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2009年9月 1日 (火)

民主圧勝 政権交代―民意の雪崩受け止めよ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 31(IHT/Asahi: September 1,2009)
EDITORIAL: DPJ's historic victory
民主圧勝 政権交代―民意の雪崩受け止めよ

Sunday's Lower House election dramatically demonstrated the enormous potential of the single-seat constituency system to trigger an overnight tectonic shift in the nation's political landscape. A huge wave of popular will opened a new chapter in the nation's political history, ushering in a change of power.
 小選挙区制のすさまじいまでの破壊力である。民意の劇的なうねりのなかで、日本の政治に政権交代という新しいページが開かれた。

The election outcomes are really astonishing. A legion of ruling Liberal Democratic Party heavyweights, including incumbent ministers, was defeated in single-seat districts. Prime Minister Taro Aso announced his resignation as the party's president. New Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner, saw its chief and secretary-general lose their seats.
 それにしても衝撃的な結果だ。小選挙区で自民党の閣僚ら有力者が次々と敗北。麻生首相は総裁辞任の意向を示した。公明党は代表と幹事長が落選した。

These bigwigs were defeated by young or women candidates of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, most of them political unknowns.
代わりに続々と勝ち名乗りを上げたのは、政治の舞台ではほとんど無名の民主党の若手や女性候補たちだ。

Solid footing in 100 days
 ■100日で足場固めを

The key factors behind the tide of public opinion that displaced the LDP from power are clear. One is public distrust of the LDP, which failed to address and respond effectively to radical changes in society symbolized by the aging and shrinking population and the decline of local economies due to the relentless effects of globalization. A sense of hopelessness and anxiety about the future also played a major role.
 うねりの原因ははっきりしている。少子高齢化が象徴する日本社会の構造変化、グローバル化の中での地域経済の疲弊。そうした激しい変化に対応できなかった自民党への不信だ。そして、世界同時不況の中で、社会全体に漂う閉塞(へいそく)感と将来への不安である。

Voters flocked to the DPJ. The party's landslide victory reflects a yearning among people for real change in politics fueled by their deep discontent with the status quo.
 民意は民主党へ雪崩をうった。その激しさは「このままではだめだ」「とにかく政治を変えてみよう」という人々の思いがいかに深いかを物語る。

Does this mean their deep revulsion over politics translated into confidence in the DPJ's ability to govern the nation? The answer is no. A recent Asahi Shimbun survey found surprisingly low public support for many of the DPJ's policy proposals. The public's expectations for the DPJ are apparently mixed with concerns.
 では、それが民主党政権への信頼となっているかと言えば、答えはノーだろう。朝日新聞の世論調査で、民主党の政策への評価は驚くほど低い。期待半分、不安半分というのが正直なところではあるまいか。

This election has set the stage for a party that has long been in the opposition camp to take power. The DPJ has pledged to revamp radically the policymaking process by changing the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats. But it will be difficult to change everything at once. The party will run the risk of committing blunders if it rushes into action in pursuit of quick achievements.
 長く野党にあった政党が、いきなり政権の座につく。民主党は政治の意思決定の方法や官僚との関係を大改革するという。だが、すべてを一気に変えるのは難しいし、成果をあせって猛進するのはつまずきのもとだ。

We have some advice for the DPJ.
 そこで民主党に提案したい。

The initial honeymoon for the new DPJ government will last for some 100 days from its inauguration in mid-September to the end of December, when the work to compile the state budget for next fiscal year has to be finished. We suggest that the DPJ use those 100 days to put its government on a solid footing and prioritizing its policies.
 最初の正念場は、来年度予算編成を終える12月末までだ。9月半ばの政権発足からほぼ100日間。これを政権の足場を固めるための時間と位置づけ、優先順位を明確にして全力で取り組むことだ。

There are three main challenges facing the DPJ.
 やるべきことは三つある。

First, the party needs to inject more transparency into the political and administrative processes. As a ruling party, the DPJ will have much easier access to information about the government held by bureaucrats. The DPJ should carry out a sweeping examination of all important information and make it available to the public.
 第一は、政治と行政を透明化することである。与党になれば、官僚が握る政府の情報が容易に入手できるようになる。それを洗いざらい総点検し、国民に情報を公開してもらいたい。

Courage to make necessary changes
 ■賢く豹変する勇気も

There is a long list of issues the DPJ should tackle in studying newly accessible government information: the amakudari practice of elite bureaucrats retiring into plum jobs; government contracts won by well-connected businesses without open bidding; bid-rigging led by government officials; scandals caused by lax government supervision of medicines; the Japan-U.S. secret agreement on allowing the U.S. military to bring nuclear arms into Japan. We want to see the DPJ uncover all the dark and hidden facts about these problems as it once exposed the government's shocking failure to keep track on pension records.
 天下り、随意契約、官製談合、薬害、そして歴代の自民党政権がひた隠しにしてきた核兵器持ち込みに絡む日米密約……。かつて「消えた年金」を暴いたように、隠されてきたさまざまな闇を徹底的に検証してもらいたい。

Secondly, in trying to work out specific policy programs, the DPJ should have the courage to make changes to its platform if it finds any mistakes and shortcomings.
 第二に、政策を具体化するにあたって、間違った点や足りない点が見つかったら豹変(ひょうへん)の勇気をもつことだ。

It is, of course, important for the party to make sincere efforts to deliver on the promises in its election manifesto. But the DPJ should take seriously the fact that in an Asahi Shimbun survey, as much as 83 percent of the respondents voiced concerns about the financing of the party's policy proposals. There are some proposals the party should reconsider with flexibility, including the pledge to eliminate expressway tolls.
 マニフェストを誠実に実行するのは大事なことだ。だが民主党が重く受け止めるべきは、その財源について、本紙の世論調査で83%もの人が「不安を感じる」と答えていることだ。高速道路の無料化など、柔軟に見直すべき政策はある。

