Ms. Yukiko Kada's party is not doing well. Some blame the media coverage, but actually the media has given more than the usual coverage of her party than even that of the existing parties like Komei Party. I'm afraid it has more to do with her and her rather tone-deaf campaign style so far.
Mr. Tetsunari Iida as the deputy party leader is not helping either. He was squarely, solely responsible for the debacle on the day of submission of the list of party candidates when the party almost missed (technically it did miss, by 10 seconds) the deadline to submit the list of candidates because of the last-minute change that Mr. Iida demanded. It was a very bad PR for the party, and one of the party members seen crying on camera didn't help. The whole incident confirmed the suspicion held by many that they were rank amateurs.
Articles I found yesterday indicate to me that Mr. Kada, despite her being the governor of Shiga Prefecture, is one of the amateurs of the party, out of sync, out of step even with her party's candidate.
Sponichi (12/7/2012) says Ms. Kada was at the side of Ms. Yukiko Miyake, who is putting up a good fight to defeat Prime Minister Noda in his Chiba 4th District (Funabashi City, Chiba). But what did she do to help Ms. Miyake? Nothing. After ms. Miyake spoke, with sharp attacks on PM Noda, It was Ms. Kada's turn. But Ms. Kada mentioned Mr. Noda only once in her speech in connection with the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant (she approved of the restart anyway) , and toward the end she started to peddle her book. "All I talked about today is in this book", she said, whipping out her book titled "What a governor can do". She recommended the audience to go ahead and buy the book and read it. Then she handed the book to Ms. Miyake, and left in a car. Huh?
In the same event in Funabashi City, Ms. Kada also said the following, according to Sankei Shinbun (12/6/2012): "I'm heartbroken." Why? Because the poll numbers for her party reported by the media are low. So her party does not have a system to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign and is relying on the mass media's numbers. And to say she was heartbroken (depressed, dejected, disheartened, etc.) in a speech that was supposed to support and encourage Ms. Miyake on to fight the prime minister of Japan, what was she thinking?
Finally, not all people in Shiga Prefecture are happy about their governor spending time campaigning on their dime (or yen). According to Yomiuri Shinbun (12/6/2012), Mayor of Hikone City has filed a "resident audit request to local government authority", demanding the prefecture halt salary payment to Ms. Kada while she's campaigning. According to the Hikone City Mayor, Ms. Kada didn't come to work from December 4 to 6 as she campaigned elsewhere. "To pay from the taxpayers' money in Shiga to the governor who is campaigning for a particular political party while the Shiga residents' political views vary is clearly illegal", says the mayor.
To this, Ms. Kada responded: "The resident audit request is invalid, because the governorship is a special position in the government service, and there is no set number of work hours like the regular government employees."
Her argument is strange. It is true that the governors are not bound by obligation to work certain number of hours, but that does not mean they are free to do anything they like. In fact, the law only says they are not punished for working less hours, or not rewarded for working more hours. Governors are paid by taxpayers' money to be governors 24/7, always ready to work as the governors of the prefectures.
Apparently not to her, and not to the governor of Osaka, who, as the sidekick to the boy wonder, has been working the struggling campaign for his party (Japan Restoration Party).
Here's Ms. Kada's party's campaign CM. Very weak. Silly music. Portraying nuclear and tax issues as if they were just the matter of clicking buttons on the net.
So far, it seems like the decision by Mr. Ichiro Ozawa and Mr. Shizuka Kamei to join her party may end up destroying their own bases in the election.