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Laughing lawmaker laps up lolly

Bleargh. I'm off sick from work and have been sedentary on the couch all day, wrapped in a blanket, eating waitrose peanut butter-smeared crackers and moaning gently to myself. I don't do ill very well.

Fortunately there's always WaiWai to raise my spirits: Effusive freshman lets politicians' pretty-sitting kitty out of the bag reports on newly elected LDP lawmaker Taizo Sugimura, who made the news recently for his effusive exposé of the plush perks granted to pampered politicos picked at the polls (sorry):

"I looked up how much a Dietman makes a year - 25 million yen!! And on top of that they give you another million yen a month to pay for communication fees!! I thought it was a million a year, but it's a million a month! I wouldn't know how to use a million a month."

The young man, Taizo Sugimura, may have been a total unknown and arguably the Liberal Democratic Party's biggest surprise winner in the Sept. 11 House of Representatives. But in the weeks since winning, he's made himself one of the country's best known politicos, mainly because of the sheer excitement he's showed while rattling off the list of perks he picks up as a member of the Diet.

"They say I get a three-bedroom apartment in the Diet members lodge," Shukan Shincho quotes the 26-year-old newly minted politician as saying. "I can't wait!!"

There's more: "I've heard that Diet members can ride Japan Railways trains for free as much as they want. And it's all first class travel. First class travel!! I've never traveled first class in my life."...

Bunshun says that Sugimura was surfing the Net at work one day a few months back and noticed that the LDP was advertising for candidates to run in upcoming elections.

"Oh wow. Oh boy. They're looking for candidates. Oh wow, wow, wow. Jeepers," Sugimura recalls his reaction for Shukan Bunshun.

I swear, the guys who do the translations for these articles have the best job in the world. It must be like writing for The Onion but, like, for real.

What I find quite amazing is that this guy was able to apply to become an official candidate just by filling in a form and writing a short "Why I shud B a politishun" essay. Thanks to the marvels of proportional representation, he got in - literally just to make up the numbers. With rigorous candidacy requirements like this, it's no wonder that many Japanese are so thoroughly disillusioned with politics.

Here are some other jobs that I think should be made available via postal ballot:

  • Astronaut
  • President of the United States (c'mon, we all know we could do a better job of it than the current guy)
  • Air traffic controller, preferably somewhere really busy
  • Nuclear submarine commander
  • WaiWai editor
  • Steve Jobs

Time to dust off the CV, methinks.

Posted by chris at October 18, 2005 04:58 PM | Permalink

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