Sunday, 16 December 2012

Day 11: Psephy heaven: #JapanVotes

Day 11: A hot and muggy one here in Brisbane but most of my attention naturally, has been diverted towards the election in Japan today. Still, with just a few days before I head up to Tokyo for some election and related research, the boring and mundane still goes one. 

If it is Sunday, must be
washing day... 6.12am
At 6.12am today, I found myself again doing the washing, anticipating a long and busy day ahead. It also meant making lists of gifts and other requests I need to fulfil for friends and colleagues in Japan. It meant a trip into the city on a weekend I would normally do my Christmas shopping...(actually, no, not really; I'm not that organised, I'm really very last minute when it comes to that little job). 

Let the analysis begin: Japan votes at 6.12pm
I've been following my twitter timeline quite closely today. I noted that if Japan's government were to be determined by tweeps on my timeline, Japan would end up with a reasonably progressive, anti-nuclear power government. Twitter is quite popular in Japan (compared with Weibo in China) and I've managed to draw a lot of up-to-the-minute news on the election via twitter. There's also a lot of interest in the Japanese media about the influence of twitter on the political discourse--it looks like a very interesting comparative study coming up for me...

Work then, has been the order of the day. I'll be spending much of the night following the results, though we're not likely to get a result until tomorrow, and then no doubt a few days of the usual argy-bargy as parties jostle for coalition influence. 

A Google election? 6.12pm
By 6.12pm, I'd set up the computer for examining the results. The newspapers usually set up special pages on their websites, full of all the sort of data that political nerds like me like to mine. I was interested to see that the was a special Google page link from the main election page on the Asahi Shimbun website. Closer investigation revealed (photo at left) that it is a special 'googlised' search page for the election: find your candidates, understand the parties, even 'hangout' with some of the candidates. How interesting. Anyway, it doesn't get much better than this, for me. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm still here at 6.12am, tomorrow, Day 12...

Sunday is typically a sporty sort of day; the test continues in Hobart, Australia might have the upper hand over Sri Lanka but, knowing cricket...who knows until the last ball is bowled. In the wake of the Connecticut shooting yesterday, the Queensland Government has made headlines today for making changes to state gun laws to make it easier to own and use them (albeit with restrictions). I don't know, I still think we can do better than that. 

And as that cooling evening breeze makes it timely appearance, it's time for me to return to Japan. Votes.  

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