Thursday, May 04, 2017


Hawaii House rebellion: Shogun resigns, daimyo take a head

by Larry Geller

Today in Hawaii, as in ancient Japan, feudal goverment factions clashed.

In the midst of the fray the House shogun abruptly resigned and a powerful daiymo is being forced from her fief, her head served up on a platter.

Tokuda kubijiken

Civil Beat reported that Speaker of the House Joe Souki has resigned (see letter via Civil Beat) and that powerful Ways and Means Chair Jill Tokuda will be deposed from her commanding post in the Senate.

I’ve offered the theory that Hawaii’s state legislature does not follow the Democrat/Republican system prevalent in the rest of the country but instead is more akin to the ancient Japanese feudal system.

In the House, for example, the feudal lords (daimyo) are the committee heads. Under the daimyo are their retainers, the committee vice-chairs. The committee members are lesser vassals, obeying the orders of committee chairs on how to vote.

As shogun, the Speaker of the House rules over them all, and somewhere nearby is the emperor, the governor.

The Senate structure is the same.

Tokuda is being blamed for the failure of the Legislature to agree on a funding mechanism for Honolulu’s late and drastically over-budget rail construction. The full story (read Civil Beat or your newspaper) is complicated by pro- and anti-rail factions in the general population. It appears that there is no good solution.

So expect more internecine battles as a plan continues to evade lawmakers.

In the meantime, enjoy the kabuki play.


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