[OPE] Japan: story of the unsatisfied voter

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Thu Mar 19 2009 - 18:36:17 EDT

91% dissatisfied with political state

Sixty percent of voters are greatly dissatisfied with politics today, with around 90 percent saying politicians have failed to present a future vision or reflect the people's wishes, an Asahi Shimbun poll showed.

The poll, conducted from February through mid-March in the form of a questionnaire sent to 3,000 eligible voters across the nation, drew valid responses from 2,377, or 79 percent. Only 6 percent said they were "relatively satisfied" with the current state of politics. Just 1 percent said they were "greatly satisfied." Sixty percent said they were "greatly dissatisfied" and 31 percent were "relatively dissatisfied," according to the poll.

The level of discontent has risen sharply since a similar poll was conducted through interviews in December 2006, when Shinzo Abe was prime minister. In that poll, 27 percent were "greatly dissatisfied" with politics, while 45 percent were "relatively dissatisfied."
Yet interest in politics remains high. Thirty-one percent of the respondents in the latest poll said they are "very interested" in politics, while 48 percent said they have "some interest" in the political situation.
The results indicate that discontent is particularly strong among those who follow political matters.

Ninety-one percent of the respondents said politicians have "failed to present a vision for the future or a means to achieve such goals." Asked whether they thought politicians were representing the wishes of voters, 87 percent gave negative responses: 35 percent answering "absolutely not" and 52 percent saying "not much."

Twenty-one percent of the respondents said they had "absolutely no" faith in politicians, and 57 percent had "not much'' faith in them. Sixty-one percent said they placed no expectations on political parties.

Asked what kind of future government they would want to see, 11 percent said a government formed around the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while 15 percent said an administration formed around Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the main opposition party.

Forty-six percent said they hoped to see a "new form of government created through a major reshuffle," and 19 percent said a "grand coalition bringing together LDP and Minshuto" would be desirable.
In regular opinion polls conducted by telephone, respondents have been given only two choices: an LDP-centered government or one led by Minshuto.

In the last phone poll conducted on March 7 and 8, 45 percent favored a Minshuto-centered government, compared with 24 percent for an LDP-led administration.

However, the results of the questionnaire poll with a wider variety of choices show that support may not actually be that strong for a Minshuto-led administration.(IHT/Asahi: March 19,2009)


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