Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The DPJ's Potentially Short Stay on Top

If the party doesn't find solutions for the Ozawa and Hatoyama scandals, fix its mistaken economic policies and check its arrogance, it won't be in power much longer

What should the Democratic Party of Japan being doing right now? Looking for a way to solve the three very large problems it faces. I'd like to see them grow beyond being Ozawa's children and become politicians who can think for themselves and are willing to fight injustice and irrationality.

First, the party needs to clearly separate money from politics. Specifically, it needs to solve the Ozawa and Hatoyama scandals. Just because Ichiro Ozawa is not being prosecuted doesn't mean he has no responsibility for what happened. The citizens and the Diet should pursue a thorough review of his political and moral responsibility. We should show renewed interest in Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's money scandal too. The party has been too passive about these scandals. The country is disappointed with the DPJ's dependency on Ozawa.

Second, the mistaken economic policies embraced by Hatoyama need to be changed in a hurry. The policies his administration is supporting are basically the same as the structural reform policies of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. They both support fiscal reform over everything else, favor big money and want to reduce public works. These policies will crush Japan. We'll be in trouble if we don't change them.

Third, the arrogance and disdain of party chief Ozawa and premier Hatoyama have to be acknowledged and challenged. Hatoyama comes off like a soft-spoken man, but deep down he's arrogant too. He turns defiant quickly. He's egotistical and arrogant — a politician with a sense of entitlement. Ozawa, on the other hand, is consistently arrogant. He's cut from the cloth of dominating politicians such as Kakuei Tanaka or Shin Kanemaru. Transport Minister Maebara is another arrogant and cold-blooded politician. Once the decision to not prosecute Ozawa is final, his swagger will be even more pronounced. We need to ratchet up our criticism of these people.

At the very least, the members of the DPJ need to become the "thinking reeds" of which Blaise Pascal wrote. Think with your own brain; liberate yourself. Then tackle the three big problems facing the party.