« 漂流がれき 日本は処理に積極的な支援を | トップページ | もうじき七五三です 記念写真は結婚写真で評判のスタジオシモムラで! »

2012年9月 5日 (水)

大阪維新の会 大衆迎合的な公約が気になる

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 5, 2012)
Osaka Ishin no Kai's populist pledges a cause of concern
大阪維新の会 大衆迎合的な公約が気になる(9月4日付・読売社説)

The question of whether the election pledges of Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group) are feasible cannot be dispelled.

The group recently unveiled the final version of its policy statement for the next House of Representatives election. The policy statement is dubbed "Ishin Hassaku" (eight-point policy platform).

Osaka Ishin no Kai plans to form a new party in the middle of this month with participation of at least five incumbent Diet members. Sixteen percent of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey said they would vote for Osaka Ishin no Kai in proportional representation contests of the next lower house election, following the largest group--21 percent--who said they would vote for the Liberal Democratic Party. Osaka Ishin no Kai is likely to be at the eye of the storm in the election.

Some points of Osaka Ishin no Kai's election pledges are commendable. For example, it says Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework.

On the other hand, some pledges that seem to have come off the top of their heads are conspicuous. "Halving the number of seats in the lower house" is one example. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who heads Osaka Ishin no Kai, said it is necessary to make lawmakers think about the country as a whole, including foreign policies and security, by expanding electoral districts through integration of single-seat constituencies.


Seat cuts easier said than done

However, it would be extremely difficult politically to realize this idea under the current divided Diet. In fact, the Democratic Party of Japan still has not been able to fulfill its pledge to eliminate 80 lower house seats allocated under proportional representation. It is understandable if Osaka Ishin no Kai's ideas are mid- and long-term proposals, but it should be cautious about making the ideas campaign pledges.

Making the consumption tax a local tax and abolishing distribution of tax revenues to local governments, which is entailed by the former, are also open to question.

Given the harsh reality of state finances, how could it be possible, if consumption tax revenues are allocated to local governments, to cover social security costs, which are increasing by as much as about 1 trillion yen every year?

Osaka Ishin no Kai also needs to clarify whether it supports laws for integrated reform of the social security and tax systems, which were enacted based on an agreement between the DPJ, the LDP and New Komeito.

Tax revenues allocated to local governments help adjust the disparities among local governments' finances. Hashimoto said how to handle the situation after tax allocations to local governments are abolished will be left to coordination among local governments and a third-party committee. However, it will not be so easy.


Nuclear power stand dubious

As for economic policies, Osaka Ishin no Kai stresses "strengthening competitiveness" and calls for "building a system to end dependence on nuclear power generation." However, if the country moves away from nuclear power, energy costs will surge, and this could accelerate the hollowing-out of domestic industries. It should be explained how a growth strategy and an end to dependence on nuclear power generation can be compatible.

As a basic policy, Osaka Ishin no Kai stipulated in its policy statement the introduction of a system to elect prime ministers by popular vote, which requires a constitutional amendment.

Israel once introduced this system but eventually abolished it after politics were thrown into turmoil. Osaka Ishin no Kai said it will prevent the system from becoming something like a popularity vote, but we doubt whether this is possible.

It is worrisome that Osaka Ishin no Kai, which claims it "will change Japan's system," presents these pledges in a highly populist tone.

In the previous lower house election in 2009, the DPJ set out an array of policies aimed at appealing to the public and pledging that it would be able to squeeze out a hefty 16.8 trillion yen in fiscal resources by rearranging the state budget. This has since caused considerable confusion and should be taken as a lesson.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 4, 2012)
(2012年9月4日01時19分  読売新聞)


« 漂流がれき 日本は処理に積極的な支援を | トップページ | もうじき七五三です 記念写真は結婚写真で評判のスタジオシモムラで! »





« 漂流がれき 日本は処理に積極的な支援を | トップページ | もうじき七五三です 記念写真は結婚写真で評判のスタジオシモムラで! »