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2009年8月24日 (月)

09総選挙・終盤へ―民主党へと風は吹くが

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 22(IHT/Asahi: August 24,2009)
EDITORIAL: Election polls point to a DPJ landslide
09総選挙・終盤へ―民主党へと風は吹くが

The findings of a recent Asahi Shimbun survey about the Aug. 30 Lower House election were stunning, although there is still much uncertainty about how things will turn out.
 審判が下るのは30日。まだまだ流動的な要素は多いにしても、衝撃的な数字である。

The poll indicated that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan was on track to win more than 300 of the chamber's 480 seats in the early stage of the race, while the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is likely to see their strength reduced drastically to less than 150.
朝日新聞の調査で、民主党が300議席台をうかがう一方、自民党は150議席に届かないという総選挙序盤の情勢がわかった。

The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Nikkei reported similar poll results.
 読売新聞と日本経済新聞も同様の調査結果を報じた。

There is apparently a groundswell of public opinion favoring a change of government that is as huge as the one that gave nearly 300 seats to the LDP in the 2005 Lower House election, which centered on the issue of postal privatization.
自民党に300近い議席をもたらした05年の郵政総選挙に匹敵する民意のうねりが、今度は政権交代へと向かっているようだ。

The voting public is also showing strong interest in the upcoming election. The Asahi survey found 54 percent of the respondents taking a great interest in the election, the same as the figure four years ago.
 選挙への関心も高まっている。本紙の世論調査では、今回の総選挙に「大いに関心がある」という人は4年前と同じ54%に達した。

But the seemingly clear picture of fervent popular support for the DPJ is actually not as simple as it looks.
 だが、民主党の背中を強力に押しているかに見える民意の風も、そう単純ではない。

Only 24 percent of those polled anticipated that a power transfer would move Japanese politics in a good direction, compared with 56 percent who expected no change.
政権交代で日本の政治はどうなるか。「よい方向に向かう」と思う人は24%に過ぎず、「変わらない」と思う人の56%を大きく下回った。

The public is apprehensive about the possibility of the DPJ coming to power. Still, people are inclined to vote for the opposition party because of the great distrust they have in the LDP.
 民主党には「不安」がある。それでも自民党への「不信」があまりに大きすぎるから、今回は民主党へ――。

In other words, many voters are not putting unconditional hope in the DPJ's ascent to power.
つまり有権者の多くは、手放しで政権交代に期待しているわけではないということだろう。

What the DPJ should take seriously is the fact that large numbers of voters are taking a dim view of the party's key policy proposals.
 民主党が深刻に受け止めるべきは、看板政策に対する有権者の冷ややかな目だ。

In the survey, 55 percent of the respondents said they did not back the DPJ's proposal to create a new child support program. The party's promise to scrap tolls for highways was even more unpopular, with 67 percent cool to the proposal.
子ども手当は55%、高速道路の無料化は67%が「評価しない」と答えた。

An overwhelming 83 percent expressed concern about whether the party would be able to raise the funds needed to finance these and other election pledges.
これらの公約の財源を民主党が本当に賄えるのか。「不安を感じる」という人は83%にも達した。

The LDP's campaign platform received no higher marks from the public.
 政策への低い評価は自民党も同じだ。

A significant 66 percent said they didn't back the ruling party's promise to increase household take-home income by 1 million yen in 10 years. Concern about the financing of the LDP's policy proposals was voiced by 83 percent of the pollees, the same number as that for the DPJ.
10年で家庭の手取りを100万円増やすという公約を「評価しない」人は66%。自民党の政策の財源に不安を感じる人は民主党の場合と同じ83%。

Both parties clearly need to explain how they intend to pay for their programs. Otherwise, voters will find it hard to embrace their election promises, no matter how good they sound.
 財源などを説得力ある形で示す。そうでなければ、どんなに耳に心地よい政策を並べられても軽々に信用できない。

Six years since the manifesto-based approach to election campaigns was introduced into national elections, Japanese voters now scrutinize the parties' policy platforms far more rigorously than before.
マニフェストが国政選挙に導入されてから6年、政策を吟味する有権者の目は格段に厳しくなっている。

It is distressing to see Prime Minister Taro Aso and other LDP heavyweights focusing more on criticizing the DPJ with increasingly tough rhetoric than on selling their policy messages.
 情けないのは、麻生首相をはじめ自民党の幹部たちが、自らの政策を訴えるのもそこそこに、民主党批判のボルテージばかりを上げていることだ。

Despite being given an overwhelming majority in the Lower House four years ago, the LDP has ended up leaving the nation in the current political impasse. The party should tell the public how it thinks this situation has come about and what it will do to change it.
 4年前、あれだけの巨大議席を与えられながら、結果はこの閉塞(へいそく)状況だ。なぜこうなったのか。だからこう変える。

The LDP is acting in a way that doesn't befit a ruling party by devoting itself to attacking the opposition party without offering clear explanations about these questions.
それを堂々と説明しないまま、野党批判に血道をあげることが、政権党にふさわしい態度とは思えない。

It is notable how many people are willingly taking party manifestoes from campaigners at street speeches and on other occasions.
 今回の選挙では、各党の街頭演説などでマニフェストを積極的に受け取る有権者の姿がことのほか目立つ。

But many voters read these manifestoes while asking whether the policies described in them are plausible and whether the parties really have the ability and determination to push through these proposals. They are trying to figure out how much faith they can place in the parties, whatever their manifestoes may say.
 それが実現可能な政策なのか。その党に本気でやり切る能力と覚悟があるか。多くの有権者が目を凝らしているのは、マニフェストの文言を超えた、政党としての基本的な信頼度だ。

Just a week is left until election day. We hope the stretch run will produce some meaningful policy debate that is more reassuring to voters longing to see change in politics.
 投票まであと8日。政治に変化を求める有権者の切なる思いに応える。そんな終盤戦の政策論議に期待したい。

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