Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants a mandate. Apparently, the one he and his Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, or LDP, claimed less than two years ago wasn't enough. So, as his policy agenda faltered and his approval ratings plummeted, the Prime Minister called snap elections last month (less than half way through the Japanese Diet's term) to try to claim a vote of confidence from the public and crush dissenters who oppose his agenda.
Abe will almost certainly get his election victory; a mandate is another matter, however. The most notable outcomes of the December 14 ballot are likely to be apathy and cynicism, even if his party holds its majority in Parliament or -- as polls last week predicted -- increases it.… Seguir leyendo »