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2009年9月 1日 (火)

社説:衆院選、民主圧勝 国民が日本を変えた 政権交代、維新の気概で

(Mainichi Japan) August 31, 2009
DPJ must fulfill promises it made to the public
社説:衆院選、民主圧勝 国民が日本を変えた 政権交代、維新の気概で

It was truly a watershed election. Heavyweights and veterans in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dropped like flies in battles against new, previously unknown candidates. It was evidence that the people categorically chose change, bringing about a historical transfer of power.
 まさに、怒濤(どとう)だ。自民党の派閥重鎮やベテランが、無名だった新人候補にバタバタと倒されていった。国民は断固として変化を選んだ。歴史に刻まれるべき政権の交代である。

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won over 300 seats in the House of Representatives, marking a landslide victory and the establishment of a new government centered around the DPJ. Not only did the LDP fall from its position as the largest bloc in the chamber for the first time in history, it suffered a devastating defeat, decreasing its pre-election strength by nearly two-thirds. It signaled the collapse of the LDP-Komeito coalition government.
 衆院選は民主党が300議席を超す圧勝を収め、同党を中心とする政権の樹立が決まった。自民党は初めて衆院の第1党から転落するだけでなく議席が3分の1近くに激減する壊滅的大敗を喫し、自公政権は瓦解した。

Japan was long under a single-party rule, without the democratic convention of parties alternately taking the position of the ruling party through elections. The election on Sunday was the first time in post-war Japan that a government was selected front-on from between two major parties.
 選挙を通じ政権を担う第1党が交代する民主主義の常道が、日本の政治では長く行われずにいた。政権選択が2大勢力で正面から問われての政権交代は、戦後初めてである。

 ◇歴史的な体制の転換
Even while the public harbored apprehensions about the DPJ, it was the sense of urgency that there was no way out of the current deadlock without a political breakthrough that generated this tremendous seismic change. Many challenges await the new government to be headed by DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama. It must bring about change without growing complacent in numbers, and with the spirit and readiness to revamp Japanese politics.
 民主党に不安を抱きながらも政治を刷新しなければ閉塞(へいそく)状況は打破できない、との国民の切迫感が、すさまじい地殻変動を生んだ。鳩山由紀夫代表を首相として発足する新政権の前途は多難だ。だが数をおごらず、政治を一新する維新の気概と覚悟で変化を国民に示さねばならない。

With the collapse of the LDP-Komeito coalition government, we have gone beyond what could be described as a shift in the political current, to something more akin to a revolution. The 70-percent voter turnout is evidence of the public's interest and determination to transform politics. The public's resoluteness was exemplified in the breakdown of traditional LDP strongholds. The public desire for change led to the replacement of old hands with younger generations.
 「風」などという段階をはるかに超え、革命的とすら言える自公政権への決別だ。約7割という投票率が国民の関心と、政治のあり方を変える強い意志を物語る。その象徴が、金城湯池とされた自民常勝区の崩壊だ。変化を求める民意は、世代交代による人材の入れ替えに発展した。

(この部分に対する英訳なし)
 政権交代と言えば、93年衆院選で成立した細川内閣も確かに非自民政権だ。だが、第1党はあくまで自民党で、争点は政治改革だった。保守合同による自民党誕生で成立した「55年体制」は同党が唯一、政権担当能力を持つ意味では続いていた。

(この部分に対する英訳なし)
 政権選択を目指し小選挙区が導入されて5回目の衆院選で、その体制についに終止符が打たれた。投票による政権交代という民主主義本来の機能回復を、私たちは政治の進歩として率直に評価したい。

Still, regardless of how easily a snowball effect can take place in a single-seat constituency system, the drastic changes that have occurred cannot be explained without looking at changes in Japan's political and social structure.
 それにしても、いかになだれ現象が小選挙区で起きやすいとはいえ、政治、社会の構造変化を抜きにこの激変は説明できまい。

The long-term basis of the LDP's solid governing structure was comprised of safeguarding the interests of industries and organizations, and administrative management carried out by bureaucrats. When the economy grew stagnant and various problems including the budget deficit further worsened, the reforms of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appeared on the scene. Calling for a smaller government, a facet of which was postal privatization, the LDP won an overwhelming victory in the 2005 general election. It appeared as though the party had made a comeback.
 自民党支配の源泉は業界・団体への利益配分、官僚による行政運営という強固な統治構造にあった。経済成長が行き詰まり、財政赤字などのひずみが深刻化する中で登場したのが小泉改革路線だ。郵政民営化など「小さな政府」を掲げ05年衆院選に圧勝、党は再生したかに見えた。

