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2008年12月 9日 (火)

内閣支持率急落 麻生自民党は立ち直れるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 9, 2008)

Plummet in popularity bodes ill for Aso, LDP

内閣支持率急落 麻生自民党は立ち直れるか(129日付・読売社説)

The latest Yomiuri Shimbun survey on the approval rating of Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet shows that the prime minister and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are in an extremely difficult situation.

 麻生首相と自民党にとって、きわめて厳しい事態である。

According to the survey conducted in early December, the Cabinet's approval rating plunged to 20.9 percent, almost half the figure recorded in the corresponding survey conducted in early November. Figures at such a level indicate that the prime minister has little hope of keeping the present administration in power.

 読売新聞の12月世論調査で、麻生内閣の支持率が20・9%に低落した。前月の調査に比べると、ほぼ半分に減った。政権維持がおぼつかなくなる水準の数字だ。

The main cause of the sharp decline in the approval rating is Aso's performance over the past month.

 支持率急落の原因は、この1か月間の「麻生政治」にある。

First, Aso decided to delay submission to the current extended Diet session of the second supplementary budget including an additional economic stimulus package.

 第一は、追加景気対策を盛り込む第2次補正予算案の延長国会への提出を見送ったことだ。

Second, Aso has expressed no consistent opinion about whether to set an income eligibility cap for the distribution of 2 trillion yen in fixed sum cash benefits to households in the additional economic stimulus package, which also exposed a lack of consensus within the Cabinet on a measure that involves a huge sum of money.

 第二は、定額給付金の所得制限をめぐる首相発言の揺らぎである。約2兆円の巨費を投じる政策で閣内不統一も露呈した。

Third, a series of gaffes by Aso and his failure to read kanji characters correctly have also had an adverse impact. In one notorious incident, he said that many doctors lack common sense.

 第三は、「医師は社会的常識が欠落している人が多い」といった首相の失言や、漢字の誤読だ。

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Failing on issues and character

In the survey, two out of three respondents consider the delay in submitting the second extra budget to the current Diet session "inappropriate" and about 70 percent of them do not support the fixed sum cash handouts.

 実際、今回の調査で国民の3人に2人は予算案提出先送りを「妥当ではない」とし、7割の人が定額給付金を評価していない。

Among the reasons given for not supporting Aso's Cabinet, the number of people responding that his leadership is lacking increased substantially. The prime minister should take this public criticism seriously.

 内閣を支持しない理由では、「首相に指導力がない」という回答が急増した。首相は、こうした国民の批判を深刻に受け止めなければならない。

Aso's Cabinet now faces a crucial moment concerning the compilation of the fiscal 2009 budget and measures to reform the tax system. If the prime minister cannot display his leadership in handling such problems, it will become more and more difficult for the Cabinet to resurrect the administration's fortunes.

 2009年度予算編成も税制改正も、今が正念場だ。首相がここで指導力を発揮できなければ、政権の立て直しは、ますます困難になるだろう。

This survey result shows a serious situation confronting the LDP.

 今回、自民党にとっても、ただならぬ結果が出ている。

The approval rating for the LDP was surpassed by that for the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan. The LDP had not ceded the top position in terms of party support since the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

 まず、政党支持率が、民主党に逆転された。福田前内閣以降、自民党は、政党支持率で第1党を譲ったことはなかった。

Asked which party they would cast their votes for in the proportional representation ballot in the next House of Representatives election, voters surveyed chose the DPJ by a wide margin. This marked the first time since the launch of the Aso Cabinet that the DPJ has surpassed the LDP in the responses to this question.

 次の衆院比例代表選で、どの政党に投票するかでも、民主党が自民党を大きく引き離した。麻生政権下では、初の逆転だ。

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Voters changing preference

The response to these two questions point to support shifting from the LDP to the DPJ. The increase in distrust of and dissatisfaction with the LDP underlies these results. The numbers should motivate the LDP to seriously reconsider their approach to the current political situation.

 いずれも、自民離れした層が民主党にシフトしているようだ。自民党への不信、不満の増大が背景にある。自民党に猛省を促す数字とみることもできるだろう。

The power of a party leader is significant under the current electoral system which elects lower house members both from single-seat constituencies and regional proportional representation contests. Asked who is preferable as prime minister, DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa surpassed Aso, who also is the president of the LDP, for the first time.

 小選挙区比例代表並立制という現行選挙制度では、「党首力」がものをいう。首相と民主党の小沢代表とでは、どちらが首相にふさわしいかという質問で、今回、小沢氏が首相を初めて上回った。

Frustrations are mounting within the LDP due to the declining popularity of Aso, who was expected to represent the party in the next general election. Some LDP members have criticized the prime minister and the party leadership, while others have tried to strengthen pressure on the government to spend money in their areas as an election ploy.

 「選挙の顔」として期待していた「麻生人気」の低下に、自民党内には焦燥感が深まっている。首相や党執行部を批判したり、選挙対策に走って歳出圧力を強めたりする動きも出ている。

However, it was the LDP itself that selected Aso as prime minister. The party should not shirk its responsibility. In the current financial crisis, what the party should do for the present is put all its efforts, along with those of the prime minister, into mapping out and implementing effective measures to boost the economy and employment.

 しかし、首相を選んだのは、ほかならぬ自民党だ。その責任を棚上げしてはなるまい。金融危機下、当面なすべきは、首相とともに、有効な景気・雇用対策の立案と遂行に全力をあげることだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2008)

20081290142  読売新聞)

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