The result of the 44th House of Representatives election
12 September 2005
- In the 44th House of Representatives election in which voting and counting took place yesterday, the Democratic Party decreased the number of seats that it had prior to the dissolution and ended up with the only 113 seats. On the other hand, of the parties in power, only the Liberal Democratic Party secured 296 seats which is a majority, and together with the New Komei Party, the two coalition parties won 327 seats which is a stable majority. The Prime Minister Koizumi forcibly dissolved the House of Representatives when the postal privatization bills were defeated at the House of Coucillors, and he expelled LDP members who opposed postal reform and dispatched new candidates to stand against them in order to narrow down on one issue of the election only to postal privatization. As a result, at the initial phase of the election, he dominated the topic of mass media and gained a dominant position. After the formal announcement of the election, he used a tactic to avoid any debate on important subjects which should be tackled as well as postal reform. This tactic should not be used by the party in power. However, this made him keep the dominant position to the end.
- Whereas the Democratic Party conducted the election campaign by taking it as an opportunity to change the administration. The Democratic Party challenged in a policy debate on the manifesto and in particular it emphasised the pension reform and support for child care. It appealed to the voters that this is the election which they can choose the administration, but it did not attract public opinion. On the other hand, with regard to postal reform, the Party could not convey the message wider enough that the Koizumi reform is merely a fantasy. As a result, it had a hard result. The Democratic Party should take this result seriously and review its manifesto, the election campaign’s strategies and tactics and its daily activities. It should prepare to start afresh as quickly as they can.
- RENGO has been conducting a national campaign to stop a large tax hike targeted at salaried workers since the tax sub commission of the government summarized its proposal on it in June. Before the public announcement of the election, Rengo conducted a campaign on the street to halt the tax hike altogether with the candidates-to-be. After the public announcement, we supported the candidates with all our strength and we conducted a campaign which is called “go to the election!” At the last phase of the election, we provided support to the candidates in single-member constituencies and conducted a campaign to “elect the Democratic Party for the proportional representation block “. We also asked to contact all members by phone and to hold meetings at workplaces aiming at preventing any abstention and promoting voting. In response to this outcome, we will further discuss our campaign inside the organisation.
- For the past four years, the Koizumi administration compelled “competition” and “pain” for the people. As a result of this election, The Koizumi administration – the coalition government of the LDP and the New Komei Party, which avoided all the issues and is involved in state power politics, will be continued. However, it is intact that this administration has reached a dead end in both domestic and foreign affairs. RENGO will support the Democratic Party continuously and aims at establishing the new administration which is based on workers at the next election. I thank all organisation and their members and families for their devotion in the night and day election campaign.