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What starts with a tingle of excitement, is followed by a surge of activity, frantic yelling and empty promises, but is quickly spent, leaving you feeling just as empty and unfulfilled as before? Answer: a Japanese election.

While it took some Americans well into the second term of President Barack Obama’s “change you can believe in” presidency to realize that voting may be a waste of time, decades of rule by an unchanging coven of bureaucrats and Liberal Democratic Party parliamentarians have given the Japanese more time to become accustomed to the impotence of their own democratic processes.

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