It is essential for the party to explain clearly the reasons for any changes it makes to its policy platform.
むろん、政策を変えるならその理由を国民にきちんと説明することが絶対条件だ。

What the party should do swiftly is to scrutinize the expenditures in both the general and special accounts of the budget to identify wasteful projects and low-priority programs and then present its findings to the public. It would be difficult to develop a convincing budget plan without making such efforts.
 急ぐべきは一般会計と特別会計の内容を精査し、ムダな事業や優先度の低い政策を洗い出して、国民に示すことである。その作業なしに説得力のある予算編成は難しい。

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, who is to be elected as new prime minister, plans to attend such important international conferences as the United Nations General Assembly and a financial summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in late September. To reassure audiences both at home and overseas, Hatoyama should make clear as soon as possible his basic positions on key foreign policy issues by saying which elements of the nation's traditional foreign policy he will change and which he will keep.
 鳩山新首相は、9月下旬には国連総会やG20の金融サミットに出席する。これまでの外交政策の何を継続し、何を変えるのか。基本的な方針を速やかに明らかにし、国民と国際社会を安心させる必要がある。

Thirdly, the DPJ needs to make sure that its new policymaking systems and bodies, including the proposed National Strategy Bureau and the Administrative Reform Council, will work well in terms of their core functions and personnel management.
 第三に、国家戦略局、行政刷新会議をはじめとする政権の新しい意思決定システムを、人事態勢を含め着実に機能させることだ。

The DPJ has vowed to replace the dual control of policymaking by the government and the ruling party, which characterized the LDP's rule, with an integrated policymaking process controlled solely by the prime minister's office. It plans to change the traditional system, in which politicians basically endorse policy proposals from bureaucrats. The new approach involves setting policy priorities under political leadership. The people will be following the DPJ's moves to see how the new approach is applied to the process of compiling the budget for the next fiscal year.
 自民党政権の特徴だった政府と党の二元体制に代えて、政策決定を首相官邸主導に一元化する。官僚が政策を積み上げ、政治が追認するというやり方を改め、政治が優先順位を決める。まず来年度の予算編成にそれがどう生かされるかを国民は注視している。

Reject a dual power structure
 ■「二重権力」を排せ

Many voters must be feeling uneasy about the DPJ's crushing victory. Who could check the ruling party with an overwhelming majority in the Lower House? There are also concerns that the landslide could lead to friction within the party by enhancing the clout of former DPJ chief Ichiro Ozawa, who was fully in charge of the party's election campaign.
 民主党のあまりの圧勝ぶりには、新たな不安を覚える有権者も少なくなかろう。巨大与党に対してチェック機能をだれが果たせるのか。他方、選挙対策を一手に担った小沢一郎前代表の影響力が強まることで、民主党内にあつれきが生じないかも気がかりだ。

The DPJ should remember how the coalition government led by opposition leader Morihiro Hosokawa, which was born out of the LDP's slip from power in 1993, turned out to be short-lived under a "dual power" structure with Ozawa. Ozawa, then secretary-general of an opposition party, called the shots in forming the ruling alliance. This mistake must not be repeated. To allay public concerns about a replay of the Hosokawa government, Hatoyama's political leadership needs to be established solidly.
 93年の政権交代で生まれた細川内閣が、与党を仕切る小沢氏との「二重権力」のなかで短命に終わった歴史を思い出す。それを繰り返してはならない。国民の危惧(きぐ)をぬぐうには、鳩山首相のリーダーシップをはっきりと確立すべきだ。

From this point of view, it is important for Hatoyama, the chief executive of the government, to incorporate his clear policy visions and a schedule for policy implementation over the next four years into the budget bills for fiscal 2010.
 そのためにも、鳩山氏は来年度予算案に政権担当者としての明確な意思と4年間の行程表を練り込むことだ。

Will this election mark the beginning of a new "2009 regime" with constant opportunities for a change in government? That depends on the political performances of the two main parties in coming years.
 今回の総選挙を、政権交代の可能性が常に開かれた「2009年体制」への第一歩にできるかどうか。それは、2大政党のこれからにかかっている。

It won't be easy for the LDP to rebuild its power base. Still, the party should move quickly to make itself ready to return to power when the DPJ fails to fulfill its government mandate. That requires the party to face the factors behind its disastrous defeat in the election and take steps to reinvent itself.
 自民党の党勢立て直しは容易ではあるまい。それでも、民主党がしくじれば交代できる「政権準備党」の態勢を早く整えることだ。そのためには今回の敗因を正面から見据え、「新しい自民党」へ脱皮する作業が欠かせない。

The DPJ, which has become a huge voting bloc in the Lower House with a single-minded appeal for a change of government, now faces a tough test of its ability to define its political identity and lay out viable policy visions. The party must try to give the public clearer ideas about its identity in figuring out its relations with its expanded support base and clarifying its principles and positions concerning foreign and security policy issues.
 「とにかく政権交代」の掛け声で巨大政党に膨れあがった民主党は、交代を果たした後の自画像をどう描くかが今日から問われる。広がった支持基盤とどういう距離感をもつのか、外交・安全保障での理念やスタンスは……。「民主党とは何か」をもっと明確に出していかねばならない。

The work to give content to the just-opened political chapter has barely begun.
 新しくめくられた政治のページを埋めていく作業はこれからだ。

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