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2012年11月 4日 (日)

参院の緊急質問 これを機に問責戦術を改めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 4, 2012)
Opposition parties should drop censure motion tactic
参院の緊急質問 これを機に問責戦術を改めよ(11月3日付・読売社説)

A maneuver regarded as logical only in Nagatacho, the nation's political nerve center, has caused political stagnation in the House of Councillors. This act demeans the authority of the upper house.
 永田町でしか通用しない論理で政治を停滞させることは参院の権威を自ら貶(おとし)める行為である。

On Friday, the opposition camp questioned Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as an emergency step during a plenary session of the upper house. Based on the Diet Law, this rare measure was taken for the first time in 27 years.
 参院本会議で野党による緊急質問が行われた。国会法に基づく緊急質問は異例で、27年ぶりだ。

Citing a censure motion against Noda passed in the last ordinary Diet session as the reason, the opposition-dominated upper house did not allow him to deliver a policy speech, which is normally followed by a question-and-answer session. The emergency step on Friday appears to be an alternative to that.
 野党が多数を占める参院は、通常国会での首相問責決議可決を理由に野田首相の所信表明演説を拒み、代表質問も見送った。緊急質問はその代替措置らしい。

The opposition's stance of rejecting a regular question-and-answer session for the prime minister but allowing the questioning of him in the form of an emergency step is nothing but opportunistic. This would make little sense to the public.
 代表質問は駄目だが、緊急質問ならいいというのは、ご都合主義そのものではないか。国民の理解は得られまい。

Tetsuro Nomura of the largest opposition Liberal Democratic Party, who took the podium to ask questions, urged Noda to make a decision, saying, "Considering the censure motion, your Cabinet should resign or you should dissolve the House of Representatives."
 質問に立った自民党の野村哲郎氏は「問責決議を肝に銘じるなら、総辞職か衆院解散の二者択一しかない」と対応をただした。

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Motion not legally binding

However, a censure motion in the upper house is not legally binding, unlike a no-confidence motion against the cabinet in the lower house, as stipulated in the Constitution. Nevertheless, the opposition camp has called on Noda to step down or dissolve the lower house by brandishing the nonbinding censure motion. We consider this wrong.
 しかし、憲法に規定されている衆院の内閣不信任決議と違い、参院の問責決議には法的拘束力がない。にもかかわらず、問責決議を振りかざし、首相に退陣や解散を迫ること自体、間違っている。

It is reasonable for the prime minister to reject the opposition's call, saying: "I've taken [the motion] seriously. I'll reflect on what should be reflected on, and tackle issues of state affairs."
 首相が「重く受け止めている。反省すべきは反省し、国政の諸課題に取り組む」と答弁し、二者択一を拒否したのは当然である。

Satoshi Inoue of the Japanese Communist Party pointed out that when the Democratic Party of Japan was an opposition party, Azuma Koshiishi, who is now DPJ secretary general, demanded then Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda dissolve the lower house for an early election if a censure motion against him was passed.
 共産党の井上哲士氏は、民主党の輿石幹事長が野党時代に福田首相問責決議案の趣旨説明で、衆院解散を要求したと指摘した。

The DPJ also needs to seriously reflect on its past tactic of using a censure motion as a means to criticize the government. Under the divided Diet, the ruling and opposition parties should establish new rules to avoid a similar political deadlock.
 民主党も、問責決議を政府攻撃の手段としてきたことを真剣に反省する必要がある。与野党は、衆参ねじれ国会の下で、新たなルールを確立すべきだ。

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Proper role of upper house

Now that a question-and-answer session with the prime minister was carried out as an emergency step, the upper house must eliminate what has become a bad practice by the opposition: refusing to participate in Diet deliberations due to the censure motion.
 緊急質問で質疑が成立したことを機に、参院は「問責決議を理由にした審議拒否」という悪弊を断たねばならない。

Some LDP upper house members justify the use of the censure motion as a weapon, believing that the upper house's role is to act as a check against the government.
 参院自民党には、「政府に歯止めをかけるのが参院の役割だ」として、問責決議を武器にすることを正当化する向きもある。

However, we believe the role of the upper house should be to have meaningful discussions to fill gaps in deliberations of the lower house. It is high-handed for the upper house to try to influence the future of the administration. Such an act also goes against the spirit of the Constitution.
 だが、参院の役割は本来、衆院の審議で不足した点を補い、質の高い議論を行うことにあるはずだ。政権の帰趨(きすう)まで左右しようとするのは、参院の横暴であり、憲法の趣旨にもそぐわない。

Meanwhile, LDP President Shinzo Abe has said his party is ready to accept talks on a deficit-covering bond bill at the lower house's financial affairs committee.
 一方、自民党の安倍総裁は、赤字国債発行に必要な特例公債法案の衆院財務金融委員会での審議入りを容認する意向を表明した。

This change in the LDP's stance could break the political deadlock. The opposition should not continue bargaining by taking bills hostage. Abe might have thought that cooperating in passing the legislation, among other steps, could lead to the dissolution of the lower house faster than calling on Noda to specify the timing of the dissolution.
 この方針転換は、政治を前に進める。法案を「人質」に駆け引きを続けるべきではない。安倍氏は、衆院解散の時期の明示を首相に求めるより、法案成立など「環境整備」を進める方が解散への近道だと考えたのではないか。

If so, we would like Abe to display leadership further to influence LDP upper house members.
 そうであるなら、安倍氏には、参院自民党に対しても、もっと指導力を発揮してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 3, 2012)
(2012年11月3日01時30分  読売新聞)

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