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2008年5月 2日 (金)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

EDITORIAL: Opposition party's job

民主党―「野党の仕事」が問われる

04/30/2008

04/30/2008

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano recalls asking former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone a question about politics. "Sir, what is the job of an opposition party?" Yosano asked his political mentor.

「先生、野党の仕事って何ですか」

"Well, it is to overthrow the government, no matter what it takes. Policy doesn't matter. Just unseating the government is the job of an opposition party," Nakasone answered.

「何が何でもそのときの政権を倒す。政策も何もない。とにかく政権を倒すことが野党の仕事だ」

This is an episode Yosano describes in his new book, "Dodotaru Seiji" (Dignified politics).

与謝野馨・前官房長官が話題の近著「堂々たる政治」の中で紹介している中曽根元首相とのやりとりだ。

Defeated in the general election in 1993, the Liberal Democratic Party found itself in the opposition camp for the first time in its history after a coalition of other parties formed a government headed by Morihiro Hosokawa.

自民党は93年の総選挙で敗北し、細川政権のもとで初めての野党暮らしを経験することになった。

Totally at a loss, Yosano posed the question to Nakasone, for whom he had once served as a secretary.

何をすればいいのか。困り果てた与謝野氏が、かつて秘書として仕えた中曽根氏に教えを請うたのだという。

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) is now trying to do "the job of an opposition party." Bent on forcing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election, the main opposition party is awaiting a suitable moment to submit a censure motion against Fukuda to the Upper House.

民主党はいま、まさに「野党の仕事」に取り組んでいる。福田政権を衆院の解散・総選挙に追い込むため、いつ参院に首相の問責決議案を提出するか、タイミングを計っている。

Even if a censure motion passes, Fukuda has shown no intention of responding to it by calling an election or resigning along with other Cabinet ministers.

決議が可決されても、首相はおいそれと解散や総辞職に応じる気配はない。

Unlike a no-confidence vote against the Cabinet passed by the Lower House, a censure resolution passed by the Upper House is not legally binding.

もともと衆院での内閣不信任と違って、問責決議に法的な強制力はない。

With Cabinet approval ratings languishing below 20 percent, the ruling camp wants to delay the general election as long as possible.

2割台の内閣支持率しかないのだから、与党としてはできるだけ総選挙を先送りしたいところだ。

The results of Sunday's Lower House by-election in Yamaguchi Prefecture left no doubt that favorable political winds are blowing for Minshuto.

衆院山口2区の補欠選挙で、民主党への追い風ははっきりした。

It is natural for the party to carefully plan its next political move to box the Fukuda government into a corner.

これを背にどう政権を追い詰めるか、慎重に策を練るのは当然のことだろう。

But the political meaning of "overthrowing the government" has changed dramatically since the days of the so-called 1955 system, when the LDP had a solid lock on power. All that the opposition camp could hope for in attacking the government back then was the replacement of the prime minister by another LDP bigwig.

「政権を倒す」といっても、かつての55年体制の時代とは意味が違う。当時は野党の攻勢がうまくいったとしても首相が入れ替わり、別の自民党政権が生まれるだけだった。

In contrast, the opposition bloc now has a reasonable chance of wresting power from the LDP-led ruling coalition through a general election.

いまは総選挙を経て、野党への政権交代がありうる時代なのだ。

What kind of role should the leading opposition party play today?

そこで野党が果たすべき仕事とは、どのようなものなのか。

Nakasone's argument that the primary mission of an opposition party is to overthrow the government is still relevant today.

何が何でも政権を倒す。この中曽根氏の指摘はわかる。

Given the growing momentum of political reform to ensure more frequent power transfers in this nation, efforts to displace the ruling party from power have political implications that go beyond a simple power struggle.

政権交代可能な政治システムを日本に築きたいという政治改革の流れからすれば、単なる権力闘争を超える意義がある。

In order to achieve this mission, an opposition party may have to use hard-ball tactics that seem to defy reasonable thinking, such as Minshuto's repeated rejections of the government's nominees for the Bank of Japan governor.

そのためには日銀総裁人事に不同意を連発したように、理屈を超えた強引さもありうるかもしれない。

Bringing forward a censure motion against the prime minister for the purpose of halting Diet deliberations altogether is another example of such tactics.

問責決議をぶつけ、国会を全面ストップさせるというのも同様だ。

Whether this kind of political maneuver succeeds depends on whether it is supported by the public.

要は、それが国民の理解を得られるかにかかっている。

At the same time, Minshuto needs to win the trust of the voting public as a party prepared to govern the nation.

Otherwise, it cannot hope to pull off a victory in the next Lower House poll.

同時に、政権を委ねるにふさわしい政党として、有権者に信頼されなければ総選挙での勝利はおぼつかない。

In addition to offering viable policy alternatives, Minshuto needs to make tenacious and effective efforts to force the ruling camp to change its policies.

対案を出すにとどまらず、現実の政策を変えさせる粘りと実行力も要る。

Even if it cannot easily compromise on the gasoline tax surcharges and other issues, Minshuto should continue pressing the government to cut wasteful expenditures on roads.

たとえば、暫定税率などでの妥協は難しいにしても、道路予算の無駄を切り詰めさせる努力は続けるべきだ。

As for the newly introduced health insurance program for people aged 75 or older, which Minshuto criticizes as a raw deal for the elderly, the opposition party should do more than just call for the scrapping of the program.

「お年寄りいじめ」と批判している後期高齢者医療制度にしても、廃止を言うだけではだめだ。

Minshuto should propose a system that is fairer and more sustainable.

どんな制度ならより公平で持続可能なのか、対案を示す必要がある。

It is by no means asking for too much to call on Minshuto to try to unseat the government while pursuing its policy goals.

「政権打倒も、政策も」というのは決して贅沢(ぜいたく)な注文ではない。

As the main opposition party with an ambition for ascension to power, Minshuto needs to deal with both challenges with convincing political prowess.

それを巧みにこなしてこそ、政権をうかがう野党第1党なのではないか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April

朝日新聞、4

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