Monthly Archives: February 2014

J.A.A.Stockwin on Japan party politics

In most democracies the prospect of a change of government following a general election is seen as part of the normal political process, but in Japan this has not been the case. Elections are not rigged in Japan. Procedures for voting and for counting votes are meticulous. There have been problems of malapportionment between different electoral districts but this has hardly been the principal cause of long-term LDP rule since the 1980s. Japan is unusual in combing a democratic and reasonably fair electoral system with the political dominance of a single party for a longer period than in other modern democracy.

J.A.A.Stockwin, Party Politics in Japan, in Takashi Inoguchi & Purnendra Jain ed. Japanese Politics Today: from Koraoke to Kabuki Democracy. Palgrave Macmillam 2011. page 90.

how to write an argumentative essay?

source: http://chrisblattman.com/2010/02/17/how-to-write-an-essay/

  1. Proofread! You should not have spelling or grammatical errors.

  2. Start with an outline. Don’t jump into writing. First organize your paper in one or two pages. Identify the main ideas in the book; choose distinct points/critiques to respond to those arguments; and methodically lay out your support in that outline. Think about the weak points: how can you gather evidence or ideas to strengthen your argument? Step back and look at your arguments: could you add another argument to strengthen the overall critique, or should you narrow your focus and develop a handful of arguments well? Go over your outline with your teaching assistant and get feedback.

  3. Briefly summarize your argument in the introduction. Without this statement/roadmap in the beginning, readers spend their time trying to figure out what exactly you are trying to argue. This is a short paper, so your summary of the argument should be brief: a paragraph or less.

  4. Organization, organization, organization! Present your ideas in a coherent and organized way. A thesis statement (see previous two points) is a good start, as is beginning with an outline. Try not to bounce back and forth between ideas or randomly bring in other authors’ ideas without explanation. Use headings or transition sentences to shift from one argument to the next. In a paper of this length, organization is key to making a concise and convincing argument.

  5. Engage directly with the author’s ideas. Don’t just expound upon your ideas regarding development; pay at least as much attention to the book’s specific arguments. The purpose of a book review is to provide critical analysis of the given author’s assumptions, theories, and proposals. Directly address these. Use quotations or page references to make reference to the author’s claims, or reference to opposing points of view. Your own comments and insight are meaningful when they are placed in the context of, or in comparison to, the book being reviewed.

  6. Engage with the central and important ideas. You can easily quibble with side points, or attack tangential issues. A good book review will tackle the core assumptions, theories, and proposals of the book.

  7. Be clear where you stand. It is ok to both agree and disagree with an author’s point (to sit on the fence). Be clear that is what you are doing. Don’t use adjectives on both sides of the issue such that you seem to contradict yourself in one paragraph.

  8. Use theory and evidence to support your claims. Don’t make assertions that are unsupported. You need to meet a higher burden of proof in your book reviews than in the short weekly papers. Evidence in support of (or against) a claim could include class readings, outside sources, and specific country examples. You can also argue for or against a point using theory—a logical point (or flaw), or the predictions of a theoretical model. If the theory evidence is weak, don’t hide that point, but use it to advocate for more investigation before deciding on a policy.

  9. Anticipate the response. When you raise a critique, anticipate and address the author’s response. This is a useful device for determining whether you critique is a strong and complete one.

  10. Read points 2, 4 and 8 again. They are that important.

shall we put in simple words, be organized, and keep writing. 

When ABE talks in the Diet question time

When Abe talks about Constitution revision
キレる安倍総理「責任者は私だ」 集団的自衛権巡り
テレビ朝日系(ANN) 2月12日(水)16時22分配信
安倍総理大臣がムキになる一幕がありました。

安倍総理大臣:「最高責任者は私です。私が責任者であって、政府の答弁に対しても私が責任を持って、その上で、私たちは選挙で国民から審判を受けるんです。審判を受けるのは法制局長官ではない。私なんですよ」
安倍総理がいら立ったのは、集団的自衛権の行使を憲法解釈の変更だけで認めて良いのかと、内閣法制局や公明党の太田国土交通大臣にばかり質問が飛んだためです。安倍総理は「これまでの国会答弁を積み上げたままなら、そもそも安保法制懇を作る必要はない」と述べ、改めて憲法解釈の見直しに意欲を示しました。

source: ANN

安倍首相に批判相次ぐ=解釈改憲めぐる答弁―自民総務会
時事通信 2月13日(木)12時58分配信
13日の自民党総務会で、集団的自衛権行使を可能にする憲法解釈変更をめぐる安倍晋三首相の国会答弁に批判が相次いだ。
問題視されたのは12日の衆院予算委員会での発言で、首相は解釈変更について「政府の最高責任者は私だ。政府の答弁について私が責任を持って、その上で選挙で審判を受ける」と強調した。
総務会で村上誠一郎元行革担当相は「首相の発言は選挙で勝てば憲法を拡大解釈できると理解できる。その時々の政権が解釈を変更できることになる」と非難。村上氏の主張を、野田毅党税調会長が「正面から受け止めるべきだ」と支持し、船田元・憲法改正推進本部長も「拡大解釈を自由にやるなら憲法改正は必要ないと言われてしまう」と指摘した。
野田聖子総務会長はこの後の記者会見で「誤解を招くことがないよう(首相に)提案したい」と述べ、総務会の意見を首相に伝える考えを示した。

source: 時事通信

how to name your baby?_four steps to getting a better title_patrick Dunleavy

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/02/05/academics-choose-useless-titles/

