize worth the fighting for?

With DPJ members as the masters of ceremonies, the LDP and the New Komeito will have to talk or walk. They must either explain themselves or boycott the proceedings.

It's a lose-lose proposition.

The DPJ does not have the votes in the House of Councillors to pass the bond issuance legislation -- the bill it really needs to pass in the these last few remaining days of the regular Diet session. However, it has set up the conditions for the LDP take the rap should the government shut down because it cannot pay its bills.

The DPJ may not be ready for prime time. It still lacks, for example, a serpent- tongued guy or gal to make exquisity verbal hamburger of every LDP hypocrisy or revision of the historical record.

However, in terms of in-your-face slamming down of legislation, the DPJ's got game.

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