google doodle image for the Japanese elections
google doodle - Japanese elections

Yesterday was election day in Japan, and Shinzo Abe and his right-wing nationalists have won the majority in the Japanese upper house. He has a long list of things he wants to do, and it seems that the world is watching him very closely.

The biggest thing he plans is a change to the post WW II constitution of Japan, away from the “peace” constitution where Japan is only allowed self-defence, towards one that allows a standing military. Of course, the constitution as it is right now has not hindered Japan to have a very strong military to begin with and to declare missions to Iraq for example as “peace missions”, but writing it down is a different animal altogether.

Other things on Abe’s list are designed to strenghten Japan’s economy and to lessen its National Debts, for example turning on the nuclear power plants again, raising sales tax, or lowering taxes for companies.How all of this will turn out, and if it turns out to begin with, is something only time will show.

Anyway, the elections have prompted me to get my own files ready. The elections for the Austrian National Council will take place on September 29th, and I must do extra paperwork as I will not return to Austria for that. Even if I did, I don’t have an official residence there anymore, so I need to fill in lots of forms anyway, and I have done so every time there were national elections in the last 10 years.

I once had a very hot and very short argument with a friend of mine who stated that in her opinion … people who live abroad shouldn’t be allowed to vote … I can see the point insofar as I don’t care for local politics and I’m not allowed to vote in the small ones without residence there anyway. However, Austrian national politics, especially the foreign one, affects me probably more than the random Austrian citizen as I am the one who has to defend the outcome – whether I like it or not – against my foreign acquaintances. So yes, vote I will, no matter where I live.