Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Abolishing the Senate... in Japan

Japan's dominant Liberal Democratic Party is thinking of abolishing the upper house of the Japanese parliament, going forward with a unicameral legislature and 30% fewer legislators.

Japan is a fascinating example of how flexible the parliamentary system is. In Canada we lament the autocratic power of prime ministers and the feebleness of backbenchers, and we diagnose this as the inevitable consequence of a parliamentary system. But in Japan, with a broadly similar parliamentary structure, prime ministers are vulnerable creatures who cannot impose their policies and who rarely last more than a year. Factions within the party caucus jockey fiercely for their own policies and candidates at all times.

(h/t: Fruits and Votes)
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