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Maciamo
Sep 2, 2005, 09:51
This is not "news" since this law exists since 1950, but in this age of cybercommunication, this can only shock.

Mainichi Shimbun : Internet-savvy candidates hampered by Japan's archaic election laws (http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20050831p2a00m0na026000c.html)


When the head of Japan's top opposition party gave a heated speech in Tokyo this week, party officials did what seemed natural in one of the world's most technology-savvy countries -- they put a movie clip of the speech on the party Web site.

But only hours later, election officials called the Democratic Party of Japan to say the movie clip was in danger of violating the country's election laws. By Wednesday morning, the video was gone.

Candidates in Japan's Sept. 11 elections for the lower house of Parliament are finding their efforts to reach out to voters via the Internet hampered by the nation's 1950 election laws.

The regulations stipulate that each candidate can only distribute 35,000 postcards and 70,000 leaflets during the official election campaign period. TV and radio spots can be used by parties, but not individual candidates.

The law effectively bars all other media, preventing candidates from using the Internet and e-mail to disseminate images, and parties and candidates from updating their Web sites until after polls close.
...

noyhauser
Sep 2, 2005, 10:00
And people were shocked when hanging Chads were a problem in florida?

donpaulo
Sep 2, 2005, 10:58
no tv ads either. Phone banks are fine.... go figure
Plus to run for office you must pay 3,000,000 yen registration fee.

Maciamo
Sep 2, 2005, 15:52
Plus to run for office you must pay 3,000,000 yen registration fee.

I am not sure how much people have to pay (if they have to) to register for election in other developed countries, but 3,000,000 yen doesn't seem very democratic. In fact, that means that only rich people can run for office. It is not unlike the early election system in the 19th and early 20th centuries when only people who pay a minimum number of tax could vote in elections, so that the ordinary masses would keep out of politics.

Restricting the ways politicians can spread their political programme by banning mass media, phamplets and websites, is clearly another way to reduce democracy. How can people vote for a candidate when they don't know what most candidates ideas are and cannot easily find out about it ?

Then, I wouldn't call democratic a system in which the leaders of political parties can vote for the whole party, and individual elected lawmakers have no independent right to vote the way they wish. => see article (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18546)

It is therefore no wonder that the World Audit ranked Japan 30th in terms of democracy, after such countries as Uruguay, Costa Rica or Mauritius (and after all Western countries of course). => see article (http://www.wa-pedia.com/society/japan_world_ranking.shtml)

Glenn
Sep 3, 2005, 06:59
Does this mean that the ads for the Democratic Party of Japan (}) on goo are in violation of this law? Or does that fall under some separate area of the law?

Mike Cash
Sep 3, 2005, 08:55
I wish they'd update the law so we could get rid of those infernal sound trucks.

Maciamo
Sep 3, 2005, 08:59
Does this mean that the ads for the Democratic Party of Japan (}) on goo are in violation of this law? Or does that fall under some separate area of the law?

I also wonder why Koizumi (president of the LDP) and Okada (president of the DPJ) have both appeared in TV ads several times in the last few days, when the electoral campaign is alreday started, which according to the article is illegal.

Kinsao
Sep 6, 2005, 21:31
Japanese political candidates prohibited from using websites for their campaign

That... has got to be one of the daftest, most out-dated rules... words fail me. :o

Daniel
Oct 3, 2005, 00:02
I am not sure how much people have to pay (if they have to) to register for election in other developed countries, but 3,000,000 yen doesn't seem very democratic. In fact, that means that only rich people can run for office. It is not unlike the early election system in the 19th and early 20th centuries when only people who pay a minimum number of tax could vote in elections, so that the ordinary masses would keep out of politics.


Well, it is not unusual to have restrictions for who can run for election or certain demands that candidates or parties need to fullfill before running for election. In Denmark (which is usually seen as very democratic) you need to gather approx. 20.000 confirmed signatures before running for parliament. The confirmation means that after you get a persons signature, you have to send them a letter where they confirm their signature and send it to the authorities after signing it again.

This means that you have to have a lot of activists that put in a lot of work to get these signatures, which not many small parties do. It is an effective way to exclude minorities from the democratic process, and it means that there are becoming fewer and fewer parties in the danish parliament.

I do not really think that there is a big difference between asking people to fork out 3 mill yen or getting 20.000 signatures or whatever.The idea is the same: to reduce the number of candidates running for parliament, and you will find measures like this in almost every democratic country. I don't really find such measures democratic, but they are not special for Japan.

Maciamo
Oct 3, 2005, 00:26
Well, it is not unusual to have restrictions for who can run for election or certain demands that candidates or parties need to fullfill before running for election. In Denmark (which is usually seen as very democratic) you need to gather approx. 20.000 confirmed signatures before running for parliament. The confirmation means that after you get a persons signature, you have to send them a letter where they confirm their signature and send it to the authorities after signing it again.

In Belgium, it's 5,000 signatures to found a new party (only 200 for the small German speaking area), or 5 signatures from current MP's for joining an existing party.

I think that some EU countries do not have a minimum of signatures, and I have never heard of any amount of money to pay.

Daniel
Oct 3, 2005, 03:48
I
I think that some EU countries do not have a minimum of signatures, and I have never heard of any amount of money to pay.

Really? Which ones? Are there any countries where any one can run for parliament without meeting certain demands? (I mean apart from age and citizenship).

I have never heard about money to pay either, but frankly, I think that it is better than gathering signatures, which can be very hard or even impossible and thus limits democracy.

DoctorP
Oct 3, 2005, 04:51
I have never heard about money to pay either, but frankly, I think that it is better than gathering signatures, which can be very hard or even impossible and thus limits democracy.


I disagree. If you are well known in your community/city, then getting the signatures is not at all difficult. If you are an aspiring politician, you should be active within the community, showing interest in the well being of the citizens and being involved in development projects. If you are doing these things then you will not have any problems gathering signatures. IMHO

Daniel
Oct 3, 2005, 12:44
I disagree. If you are well known in your community/city, then getting the signatures is not at all difficult. If you are an aspiring politician, you should be active within the community, showing interest in the well being of the citizens and being involved in development projects. If you are doing these things then you will not have any problems gathering signatures. IMHO

Not true. In Denmark, which is only 5 million people it is nearly impossible, I know this because I have seen many parties try. This is not an opinion, this is a fact...the confirmation part is also making it harder. It used to be only a few hundred unconfirmed signatures, and that was no problem, but after they changed it in the eighties only one new party has been able to gather sufficient signatures to run and that is because most of their activists are unemployed and have nothing to do all day. For people that hold jobs it is a near impossible task - this is a fact.

McTojo
Oct 5, 2005, 06:05
I wish they'd update the law so we could get rid of those infernal sound trucks.

Clarify your remarks ?