Monday, November 28, 2011

Ron Paul's "Cousin" Wins in Japan! Political Good Old Boys Get Trounced in Osaka Election!

Ron Paul's real cousin didn't win in Japan, but his "ideological cousin" did. What happened in Japan, and what is happening the world over bids well for Ron Paul and candidates who want to tear down the massive Leviathan of government and restore the constitution and get things back to the way they used to be and the way they were meant to be. Read on!

In Osaka, a minor party candidate defeated one that was supported by both the major parties in a mayoral election. Can you imagine that? Talk about David versus Goliath! Read that again: A minor candidate defeated one that was supported by both major parties!

The smell of revival and revolution is in the air! The updated election results are in and the winner received over 60% of the total votes, but here's an article in English for you about it before the election results were posted.

The Mainichi Daily News Reports:

Ex-Gov Hashimoto assured of Victory in Osaka Mayoral Election

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Former Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto is assured of victory in a contest Sunday for the mayoral post in Osaka, Japan's second-largest business center, by defeating incumbent Kunio Hiramatsu, as Hashimoto won support for his proposal to establish an Osaka metropolis with an administrative structure similar to Tokyo's, according to Kyodo News projections.

In a gubernatorial election held the same day to choose the successor to Hashimoto, 42, Ichiro Matsui, a 47-year-old former Osaka prefectural assembly member and Hashimoto's close aide in a local party led by the former governor, is set to win by beating six rivals in the race.

With the two from the Osaka Restoration Association headed toward victory, the election results are expected to stir a national debate on the structure of regional governments in Japan and influence the strategies of major political parties in the next House of Representatives election.

Hiramatsu, 63, who ran for reelection as an independent, was backed by local chapters of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party. Osaka prefectural assembly members of the two parties also supported Kaoru Kurata, 63, former mayor of Ikeda in Osaka Prefecture, in the gubernatorial race.
In the double election, the first held in Osaka in 40 years, Hashimoto's proposal to launch an Osaka metropolis by 2015 was highlighted as the most controversial issue.
The outspoken lawyer-turned-politician argued that his idea will eliminate overlapping administrative services by the prefectural and municipal governments and lead to the rehabilitation of the ailing local economy, with Matsui pushing the proposal in the gubernatorial election.
In contrast, Hiramatsu, a former TV anchorman, opposed the plan, saying administrative efficiency should be improved through the cooperation of each municipality.

Get that? One guy wanted to keep the old system and "improve" it. The other guy wanted to slash that system. The guy who wanted the big cuts in government spending, Hashimoto, won. 

Mr. Hashimoto is the new breed of politician that has arisen in these last few years who is sick and tired of the business as usual, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, school of politics that we have been subjected to for all these years. He is young, passionate and he loves Osaka. He kind of reminds me of Chris Christy (before he went out and endorsed Romney!) He is considered a radical by the old school politicians and political parties as he is trying to actually trim down the size of government - not "reform" it by creating new branches and committees. Hashimoto, in spite of his flaws, is fighting corruption and old boy BS. So, far, many say he's doing a great job. 

In Japan, waste of taxpayer's monies is astounding and gets worse with each new elected official. This has got to stop! (Japan's total debt is 492% of GDP!)  For example, in the area,  there are separate water treatment plants in Osaka. One run by the city and another run by the ward (borough). Their services overlap and waste millions annually. Doesn't make any sense that there can't be just one. The examples of this sort of thing are too numerous to list up. Hashimoto is trying to cut this kind of ridiculous waste. 
The guy he defeated in the race, Hiramatsu, is the epitome of what is wrong with politicians in Japan.
The other point about the majors supporting Hiramatsu and yet still losing losing isn't precedent setting, It's been happening recently in Japan as some people are getting fed up. Minor party candidates have been doing well recently. Independents are growing stronger.

So, Ron Paul didn't win in Japan, but his Japanese Cousin did. This bodes well for Ron Paul and reformer politicians all over the world. If they can win in Japan's staid political arena, they can win anywhere in the world! 


Boo said...

Sorry, I don't get it. The article you quoted said he would "establish an Osaka metropolis with an administrative structure similar to Tokyo's", and this is somehow "tearing down the massive Leviathan"?

Do you think Tokyo's administrative structure is minimal? While it makes sense to separate Tokyo from surrounding prefectures, I don't think "small government" is one of the advantages.

I don't follow city governments though. Can you tell me how a 府 is somehow fundamentally more inefficient than a 都 in terms of governance?

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks Boo,
What Hashimoto wants to do is to cut down the government offices in approximately half. Meaning that, as in the example I gave, there would not be two government run water processing plants serving the same area. Just one. .. No, I don't think Tokyo's system is minimal, but it is much better than Osaka's.
Unfortunately, I didn't want to douse positive news with negative opinions.
I reckon, I should clarify more. Here is a reply I worte to my friend Mish Shedlock when he asked me "What will happen next?" I answered:

"What happens next? Good question.

Hashimoto has 4 years to enact the reforms he wants to do. Now, if you are a cynic and have lost all faith in the political process (like me) then you will say it is impossible for him to accomplish this mission unless he finds some way around the rules and becomes a dictator. I doubt that Mayor of Osaka has the power to overturn the law. A lot of what he wants to do will have to do with changing entrenched ways of doing things over these last 60 years, but will also have to do with changing laws.

This is a long story, before WWII, Osaka (and other areas) had their own laws (like States do in the USA). When the war broke out, it became basically "Tokyo" versus the USA and England. The entire structure of government power and law making came to reside in Tokyo. For this reason, I don't think that a mayor in Osaka has the power to change the law. Japan has a unitary system of government

so, even if Hashimoto wanted to, in many areas, he'd have to convince Tokyo to change laws for Osaka... Another battle with the Good Old Boys?

Probably. It would take a hell of a lot for him to win that battle."

What Hahsimoto ssn wants to do is to strip down the government and return many duties to local authorities. Can he do it? I'm not sure.

Thanks, Boo!


mike in tokyo rogers said...

Oh, by the way,...

"Fu" and "Ken" comes from Tokugawa Bakufu and means local "tent government."
Up until 1943, Tokyo was called Tokyo Fu and Tokyo shi (two areas of Tokyo). In 1943 they were incorporated and became Tokyo "To". "To" means metropolis. This was, as I explained, when the entire seat of law and power in Japan was centralized in Tokyo in order to try to win the war.

Anyhow, hope my understanding of this is correct. and I hope this helps.

Boo said...

Thanks Mike. For some reason, when I read your post, I thought of Bush creating the Dept. of Homeland Security to combine all these disparate, inefficient departments that unnecessarily duplicated each others' work. :)

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