elections are being held across the country. They are important as a key to
foresee the scheduled July election of the House of Councilors. Five days are
left until balloting on Sunday. As the first half of the nationwide elections
have finished, at the moment the latter phase is open to municipalities. By-elections
are held in Osaka and Okinawa
for the House of Representatives, with a voting day set on the same day, April
21. Contests are going in the constituencies. The New Socialist Party (NSP)
works hard to gain seats for all candidates it fields, struggling until ballot
boxes are closed.
FIGHT FOR LATTER HALF OF LOCAL ELECTIONS TO PREPARE UPPER HOUSE ELECTION
were elected in the first stage of the local elections, which showed weakness
of constitutional opposition parties. In Hokkaido
where two candidates contested in rivalry between the ruling and progressive opposition
blocs, the government forces of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the
Komeito enjoyed victory. Governor and Mayor were elected simultaneously in Osaka and the
Ishin-no-kai Party gained overwhelming victory. The political entity won in the
prefectural assembly, too. Opposition forces supported candidates of the
LDP-Komeito coalition to counter the Ishin group.
as Sovereign Voter - Low
low turnout rate in the elections should be overcome. Voters are unaware of a prospect
that his/her vote should decide on politics and ruling power. This is our first
defeat is attributed to the progressive opposition bloc; mass movements are
weak and policies are unappealing. A worker affiliated to a local trade union
said; ‘leftist people are not confident enough. Their explanation ends with
Article Nine of the constitution, a war-renouncing provision, and opposition to
nuclear power generation. This rhetoric does not work on 50 million voters who fail
to go to polling stations’. These words are crucial.
is the Ishin-no-kai group, or the Japan Innovation Party, strong in the Kansai
area, in Osaka,
Osaka is the second
largest city in Japan,
but its economy is fatigued and people’s life is worsening. The Ishin group proposes
a plan called, the Osaka Metropolitan Initiative, emphasizing the plight and having
voters expect vitality and growth, criticizing overconcentration of Tokyo.
do we talk to voters who are reluctant to cast a ballot, which occupies over a
half of the electorate? This is the second task. People suffer from poverty and
social gaps and expect for economic growth.
instance, a piece of advice, ‘you should quit the job’, does not work, if
students and workers are employed by a rogue company which exploits them, for
instance, unpaid overwork, harassments, and etc. A problem lies in how they get
free from the status of a wage slave.
wage-hike campaign, which used to be the labor’s major duty, is insufficient. Social
safety schemes are urgently needed in which a worker can reject an illegitimate
job. For example in Japan
only 20% of the unemployed receive allowances, while in Europe,
the rate is 80%. The same is true for life protection services. The social
security programs in Europe alleviate suffers
of wage slaves and sustain their living conditions.
policies are necessary
elections are in the closest contact with voters, and therefore, concrete
solutions are essential. Issues on the constitution and the consumption tax are
important. If we stay, however, around these domains, the above-mentioned opinion
of a worker cannot be answered and neither can we know what residents expect.
of local elections reflect on the Upper House election, and so we must fight
until the final moment of campaign in order to win. The efforts and dedication serve
the NSP to keep struggling.
fight together with opposition parties and civic groups
Upper House election is scheduled in July. We must field candidates in
cooperation with opposition parties and citizens’ groups. Time is limited. The
government may set simultaneous elections of both of the two Houses by way of dissolution
of the Lower House. In order to cope with the situation, we must unify a candidate
for the House of Representatives in the small constituencies.