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2009年9月 2日 (水)

歴史的惨敗―出直し自民党への教訓

--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 1(IHT/Asahi: September 2,2009)
EDITORIAL: Recreating the LDP
歴史的惨敗―出直し自民党への教訓

Sunday's Lower House election, much like an Othello board game, dramatically reversed the fortunes of the Liberal Democratic Party.
But the LDP overnight was rendered an opposition party, with less than one-quarter of the Lower House seats.
The LDP, together with its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, had controlled more than two-thirds of the Lower House seats and repeatedly passed bills rejected by the opposition-dominated Upper House.
 まさにオセロゲームのような逆転劇だった。公明党とともに衆院で3分の2超の数を誇り、法案の再可決を繰り返してきた自民党は、一夜にして4分の1以下の勢力に転落した。

The cause of its defeat was obvious. Prime Minister Taro Aso himself admitted, "We were unable to wipe away the public's long-held dissatisfaction with our party."
 敗因は明白だ。「自由民主党に対する積年の不満をぬぐい去ることができなかった」。麻生首相自身がそう振り返った。

The LDP was effectively the nation's only party in power throughout the Cold War era.
 戦後の冷戦期を通じて自民党は、長らく実質的に唯一の政権政党であり続けた。

The party redistributed the fruits of economic growth to rural regions in the forms of public works projects and subsidies.
It perfected what may be called "the LDP system," under which the political, bureaucratic and business communities all benefited.
経済成長の果実を公共事業や補助金で地方に再分配し、政官業ともに潤う「自民党システム」ともいうべき仕組みを完成させた。

But once the Cold War and the years of economic growth ended, the party could no longer conceal dysfunctions in the system.
 だが、冷戦も高成長も終わり、システムの行き詰まりは覆い隠せなくなった。

Although the LDP tried a different tack with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's market-oriented reforms, this resulted in wider social disparities and ironically led to the destruction of its traditional, rural support base.
市場原理を重視する小泉改革で目先を変えたものの、それが格差を広げ、農村部など党の伝統的な支持基盤を破壊する皮肉な結果を招いた。

The LDP consists of a broad spectrum of members, from conservatives to liberals. Its identity rested solely on the fact that it was the party in power.
 右派からリベラルまで、幅広い議員集団を束ねていたアイデンティティーは、常に政権党であるという一点にあった。

Now that its power has been snatched away, a sense of lost identity pervades the shell-shocked party.
だからこそ権力を奪われたいま、党内は喪失感に覆われている。

In deciding which direction it needs to go, we suggest the LDP draw lessons from the rival Democratic Party of Japan's experiences.
 この先、党の針路をどう定めるべきか。ここは頭を切りかえて、民主党の教訓に学んではどうだろうか。

The DPJ's history since its establishment in 1996 has been replete with defeats and disappointments.
 96年の結党以来の民主党の歴史は、挫折の繰り返しでもあった。

First, a party leader was found to have failed to pay pension premiums. In the 2005 Lower House election, the party suffered an unexpected disastrous setback. The party was then rocked by a fake e-mail scandal.
 年金保険料の未納問題、勝てると思った郵政選挙での惨敗、そして偽メール事件。

Each time, the party's leader was forced to resign. But the DPJ ranks remained united and held fast to its policy principles until the public finally trusted the party enough to let it run the government.
そのたびに党代表が辞任に追い込まれながらも、民主党は結束を崩さず主張を明確にし、政権を託されるまでの信頼をようやく勝ち得た。

What the LDP needs to do is to humbly admit that it had become arrogant from being in power for too many years, choose a president who will heed the voice of the people, and recover public trust by repackaging its image and policies.
 自民党に求められているのは、長年の政権担当から生まれた驕(おご)りを謙虚に反省し、国民の声を聞く指導者を選び、政策と党のイメージを作り直すことを通じて信頼を回復することだ。

Although diminished in strength, the LDP can still boast having ruled the country for more than half a century. It should draw upon its experiences when it challenges the policies of the new administration and offer viable alternatives.
 所帯は小さくなったとはいえ、半世紀余りにわたって日本の政権を担った実績はある。それを生かして政権を批判し、よりよい対案を出す。

The DPJ has promised allowances to families with children and toll-free highways.
But are these "signature programs" really in the nation's interest? Won't the party be hurting some people in funding these programs?
 たとえば、子ども手当や高速道路の無料化など、民主党の看板政策が本当にこの国にとってプラスなのか。財源を生み出すためにどこかにしわ寄せがいかないか。

If the LDP were to point these things out, the DPJ would not be able to ignore its opinions.
そうした指摘は民主党も軽視はできまい。

A sense of urgency and competition, created by the awareness that a change of government can take place, should compel each party to refine its policies.
 政権交代があり得るという緊張感の中で政党が競いあうことによって、政策の質が高まっていく。

But whether this type of politics will take root in Japan will depend on the LDP's caliber as the opposition party.
そうした政治が日本に根付くかどうかは、野党・自民党の今後の奮起にかかっている。

The LDP plans to select its new president after the new prime minister has been named.
 自民党は、新首相の指名後に次の総裁を選ぶという。

The party can no longer afford to use its inane strategy of choosing a leader because he or she will be suitable as the party's "poster boy (or girl)" at election time.
「選挙の顔」となりうるという理由だけで指導者を選ぶような浅はかなことをしている余裕はもはやあるまい。

Where does the LDP want to go from now? We hope party members will thoroughly discuss their future and determine the party's new identity.
 これから党のよって立つ基盤をどこに定めるのか。この際、時間をかけて論議を深め、新たな党のアイデンティティーを見つけ出してほしい。

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