衆院制度改革 放置できぬ格差拡大

–The Asahi Shimbun, March 6
EDITORIAL: LDP needs to be serious about narrowing vote-value gap
(社説)衆院制度改革 放置できぬ格差拡大

There must be absolutely no further delay in the long-overdue electoral reform to redress grievous inequalities in representation.
To reduce the glaring disparity in the relative weight of a vote in Lower House single-seat constituencies, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party should respond positively to the major reapportionment and redistricting proposals made by its junior coalition partner, Komeito, and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
もはや待ったなしである。衆院小選挙区の一票の格差是正に向け、自民党は公明党や民主党が主張する定数配分の抜本改革案に歩み寄るべきだ。

The 2015 national census has confirmed the worsening of the situation. A vote in the least populous Miyagi No. 5 district is “worth” the value of 2.334 votes in the most populous Tokyo No. 1, according to preliminary figures announced by the internal affairs ministry on Feb. 26.
総務省が先月発表した2015年国勢調査の速報値によれば、人口が最も少ない宮城5区と最多の東京1区を比べると、格差は2・334倍となった。

The maximum gap in vote value narrowed to a ratio of 1.998 to 1 as a result of the changes made in 2013, which reduced the number of single-seat constituencies in five prefectures by one each.
But the latest demographic data have found a vote-value disparity of more than two–the standard of the Supreme Court for ruling “a state of unconstitutionality”–in 37 districts, including 14 in Tokyo, when compared with Miyagi No. 5.
13年の「0増5減」に伴う区割り見直しで最大格差は1・998倍に縮小していたが、今回の調査では2倍以上の格差があるのは37選挙区に上る。

As a formula to allocate Lower House seats to the 47 prefectures, a research council on the electoral system in January recommended the adoption of an apportion method that was proposed by John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States.
都道府県の間の定数配分の計算式として、衆院議長の諮問機関である有識者調査会は「アダムズ方式」の導入による抜本改革を答申した。

Many parties including the DPJ and Komeito have said they will accept the proposal. While the LDP has shown a reluctance to immediately adopt the method, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to “respect” the panel’s recommendations.
民主、公明など多くの党が受け入れを表明し、消極的な自民党も安倍首相が「尊重する」と答弁している。

The question is when the Adams method should be introduced.
残る焦点は、アダムズ方式をいつ導入するかだ。

In line with the panel’s proposal, which called for a net reduction of six seats elected in single-seat constituencies, the DPJ has proposed a combination of an increase of seven in the seats allocated to five prefectures and a reduction of one each in 13 prefectures, changes based on the 2010 national census. Komeito argues for an adjustment comprising an increase of nine seats combined with a reduction of 15 based on the 2015 data.
答申が求めた小選挙区定数の6削減を前提に定数配分を見直す場合、民主党は10年調査に基づく「7増13減」を、公明党は15年調査に基づく「9増15減」を主張している。

Abe, however, is apparently tilting toward the idea of limiting the immediate changes based on the 2015 census to cut six seats through redistricting within six prefectures. He prefers postponing a major overhaul based on the Adams apportion method until after the full census scheduled for 2020.
一方、安倍首相は15年調査では、選挙区画見直しによる是正と定数の6減にとどめ、アダムズ方式導入による抜本改革は20年の大規模調査以降に実施するとの方針だ。

Abe claims his position is in line with the council’s recommendations, which said a reapportionment based on the Adams formula should be carried out in response to the findings of full censuses conducted once a decade.
アダムズ方式による配分見直しは10年ごとの大規模国勢調査に基づき実施するとの答申に沿ったものだ、と首相はいう。

It is true that the panel didn’t propose any specific time frame for the reform. But Abe’s position ignores the reality of serious inequality in the value of votes.
確かに、答申に導入時期は書いていない。だが、首相の言い分は、投票価値の不平等という現実から目を背けている。

What is important is not to follow the letter of the panel’s recommendations. The crucial issue is how to respond to the calls for substantial electoral reform made by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared the past three Lower House elections to have been conducted “in a state of unconstitutionality” because of a sharp vote-value disparity. The court has also urged an early abolition of the method of first distributing one seat to each of the 47 prefectures before allocating the remaining seats.
大事なことは、答申に形式的に沿うことではない。過去3回の衆院選を違憲状態と判断し、「1人別枠」という定数配分方式の速やかな撤廃という最高裁の求めにどう応えるかだ。

The LDP’s “zero increase and six reduction” proposal would effectively keep the “one seat to each prefecture first” system intact.
自民党が今回実施するという「0増6減」では、1人別枠方式は実質的に温存される。

Given that at least one Lower House election will be held by the time of the next national census, Komeito’s argument for introducing the Adams approach immediately by applying it to the newest demographic data is the most reasonable one.
次の国勢調査までに少なくとも1回は衆院選があることを考えれば、最新データをもとにアダムズ方式を導入するとの公明党の主張が最も理にかなう。

Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima, who is serving as a broker in the negotiations over the issue among the parties, has expressed a desire to see the emergence of consensus by the end of this month. Abe should agree to the proposal put forward by Komeito, the LDP’s political ally.
調整役の大島衆院議長は今月中に結論を出したいというが、安倍首相は友党・公明党の主張を受け入れるべきだ。

We can understand the argument that slashing the number of seats allocated to sparsely populated areas would make it difficult to incorporate the voices of people in rural areas into the central government’s policies.
人口が少ない地域の定数が減れば、地方の声が国政に届きにくくなるという指摘があるのはわかる。

But the constitutional imperative of equality in the value of votes should not be obscured by this problem, which should be discussed from a different viewpoint.
ただ、それは憲法が求める「投票価値の平等」とは別の観点から論ずべき問題だ。

The judiciary has ordered that the existing inequality should be redressed as quickly as possible. The legislature has a responsibility to carry out the order.
いまある不平等を、できるだけ早く正す。それが司法の要請であり、立法府の責任である。

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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