参院選制度改革 「合区」の導入もやむを得ない

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Merged constituencies unavoidable for upper house electoral reform
参院選制度改革 「合区」の導入もやむを得ない

Planned electoral reforms for the House of Councillors represent a major institutional change, as they reexamine the prefecture-based electoral system that the public has been widely familiar with for many years.
長年、国民に広く定着している都道府県単位の選挙区を見直す、大きな制度変更である。

The Liberal Democratic Party has decided on a reform plan for the upper house electoral system that centers on merging thinly populated prefectures with neighboring prefectures to create new constituencies. The ruling party plans to submit a bill to the current Diet session to revise the Public Offices Election Law, and aims to apply the new system from an upper house election next summer.
自民党は、人口の少ない県と隣接県を1選挙区に統合する「合区」の導入を柱とする参院選挙制度改革案を決めた。今国会に公職選挙法改正案を提出し、成立を図る。来夏の参院選からの適用を目指す。

The LDP’s reform plan is exactly what has been called for by the Japan Innovation Party and three other opposition parties, and seeks to create new electoral districts by combining Tottori and Shimane prefectural constituencies and Tokushima and Kochi prefectural constituencies.
改革案は、維新の党など野党4党が主張していたもので、鳥取と島根、徳島と高知を「合区」とする。

It will also change the number of seats allocated to some electoral districts.
選挙区定数の配分も変更し、

As a result, a total of 10 seats will be added to some electoral districts and a total of 10 seats will be cut in other districts, while the total number of seats is maintained at 242 as today.
全体では「10増10減」となる。定数242は維持する。

As a result, the maximum vote-value disparity of 4.77:1 in the 2013 upper house election is expected to be reduced to 2.97:1.
これにより、「1票の格差」は2013年参院選の最大4・77倍から2・97倍に縮まるという。

There is a limit to what can be done to correct the gap if that goal is pursued while maintaining the framework of the current electoral system, which combines elections in constituencies and the national proportional representation district. To resolve the vote-value disparity that the Supreme Court ruled to be “in a state of unconstitutionality,” it is unavoidable to merge electoral districts on a limited scale.
選挙区選と全国比例選を組み合わせた現行制度の骨格を維持したままでの格差是正には、限界がある。最高裁が認定した「違憲状態」の解消には、限定的に合区を導入することはやむを得まい。

Discussions on reform of the electoral system by parliamentary groups in the upper house have been in limbo since they were started in 2013. This is because the LDP, the biggest Diet group, has been persistently passive about pressing for drastic reform.
13年に始まった参院各会派の制度改革論議は、迷走が続いた。最大会派の自民党が、一貫して抜本改革に消極的だったためだ。

The opposition parties have vehemently criticized this stance of the LDP. Even its coalition partner, Komeito, reached an agreement with the Democratic Party of Japan to integrate 20 prefectural constituencies into 10.
野党は強く反発した。与党の公明党さえ民主党と20県を10選挙区に統合する合区案で合意した。

Long-term perspective vital

The LDP has finally agreed to accept the combination of constituencies, despite opposition from within the party, probably because it could not overcome the pressure from other parties.
孤立した自民党が党内に不満を抱えながらも合区を容認したのは、こうした各党の圧力に抗し切れなかったからだろう。

Once an accord is reached on combining constituencies as a means of rectifying the vote disparity, it is highly likely that future reforms will also seek to expand the number of merged constituencies. This may make it difficult to return to discussions on introducing a proportional representation bloc election system, as proposed by former upper house President Takeo Nishioka, and a large bloc constituency system.
いったん合区で格差を是正すると、今後の改革も合区の拡大になる可能性が大きい。西岡武夫・元参院議長が提唱したブロック比例案やブロック大選挙区案の議論に後戻りできなくなりかねない。

It is notable that the combined electoral district system has not a few adverse effects.
注意すべきは、合区には弊害が少なくないことだ。

There are fears that the system creates the possibility that no one from underpopulated prefectures can be represented in the upper house. It will make it unavoidable for the LDP and the DPJ to make such adjustments as fielding candidates alternately from adjacent constituencies, and fielding one of the two candidates in a proportional representation election.
人口の少ない方の県から参院に代表を出せなくなる恐れがある。自民党や民主党は、隣接する両県から交互に候補者を擁立したり、もう一方を比例選で処遇したりするなどの調整が欠かせない。

If prefectural administrative units with unique historical and cultural characteristics are shaken up by the adoption of the combined electoral district system, it will weaken the element that lawmakers elected from constituencies represent regional areas.
合区により、固有の歴史や文化を持つ各都道府県の行政単位が揺らげば、選挙区選出議員の地域代表としての側面が弱まろう。

Amid the growing population gap between urban and rural areas, there are concerns that too much emphasis on securing equality in vote values will make it difficult for regional voices to be reflected in national politics.
都市部と地方の人口格差が広がる中、投票価値の平等に固執し過ぎると、地方の声が国政に反映しにくくなるという懸念がある。

Discussions on the electoral system reform must be held from a long-range perspective.
選挙制度改革では、長期的な視点に立った議論も進めたい。

In an effort to promote differentiation of the upper house from the House of Representatives, and on the premise that the Constitution is revised, it is worth studying the introduction of a system in which personnel with professional expertise and experience will be recommended or appointed as upper house members without going through elections.
衆院と差別化を図るため、憲法改正を前提に、専門的知識・経験を持つ人材を選挙を経ずに、推薦・任命する制度の導入なども検討に値するのではないか。

Discussion should also be deepened on the roles and functions required of the upper house.
参院に求められる役割・機能についても論議を深めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 10, 2015)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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