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Posters and Election Propaganda

A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters

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Posted by Steven Seidman at 1:15PM   |  Add a comment
An official election poster display board in Japan (2009) (http://www.peterpayne.net)

On Sunday, the voters of Japan overwhelmingly sent a message: we want change! The more conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been in power for almost the entire post-World-War-II period, was sent packing, and the reformist Democratic Party of Japan (JDP) will take over. The JDP was created only in 1998, by defectors from the LDP and some of the opposition parties.

Dissatisfaction with the ruling party was rampant this year, with the Japanese economy continuing to show weakness. According to Tomoko Hosaka, writing in the Associated Press, unemployment is a record 5.7 percent and wages have fallen.

The Democratic Party's platform calls for less aid to corporations and more to families, including cash being given to farmers, a boost in the minimum wage, and tax cuts, writes Hosaka. For decades, parties of the left have appealed to farmers and workers, as evidenced by a 1928 poster shown at the right side of this blog entry.

The enormity of the JDP's victory was shocking. According to the Associated Press, the number of seats in the lower house of parliament won by the party increased from 112 to 308. The opposite effect occurred for the LDP, which went from holding 300 seats to a mere 119.

JDP leader Yukio Hatoyama will become the country's next prime minister, and he is less pro-American than his predecessor, Taro Aso, with the former politician calling for closer links with Asian nations and less close ones with the United States.

For more on Japan's political campaigns—and its posters—see the book, Posters, Propaganda, and Persuasion in Election Campaigns Around the World and Through History.


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