Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The DPJ Needs to Shed Its Arrogance

Party has inflated view of self since the Hatoyama government took over in September 2009

Over the course of the past year, the Democratic Party of Japan has succumbed to arrogance and selfishness.

The DPJ's arrogance surfaced when then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama began discussing his united party theory.

Hatoyama was after his own rehabilitation. It was the ultimate expression of the "me-ism" of the party -- Hatoyama's brand of egoism. It's clear that as the former premier worked to strengthen the Ozawa-Hatoyama-Kan triumvirate, he was really working to rehabilitate his own position. When his government stepped down in the first half of June, he announced that he would not run in the next election, choosing to retire. "As someone who has experience being prime minister, I will not offer comments on the current state of politics," he said at the time. But Hatoyama later withdrew this comment. The troika system was supposed to be the first step for Hatoyama's return, but the strategy failed.

The troika system was responsible for betraying the people's expectation for regime change. If the DPJ doesn't destroy and get out from under this system, it has no future. Hatoyama confused the Futenma issue on Okinawa; former party chief Ichiro Ozawa's money scandal was ignored by the Diet; and Prime Minister Naoto Kan continues to obfuscate on the consumption-tax issue. These three lost the trust the people placed in a DPJ government. Hatoyama's aim was to perpetuate this troika. It's perfectly natural for an idea inflated with so much conceit to fail.

Backroom politics came up with the perpetual troika idea. At one point, the party leaders discussed doing away with party elections. That would result in the 34,000 party members having their authority stripped from them. Democracy within the party would have been trampled upon. And it would have brought about the perpetual rule of shadow boss Ozawa. The DPJ needs to fight this aggressively. Party members need to swear off the arrogance and conceit that emerged when the DPJ took power in 2009 and pledge to fix the party.