By T. Sakamoto
Why do politicians occasionally make unpopular or contested rules which could harm their electoral customers? this can be the query Sakamoto attempts to reply to. Political scientists have lengthy claimed that political behaviour could be defined as actors' self-interested goal-seeking behaviour. yet Sakamoto demonstrates that politicians occasionally exhibit behaviour that is going past the slim confines of self-interest and that 'policy legitimacy' is the issue which could preempt or override the forces of self-interest and makes attainable the implementation of contested regulations through the use of the case of Japan. This cutting edge learn can be of curiosity to scholars of jap politics, legislative reports and of rational selection thought.
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Extra info for Building Policy Legitimacy in Japan: Political Behaviour beyond Rational Choice
Politicians not only are constrained by policy legitimacy, but can also strategically exploit it to advance their goals. The building of legitimacy can provide policy makers with a means to carry out an unpopular policy while saving uncertain electoral calculations and minimizing the costs of miscalculations. 39 As the tax increase cases reviewed later in this study show, policy makers make mistakes and act to correct them upon learning that they have. The Ohira, Nakasone, and Hosokawa administrations misjudged the political feasibility of their tax increases and suffered electoral losses or other negative consequences because of their misjudgment.
The Takeshita and Murayama administrations learned from their predecessors’ mistakes, corrected them, and accomplished their policy goals. This demonstrates not only the limits of rational choice theory, but also the indeterminacy of policy legitimacy and its normative properties in influencing the success and failure of policy attempts. For the cases also show that policy makers do not always succeed in building or even recognizing a need to build legitimacy for their policies. Legitimacy as a Determinant of Policy Outputs 35 Ambiguities and uncertainties associated with electoral calculations and with norms are a cause of this sort of indeterminacy.
Particularly strong was opposition by urban-based politicians who drew many votes from small- and medium-sized businesses. 19 LDP members with interests in commerce policy also opposed it, as did five vice-chairs of the LDP Commission. The opposition protested that the party leadership had not spent sufficient time on the tax reform deliberations (Kuribayashi, 1991, pp. 77–80, p. 95; Mizuno, 1993, pp. 94–8; Yomiuri Shimbun, 31 October, 12, 28 November, 1, 4, 5 December 1986). Yet in the end, the LDP leadership put down opposition by backbenchers, and Nakasone’s tax proposal gained party approval in December 1986.
Building Policy Legitimacy in Japan: Political Behaviour beyond Rational Choice by T. Sakamoto