Very interesting article on showing the techniques of “selling” your writing to colleagues.

What you should NOT do.

  1. A “cute” title using “ordinary language” words with a clear meaning, but taken radically out of context.
  2. A “cute” title that is completely obscure. eg: where even the language the author is includes in the title is incomprehensible.
  3. An ultra-vague, vacuous, completely conventional, or wholly formal title, preferably one that could mean almost anything. eg: “power and society ” could be about many things in sociology or political science; equally it could be about generating electricity and associated technology.
  4. An empty box title.
  5. The look-like, empty box title
  6. The interrogative title, which must always end with a question mark.

WHAT YOU should DO to get a better title.

  • The first step is to look, seriously, critically and comparatively at a range of possible alternative.

“How will this wording be interpreted by someone scanning on Google Scholar? What will attract them to click through to the abstract”

  • The second step is to look at whether your title words are picked up in the abstract of the article or chapter, and in the internal sub-heading.

“It is a good sign if the title, abstract and sub-headings all use consistent, linking, meshing or nesting concepts and vocabulary”

A third step is to consider using a full narrative title, one that makes completely clear what your argument, conclusions or findings are.

  • * (using keywords, key conceptions and memorable provocative ordinary word)

To provide some narrative clues in your title, some helpful hints or signs for readers about the conclusions you have reached or the line of argument you are making.

source: Partick Dunleavy, “Authoring a PhD” (Palgrave, 2003)

Spring Snow@The Tsubouchi memorial Theater Museum

Spring Snow@ Tsubouchi memorial Theater Museum

Spring Snow @Tokyo

Spring Snow

 

 

concerning LDP’s amendments on party leadership selection rules

you may find the changes according to this entry

https://nearwy.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/revisions-of-ldp-constitution-japan_20140119/

I also found a interesting reports from Yomiuri Shinbun.

2013-12-18. it confirmed my suspicions that Abe would have lost the game according to the new balloting method.

2013.12.18          自民、総裁選規程改正へ 党員票と国会議員票 同等に           東京朝刊              政治       04頁           890字    03段      図

自民党は17日の総務会で、総裁公選規程の改正案を了承した。国会議員票と党員票の比率を1対1とする内容で、総裁選びで党本部と地方県連の意向を同等に反映させる狙いがある。来年1月の党大会で改正し、2015年9月に予定される次回総裁選から適用される。

安倍首相が総裁に選出された昨年9月の総裁選は、党員票300票、国会議員票198票の計498票で争われた。党員票は、各都道府県連に党員数に応じた票が割り振られ、各候補の得票数に応じて都道府県ごとに比例配分された。

今回の改正案では、党員票を国会議員票と同数に合わせる。慣例で投票しない衆参両院議長を除く同党国会議員は407人いるため、仮に今総裁選が行われれば、党員票は407票となる。党員票の配分は「死票」をできるだけ減らすため、都道府県単位でなく全国で比例配分する方法に改める。

規程を見直すのは、現行制度では、国政選挙の結果次第で国会議員と党員の「1票の重み」のバランスが変動し、どちらかに不公平感が残るためだ。

昨年の総裁選では、石破氏(現幹事長)は1回目の投票で党員票の55%を獲得したものの、国会議員票のみによる決選投票で首相に逆転負けした。この結果に対し、都道府県連などから「地方軽視だ」と不満の声が相次ぎ、今年3月の党大会では、決選投票で国会議員票に加え、各都道府県で1回目の得票数が多い候補に1票(計47票)を配分するように規程を改正した。

石破氏は17日の記者会見で「誰にとって有利だ、不利だということは一切考えたことはない。できるだけ公平、公正で分かりやすいことを企図した」と強調したが、党内には「首相は国会議員が選ぶのに、地方に配慮しすぎだ」(中堅議員)との不満もくすぶっている。

 昨年の総裁選を改正案のルールで行ったと仮定すると、石破氏の得票が安倍氏を上回るとの試算が出た。

 1回目投票では、石破氏は党員票を95票(48%)に減らしたものの、合計で1位を維持。安倍氏との決選投票では、党員票の41票を獲得し、16票差で安倍氏に“勝利”する。

source: yomiuri news archives