Leader and Style are the Criteria
Professor, University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law
Each time an election approaches, discussion turns to the topic of the election issues. In today's highly complex society, however, it is not easy to pick out one or even a few policy issues as being of decisive importance. In addition, all the political parties hide anything that is to their own disadvantage, only stressing what is favorable, so it is surprisingly difficult to show where a party stands on important policy issues.
Changing from factional dynamics within the Liberal Democratic Party to politics centered around the party leader and prime minister
There is a simpler criterion for making a decision than policy, however, and it concerns the leader. A Lower House general election is essentially an election to choose the prime minister. Whichever party wins, the key issue is who will be the next prime minister.
This simple fact was not understood by the public because the Liberal Democratic Party held a majority for such a long time. It was taken for granted that the Liberal Democratic Party would win an election in the Lower House, and the only question was by how many votes―would it be a narrow margin, a stable majority, or a landslide victory?