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2008年12月10日 (水)

支持率急落―政治の刷新を求める民意

2008/12/10

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 9(IHT/Asahi: December 10,2008)

EDITORIAL: Sinking support for Aso

支持率急落―政治の刷新を求める民意

Recent media polls showed the support ratings for Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet have plunged further from their already low levels. An Asahi Shimbun opinion poll found his government had the support of only 22 percent of voters. Similar surveys by two other major dailies, The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Mainichi Shimbun, put his rating at 21 percent.

 低迷していた麻生内閣の支持率が急降下した。朝日新聞の世論調査では22%、読売新聞、毎日新聞ではともに21%。

The disapproval ratings, on the other hand, jumped to around 60 percent in all three surveys.

逆に不支持率はどの調査でも6割前後に跳ね上がった。 

In the Asahi poll, 68 percent of the respondents said they didn't think Aso had the ability to deliver the things he promised. Aso was also outnumbered by Ichiro Ozawa, chief of opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), in the voters' choice on which of the two is suited as the nation's leader.

 朝日新聞の調査では、麻生首相に実行力があるとは思わないという人が68%に達した。麻生氏と小沢民主党代表のどちらが首相にふさわしいかの評価も、小沢氏に逆転された。

The findings indicate a serious erosion of public confidence in Aso's leadership.

相当な不信感の広がりである。 

What is the biggest policy challenge facing the nation's political leaders? It is clearly protecting the quality of people's lives and the nation's economy from the effects of the global economic downturn.

 いま、政治が立ち向かわねばならない最大の課題は何か。押し寄せる世界的な不景気の大波から、国民の暮らしや経済を守っていくことだ。 

The Aso government has two choices on how to deal with the situation. One option is to quickly enact a fresh supplementary budget to prop up the economy and devise a spending plan for next fiscal year while putting off a Lower House dissolution and snap election to prevent a political vacuum.

 そのためには、ふたつの選択肢がある。ひとつは、衆院の解散・総選挙による「政治空白」を避け、補正予算案を通したり、来年度の当初予算案を編成したりして緊急対策を急ぐことだ。

The other choice is to call an election as soon as possible to break the political gridlock and win a solid public mandate to lead the nation through this crisis.

もうひとつは、危機だからこそ、一日も早く総選挙で日本の政治を仕切り直し、必要な施策を実現できる強力な態勢をつくることである。 

Aso so far has opted for the former way. Instead of dissolving the Lower House for a snap election, Aso has spent the past two months or so in office working out policy measures to deal with the recession, including a proposal to hand out 2 trillion yen in cash to households.

 麻生首相は前者の道を選択した。解散を先送りして、就任以来2カ月あまり、定額給付金などの対策づくりに取り組んできた。その評価が今回の世論調査にあらわれたと見るべきだ。 

The survey results should be clearly seen as the people's verdict on his efforts.

The Asahi Shimbun survey also showed that more than 80 percent of the respondents have been disappointed at Aso's job performance or had had no expectations for his government in the first place.

 朝日調査で、これまでの首相の仕事ぶりについて「期待外れだ」「もともと期待していない」と答えた人が合わせて8割を超えたのは象徴的だ。まさに落第ということである。 

In all three surveys by the newspapers, a majority of the respondents called for an early Lower House election. The thinking of voters is that it is apparently impossible to respond effectively to the current economic crisis unless the nation's political world is revamped through an election.

 3社の世論調査とも、早期の総選挙を求める声が多数を占めた。やはり総選挙で政治を刷新しない限りこの危機には対応しきれない。世論はそう感じている。

The rapid deterioration of the economic situation, as indicated by recent job data, is stirring anxiety and discontent among the people.

雇用などの急速な悪化が不安と不満を膨らませているのだろう。 

Open criticism of the prime minister is now being heard even within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. There are also moves within the party to create new political groups. It is highly doubtful that the Aso administration can carry out its key policy tasks, such as compiling budget bills for next fiscal year and implementing tax reforms, under such circumstances.

 自民党内にも、公然と首相を批判する声が出始めた。新しいグループを旗揚げする動きもある。こんな状態で予算案づくりや税制改正などの仕事をこなせるのか、疑問に思えてくる。 

Aso should heed this advice: Promise to dissolve the Lower House early next year and ask the opposition parties to support a second supplementary budget plan in return.

 首相にひとつ提案がある。 

 年明けの解散を約束し、それと引き換えに、野党に第2次補正予算案への協力を求めることだ。 

The prime minister may have to drop some of his proposals, including the cash handouts plan, which have been roundly condemned by the opposition camp. But there are economic measures that can be accepted by the opposition parties, including a program to help small and medium-sized companies secure the funds necessary to remain in business, as well as efforts to strengthen the employment safety net.

 野党がこぞって反対する定額給付金は撤回せざるを得ないかもしれない。だが、中小企業の資金繰り支援や雇用のセーフティーネット整備など、野党も賛成できる緊急対策はある。 

After these steps are taken, the ruling and opposition parties should seek public support for their economic-revival policies in a Lower House election. After voters make their choice, the defeated parties should cooperate in realizing the plans proposed by the winning parties.

 それを実現させたうえで、総選挙で与野党が経済対策を競い合う。選挙後は、その民意に基づいて敗者は勝者の案の実現に協力する。

Voters seem willing to accept a slight delay in the enactment of fiscal 2009 budget due to an election; they are holding out hope that the political leadership will regain the ability to sort out the tough policy challenges confronting the nation.

来年度予算の成立が少し遅れたとしても、政治が対応力を回復することこそ有権者は望んでいるのではないか。 

There are growing calls for a leadership change and political realignment in Tokyo's Nagatacho district, the nation's political power center. But political confusion will only prolong the leadership vacuum. Aso should make the decision to end this deadlock.

 永田町では、首相交代論や政界再編論もささやかれている。だが、政治が混乱すればそれこそ「空白」が長引くことになる。首相はこの行き詰まりを打開するために決断すべきだ。

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