Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kan canned

The short-running "I'll resign, but only when I feel like it" saga has ended with the passage of the 3 bills that the PM was holding out for (a bond sale, a new budget, and a bill supporting renewable energy):

BBC News - Japan PM Naoto Kan announces resignation amid criticism: Japan's beleaguered Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced his resignation, clearing the way for the country's sixth leader in five years.

It seems to me like he managed his resignation reasonably well: rather than just running away or hanging on as a lame duck, he used the carrot of his departure to force though the most important parts of his program. It's also hard to see how he can be blamed for the tsunami and its aftermath: given that the country has been an LDP-ruled one-party state for the past 50 years, it would take superman to cut through the bureaucratic bungling in the space of weeks or even months. He actually lasted longer than most leaders in recent years, a whole 14 months.

One possible outcome of the forthcoming leadership election is a "Grand Coalition" between the major parties. I suppose it would be honest to give up any pretence that the electorate has any role to play in deciding who runs the country. But I've never known any native to do anything but shrug their shoulders when politics comes up for discussion, so maybe they get the government they deserve.

No comments: