My colleague, Robert Pekkanen, sends this note from Bloomberg:
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party may pledge to cut the nation’s parliament from two chambers to one and reduce the number of legislators by 30 percent in 10 years…
The party will include the promise in its platform for the next general election, the [Yomiuri] newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. The LDP also plans to restrict close relatives of lawmakers from inheriting constituencies, the report said.
There is nothing like losing control of the second chamber to make a ruling party think of cameral change! The LDP is in serious danger of losing control of the first chamber, too, in this September’s election. Japan’s second chamber (House of Councilors) is one of the more powerful among parliamentary democracies, although the government need maintain the confidence only of the first chamber (House of Representatives).
The point on “inherited” seats is also interesting; Japan probably has the highest rate among all democracies of sons, daughters, wives, grandsons, etc., of former politicians serving in its legislature.