Campaign cars

Something annoying has sparked my interest into Japanese Politics it is called the Campaign Car (キャンペーン・カー). April 8th marks the Tokyo city elections and is also the date for local elections here in the Kobe area. Do I know what the big issues are? No. What each candidate is bringing to the table? No. How people can vote or how the voting process works? Only Slightly still reading up on this and various things. What the names of the candidates are? YES!!!!! Luckily for me being anywhere in the city allows me to know which candidates are running. Unlike elections in the states politicians are given very tight restrictions on advertising. However, each candidate is allowed for 12 days to campaign using what is called a Campaign Car. These cars or vans travel every square inch around the city with four or more loud speakers attached to the roof constantly belting out the name of the candidate and asking for your vote. When near these vehicles its almost as if you are being verbally attacked which is then softened by the passengers waving at you as they pass by. For the most part it seems as if people attempt to ignore these vehicles but it truly is hard not to. When multiple campaign cars are driving down the same street it becomes a confusing mess of words and noise completely incomprehensible to me. What really comes into question is the effectiveness of these cars. To my knowledge, not much is explained as to the benefits of voting for said candidate instead you hear a constant barrage of the candidates name so as not to be able to forget. They are amazingly good at getting me up when I forget to wake up in the morning.
I'm in your neighborhood making some noise
The candidate in question he looks pumped for the win
Props go to this guy for having the most annoying campaign car out of all the candidates. Theres no way you could forget this guys name with the chant the lady gives out.
Not knowing how to react or how to feel about these obtrusive noise machines I do what I do best. Take pictures and ask why??? Unfortunately tomorrow is election day and I have yet to figure out platforms or parties or any of what a supposed inform voter should know. Just candidate names. I was told that getting voters informed and to care about elections is a problem in Japan and it doesn't seem like the campaign car approach helps much. More research needed I suppose. Unfortunately I will have to revert back to more conventional means of waking up from now on like an alarm clock.

Update: It appears I'm not the only one who thinks these cars are annoying Click Here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first guy looks scary. I'd be interested to know how much or little influence the citizens feel they have with their vote.

Maybe you heard, I am mostly interested in learning about Japanese culture because I want to know what stocks I might invest in. I get the impression Japan's market is hot. But I don't know what to buy.