However, when the public's concerns for their livelihood surged with problems concerning healthcare, pensions, gaps between the rich and poor and rural impoverishment, the LDP struggled to come up with a new course of action. As the Diet lay "twisted" due to the party's crushing defeat in the House of Councillors election, two prime ministers stepped down in the middle of their tenures, exposing the party's inability to run the government. The public's dissatisfaction toward the government of Taro Aso, continually postponing dissolution while it remained incapable of wrapping up Koizumi's reforms, reached its peak.
 しかし、医療、年金、格差や地方の疲弊を通じ国民の生活不安が急速に強まり、党は路線見直しをめぐり迷走した。参院選惨敗に伴う「ねじれ国会」のなか、現職首相が2度も政権を投げ出し、政権担当能力の欠如を露呈した。小泉政治を総括できぬまま解散を引き延ばす麻生政権に、国民の不満は頂点に達した。

Furthermore, the LDP's vote-collecting machine comprised of industries, farmers and local assembly members rapidly deteriorated and fell apart as a result of Koizumi's structural reform policies. Second- and third-generation politicians held on to important posts and the party suffered a shortage of valuable human resources. It's hard to say with any certainty that Aso had the leadership qualities necessary to cope with various difficulties. The party suffered from systemic fatigue, and became, in effect, "broken."
 しかも、小泉路線の下、業界、農村、地方議員など党を支えた集票マシンは急速に衰え、離反した。2世、3世が幅を利かせ人材も不足した。麻生太郎首相が難局にあたるリーダーの資質を備えていたとは言い難い。制度疲労をきたし、自民党はまさに「壊れて」いたのだ。

The DPJ, on the other hand, advocating a transfer of power, succeeded in addressing such issues as people's livelihoods and a move away from bureaucrat-administered politics in its manifesto, even as the LDP remained unable to escape industry interests and bureaucratic meddling. The fact that voters chose the DPJ as the result of approximately 40 days of heated debate after the dissolution of the House of Representatives is of great significance.
 一方、政権交代をスローガンとする民主党は「生活重視」「脱官僚」をマニフェストに掲げ、自民党が業界重視、官僚主導から脱せぬ中、争点の提示に成功した。衆院解散から約40日の論戦の結果、有権者が民主党を選択した意味は重い。

Yet, setting sail after securing so many seats in the Lower House entails certain risks, for the greater the expectations, the greater the disappointment when those expectations go unfulfilled. It goes without saying that the DPJ must refrain from relying merely on the sheer number of its members in the Diet to direct the course of government. With the Upper House election set to take place next summer, the DPJ will be forced to show evidence that it has overhauled Japanese politics.
 だが、多数の議席を得た船出は、逆の意味で危うさをはらむ。期待がふくらむほど、裏切られた時の失望も大きい。数を頼みとする政権運営を戒めるべきことは当然だ。来年夏に参院選が控える。政治の変化の証明を待ったなしに迫られよう。

 ◇自民は解党的出直しを
The swift establishment of a framework that allows for political leadership is essential. Without a departure from the "bureaucratic Cabinet" system in which a vertically divided bureaucracy stands at the helm of administration, the DPJ may become a repeat of the Hosokawa Cabinet, which failed to steer the bureaucracy.
 政治主導が可能な体制の速やかな構築が必要だ。縦割り省庁が行政を主導し続けた「官僚内閣制」を脱却しないと、官僚操縦に失敗した細川内閣の二の舞いを演じかねない。

The party's currently vague diplomatic and security policies should also be defined through discussions with coalition parties. Voters have cast their precious votes to the DPJ knowing that doing so posed risks, including the fact that the party's measures to secure funding still remain unclear. The DPJ must take to heart that its members were not voted into government from an abundant faith in their ability to run it.
 あいまいな外交・安保政策も他党との連立協議の過程で明らかにすべきだ。国民は財源対策の説明のほころびなど、リスク承知で1票を投じた。政権担当能力を十分に信用しての圧勝と過信してはならない。

The LDP, too, has a heavy responsibility as the new opposition. The party's downfall was a result of its lingering in a position of comfort even as its raison d'etre was called into question with the end of the Cold War and the burst of the economic bubble. Without a comprehensive review of itself, the very survival of the party is in danger.
 野党となる自民党の役割も重い。そもそも東西冷戦終結やバブル経済が崩壊した時点で存在意義が問い直される中、政権に安住し続けたことが転落を招いた。真剣な総括なくしては、党存続もおぼつかない。

It's too early to say that the election has realized a two-party system between the LDP and DPJ. But the practice of determining the framework of government through elections must be firmly set in place.
 今選挙を民主、自民両党による2大政党政治の実現とみるのは早計だ。だが、選挙の審判で政権の枠組みを決するというルールは定着させねばならない。

Faced with many pressing issues, such as the economic crisis, public finances, pensions, and the rebuilding of the healthcare system, the new government has no choice but to fulfill the various promises it has made to the public.
 経済危機、財政、年金、医療の立て直しなど喫緊の課題は多い。新政権は、国民との約束である公約を実行してみせるしかない。

Finally, voters who handed the reins of government to the DPJ have a responsibility, too. Japan has entered an age in which now, more than ever, the public must participate in and monitor politics.
 そして、かじ取りを委ねた有権者にも責任がある。日本政治は、これまで以上に国民が当事者として参加、監視する新時代を迎えたのだ。

毎日新聞 2009年8月31日 東京朝刊

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