By Ray Christensen
This publication is a severe non-European point of view to analyses of competition politics and social democracy in sleek jap politcs.
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Extra info for Ending the Ldp Hegemony: Party Cooperation in Japan
Japan’s multiseat districts forced parties to compete against those who were their allies or were most similarly situated. If the Socialists were to increase in size, for instance, they would draw most of their increase from the Communists or from the centrist parties. This is what happened in the 1990 elections, when the Socialists won fifty-one additional seats and the other opposition parties lost a combined total of thirty-three seats. The Socialist victory took more seats away from the other opposition parties than it took away from the LDP.
The incentives for opposition cooperation in elections are also obvious. In the 1996 elections, for example, the LDP’s two main opponents, the New Frontier Party and the Democratic Party, cooperated in twenty districts, winning seven of those districts. In fifty-seven districts, the LDP candidate won against the two candidates sponsored by the New Frontier Party and Democratic Party, respectively. In forty-six of those districts, the combined vote of the two opposition candidates was greater than the vote of the LDP victor.
There are, however, several different kinds of payoffs for participation in an electoral coalition. The form that an electoral coalition takes can vary with the type of payoff between barter, side-payment, and joint-backing coalition agreements. Barter arrangements are the most common type of electoral coalitions.