(社説)参院選挙改革 大きな汚点を残した

–The Asahi Shimbun, July 29
EDITORIAL: Common sense lacking in Upper House electoral reform
(社説)参院選挙改革 大きな汚点を残した

The revised Public Offices Election Law was enacted on July 28, clearing the way for the implementation of a “plus 10, minus 10” formula to reform the Upper House electoral system. Under this formula for seat redistribution, the Shimane and Tottori constituencies are being merged, as are the Tokushima and Kochi constituencies.
鳥取と島根、徳島と高知をそれぞれ「合区」するなどして、参院の定数を「10増10減」する改正公職選挙法が成立した。

For the first time in the history of Upper House elections, prefectural voting districts are being merged.
都道府県単位の選挙区が統合されるのは、参院選が始まって以来初めてのことだ。

Thanks to the legal revision, Japan will at least not commit the folly of going ahead with the Upper House election next summer in disregard of the Supreme Court’s ruling in November 2014 that the 2013 poll in the chamber was held “in a state of unconstitutionality” due to disparity in vote value.
最高裁に「違憲状態」だと指摘されたまま、来年夏の参院選に突入する愚だけはかろうじて避けられた。

However, the revised law was approved in the Upper House plenary session on July 24 by a narrow margin of 131 to 103. And six Liberal Democratic Party legislators representing the four above-mentioned prefectures walked out before balloting, even though the amendment bill had been under deliberation for nearly two years.
しかし、参院本会議での採決は、賛成131、反対103という小差。合区対象となる4県選出の自民党議員6人は退席した。
2年近くかけて議論してきたにもかかわらず、である。

It is fundamental to democratic procedures that the people’s elected representatives deliberate on issues thoroughly, coordinate conflicting opinions and reach a consensus that serves the public interest. And especially when the subject of discussion is the nation’s election system–which forms the basis of representative democracy–whatever decision that is reached must have broad, suprapartisan support.
議論を尽くし、意見の違いを調整して、公共の利益にかなう結論を出す。それが民主主義的手続きの基本である。とりわけ代表民主制の基礎となる選挙制度は、党派を超えた幅広い合意のうえで決めるのが筋だ。

But what stood out this time was the indolence of the ruling LDP that should have been leading the deliberations. Reacting only haphazardly to developments, the party presented a “plus 6, minus 6” formula that would have resulted in a vote-disparity ratio of more than 4 to 1. The LDP waited until there was only about one year left before the next Upper House election before going along, albeit reluctantly, with the “plus 10, minus 10” formula proposed by four opposition parties, including the Japan Innovation Party.
それなのに、際だったのは議論を主導すべき自民党の怠慢である。最大格差が4倍を上回る「6増6減」案を示すなど、場当たり的な対応を重ねたあげく、来年の参院選が約1年後に迫るなか、維新の党など野党4党が出した「10増10減」の「助け舟」にしぶしぶ乗った。

But even with this formula, the maximum vote-disparity ratio is 2.97 to 1. The grave question remains as to whether this really meets the constitutional requirement that all ballots be equal in value.
それでも一票の最大格差は、2・97倍もある。憲法が求める「投票価値の平等」にこたえ得るか、深刻な疑問符がつく。

Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, co-sponsored with the opposition Democratic Party of Japan and others a bill calling for the creation of “10 merged constituencies.” With a vote-disparity ratio of 1.95 to 1 at most, this was obviously a better choice than the “plus 10, minus 10” formula in terms of reducing the vote-disparity ratio. But even though the Komeito-DPJ formula should be used at least for the Upper House election next summer, it was hardly discussed in the Diet.
一方、民主、公明両党などが共同提出した「10合区」案は、最大格差が1・95倍。一票の不平等を正すという点では自民党案よりはましである。少なくとも来年の参院選はこちらで行うべきだったが、国会ではほとんど議論されなかった。

In short, we, the sovereign people, were not even given a chance to get to know and think about this alternative. We were simply forced to accept the Diet’s decision.
主権者である国民は考える機会も材料も与えられないまま、結論だけが押しつけられた形だ。

The revised Public Offices Election Law comes with this supplementary provision: “Studies shall continue to fundamentally review the election system, and a conclusion shall be reached at all costs.” But except for the expression “at all costs,” this provision is merely a rehash of the supplementary provision that was attached to the election law revised three years ago, when the current election system was adopted under a “plus 4, minus 4” formula.
今回、改正法の付則にはこんな一文が盛り込まれた。「選挙制度の抜本的な見直しについて引き続き検討を行い、必ず結論を得るものとする」。しかしこれは3年前、「4増4減」して現行制度に改めた時の付則に「必ず」が加わっただけだ。

Whether the merging of constituencies is the best solution is subject to debate. Assuming Japan’s population will continue to shrink and people will keep moving to the big cities, the electoral map will have to be redrawn time and again, necessitating a series of stopgap mergers.
合区が最善かには議論の余地がある。日本の人口減少と都市への人口集中が進めば、今後も同じような小手先の数字合わせが繰り返され、ずるずる合区を重ねる事態になりかねない。

Is that really what this nation needs? To answer this question, we must discuss the fundamental question: What is the role of the Upper House?
それでいいのか? その答えを探るためにも、「参院の役割とは何か」を根本から議論する必要がある。

But through all these years, Upper House members have failed to answer the question every time, and merely resorted to stopgap measures. When will those legislators ever realize how much they have damaged their own credibility and the image of the Upper House as “the seat of common sense and decency”?
ところが毎回、答えを出せないまま、弥縫(びほう)策でお茶を濁す。その繰り返しが、自らの正統性と「良識の府」の看板をどれだけ傷つけてきたか、参院議員はいつになったら気づくのか。

広告

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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