I recently had a phone call from T-san, a friend from my student days. He's a moderate on defense who has always supported the Liberal Democratic Party. However, these days he's anti-LDP.
"I don't even want to see Prime Minister Taro Aso's face anymore," T-san told me. "The LDP-New Komeito coalition government has been ugly. You've been pretty tough on the Democratic Party of Japan recently, but even if the DPJ has its faults, it would still be better than the Aso Cabinet. I'm not one to talk about voting with my family, but this time I did discuss it with family members who are eligible to vote. I don't know how they will all vote, but I don't think there is anyone who supports both the LDP and the New Komeito Party. If we don't change this LDP-New Komeito administration, Japan won't progress. I don't know if Hatoyama will be good, but he'll be better than Aso. I've had it with this ruling coalition. We need change."
I've talked with three friends in recent days who've all said the same thing: "I've had it with the Aso government."
When Ichiro Ozawa ruled the DPJ, a lot of people would say that they couldn't bring themselves to support either party and saw no other route but abstention. I would tell these people, "How about the People's New Party and the Social Democratic Party? Support one of those."
As long as the LDP puts its fate in the hands of an Aso-led government, the party doesn't have a prayer. The possibility of a Hatoyama-led government is very likely. It's not that I don't understand the disgust my friends feel for the Aso administration; it's just that if a Hatoyama administration is likely, we ought to say what we really think about it. The responsibilities of a ruling party are heavy. I want the DPJ to grow into a good party. I don't want to see the new ruling party governing poorly. That's why I'll continue criticizing the DPJ.
When we talk about a Hatoyama administration, the reality is it will be a Hatoyama-Ozawa administration. The man holding the strings in that administration will be Ozawa. He will be taking power for his own purposes, and he hasn't bothered to inform the public of just what a DPJ government will do. Electing a Hatoyama-Ozawa government means giving Ozawa carte blanche to run the government. That, more than anything else, is what the DPJ needs to watch.
I think the DPJ can bring in about 67% of the vote. Even if Aso resigns and another prime minister is selected before the election, the DPJ would still have the upper hand, I think.
An election is not just about the past; it's about the future. At this point, voting for the future seems the most important thing to do. That's why I believe we need to push the DPJ as much as we can.