By George T. Yu (eds.)
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Extra resources for Asia’s New World Order
There are constitutional provisions in the United States to prevent the majority from trampling on the rights of the minority on matters affecting basic civil liberties. Other countries have developed what Arend Lijphart has referred to as consociational democracy to constrain majoritarianism in order to maintain political stability. II A political system in which policies supported by 51 per cent of the voters were regularly adopted despite the intense opposition of the other 49 per cent would be a system racked by political discord and instability.
But the reforms that have had the most lasting and the most profound impact on Japanese society were those that had some base in the prewar period. In the 1920s especially, in the period called Taisho Democracy, there were growing pressures for land reform, women's suffrage, the right of labour to organize and the freedom of opponents of the government to form political parties. The possibility of success of occupation reforms in Democracy: The Japanese Experience 23 these areas would have been much less if there had not been strong popular movements and the beginnings of the establishment of democratic institutions in the prewar period.
They even borrowed from Japan the name for the ruling Democracy: The Japanese Experience 21 party currently headed by President Kim Young Sam, only reversing the characters to create the Democratic Liberal Party. Yet the chances that Korea will end up with the kind of system that characterized Japan for four decades from 1955 are extremely small. Korea's adoption of a mixed presidential-parliamentary system makes it conceivable that voters will support the candidate of one party for president while leaning towards another party in parliamentary elections.