Japan's Electoral Tsunami

Japanese voters in Japan have handed the Democratic Party of Japan a landslide victory, sweeping the ruling Liberal Democratic Party out of power the LDP has held almost continuously since it was established in 1955. The remarkable aspect about this election is that Japanese have voted for change they don't believe in and for a DPJ leader, Yukio Hatoyama, they aren't all that crazy about. Polls show that most voters do not support key provisions of the DPJ's platform and only about one third want Hatoyama as the next prime minister. It is even more astonishing that a mere 25 percent of voters think the DPJ will head Japan in the right direction. Clearly this was a repudiation of the LDP and its dead-end policies more than a vote of confidence in the DPJ.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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