Japan gives hope to the political underdog

After 54 years in opposition, Japan’s Democratic Party has won a landslide victory in the country’s general election. The centre left party’s victory has been welcomed by the markets as well as less privileged citizens. It’s the latest win for progressive politics in a major industrial country and follows Barack Obama’s election in the US and Kevin Rudd’s in Australia. Many will see it as further evidence that voters do look to the progressive parties with strong economic policies at times of economic strife.

Closer to home the Irish Labour Party will be hoping this wave of change lifts their prospects at the next general election. The SDLP, another party in a period of renewal and strong on the economy, has began its hunt for prospective MPs with an open invitation to party members to become candidates.