The Dec. 18 front-page 18 article “LDP charges back, vows to regain voter confidence” really conveys the tragedy of representative democracy through quotes of statements like the following from Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe:

“Without winning the Upper House election (next summer), we cannot stably run the government.”

The implication is that he wants a dogmatic, unquestioned mandate for his coalition (assuming its members are compliant). Clearly he thinks no rational discourse is possible without the power to politically extort. This from a party hack.

But Abe is a professional who will anticipate apprehension from the electorate. So, we should expect him to kill time until summer. He will appear busy — to be active on noncontroversial issues.

Might I suggest for him a cheap nationalistic issue like the U.S. military bases, tirades against China, or equivocation over nebulous global warming.

Issues that are too hard, such as nuclear power, the low birthrate amid an aging population, scheduled consumption tax increases and broader tax reform will have to await the LDP’s broader political influence.

andrew sheldon
hanno, saitama

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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