« 原子力規制委 やむを得ぬ首相の委員長任命 | トップページ | 民主代表選討論 「決める政治」の一歩とせよ »

2012年9月14日 (金)

「日本維新の会」 国政改革への道筋が見えない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 14, 2012)
Hashimoto's new party lacks road map to reform natl politics
「日本維新の会」 国政改革への道筋が見えない(9月13日付・読売社説)

Nippon Ishin no Kai, or the Japan Restoration Party, is poised to become a political force to be reckoned with, but it cannot be denied that its policies and management structure were hastily formulated.

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, leader of the regional political group Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group), declared the launch of the new party during a fund-raiser in Osaka on Wednesday.

Hashimoto stressed the significance of Osaka Ishin no Kai's foray into national politics. "The nation's systems and laws are barriers we hit when we try to do something," Hashimoto said. "If we carry out Osaka's reform in the true sense, revising the laws is our only choice."

Hashimoto said the new party will aim to win "a majority" of the 480 seats in the next House of Representatives election.

However, it is unnecessary for Hashimoto to advance into national politics if all he wants is to realize his Osaka metropolis plan. His rash eagerness, or big talk, is what makes him stand out. But what does he plan to achieve in national politics, and how? He needs to present a convincing vision.


Platform grandiose but vague

Osaka Ishin no Kai has changed its campaign pledges for the next lower house election, dubbed "Ishin Hassaku" (eight-point policy statement), to the "platform" of the new party. Hashimoto said this is because the listed points represent the new party's sense of values.

Ishin Hassaku contains such phrases as "self-sustaining nation" and "democracy that is capable of making decisions and takes responsibility," but these abstract expressions do not tell what kind of nation the new party will pursue. The ideals should be explained in a more understandable way.

Ishin Hassaku is a mix of slogan-like goals--such as the introduction of a system to elect prime ministers by popular vote, which would require a constitutional amendment, and halving the number of lower house seats--and policies for social security, education and employment. The mid- and long-term tasks and immediate policy challenges must be properly sorted out.

Hashimoto stressed that elections are the only way to solve problems that cannot be solved by bureaucrats and problems that divide public opinion. If that is so, he should present specifically what pledges the new party will make for the next lower house election.


A highly unusual structure

The new party has an extremely peculiar structure. Its headquarters will be in Osaka. Because seven Diet members, including former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno, will join it, the new party will meet a major requirement to be recognized as an official national political party, which must have at least five lawmakers. The party's Diet members and its groups of local assembly members, including Osaka Ishin no Kai, will be on equal terms with each other.

Hashimoto will double as both Osaka mayor and leader of the new party, and has said he will not run in the upcoming lower house election. This is probably because it has been less than one year since Hashimoto transitioned from Osaka governor to Osaka mayor and his commitment to the Osaka metropolis plan, the biggest item on his political agenda, is expected to enter a difficult phase in which he will work on such tasks as dividing cities into special wards and making relevant financial resource arrangements.

There is widespread speculation over the possibility that Hashimoto's new party will make great strides, becoming the force holding the key to cooperation between political parties after the lower house election.

Hashimoto said, "I'll cut down the amount of time I spend for myself, and use it for national politics." However, will it really be possible for Hashimoto, in Osaka, to control rookie lawmakers who lack experience in politics?

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 13, 2012)
(2012年9月13日01時36分  読売新聞)


« 原子力規制委 やむを得ぬ首相の委員長任命 | トップページ | 民主代表選討論 「決める政治」の一歩とせよ »





« 原子力規制委 やむを得ぬ首相の委員長任命 | トップページ | 民主代表選討論 「決める政治」の一歩とせよ »