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2013年3月16日 (土)

衆院選改革案 中小政党の優遇枠は疑問だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 16, 2013)
Lower house allocation plan for smaller parties questionable
衆院選改革案 中小政党の優遇枠は疑問だ(3月15日付・読売社説)

The basic posture of the Liberal Democratic Party to give consideration to small and midsize political parties, with a view to reaching an early agreement on electoral reform of the House of Representatives, deserves appreciation.
 中小政党に配慮し、衆院選挙制度改革の早期合意を目指す姿勢は評価できる。

Since the issue bears upon the fundamental makeup of the nation's democracy, however, care must be taken to avoid a slap-dash resolution.
だが、民主主義の基本にかかわる問題だけに、拙速は避けたい。

The LDP has come out with a draft plan for crafting a new lower house election system.
 自民党が、新しい衆院選挙制度の原案をまとめた。

It calls for reducing by 30 the number of seats to be elected through proportional representation to 150.
 比例選定数を30減らし、150とする。

Ninety seats would be dispensed through the conventional seat allocation method called the d'Hondt formula, while the remaining 60 would be given to parties other than the top vote-getter.
このうち90は、従来通りドント式で各党に議席を配分し、残り60は、得票数が2位以下の党にだけ配分する。

In addition, the existing 11 proportional representation blocs across the country would be consolidated into eight blocs. These are the major pillars of the LDP-proposed electoral changes.
全国11ブロックは8ブロックに再編する。これが自民党案の柱である。

The LDP initially considered making 30 seats subject to the preferential allocation for smaller parties in the proportional segments of the lower house election. In response to requests from its junior ruling coalition partner, New Komeito, the LDP eventually agreed to double the number to 60.
 自民党は当初、中小政党の優遇枠を30とする方針だったが、公明党が拡大を求めたため、60に増やした。

===

Vote value equality essential

The proposed reduction of proportional representation blocs is also intended primarily to help smaller parties increase their lower house seats by curtailing the number of so-called wasted votes that go to losing parties in the proportional representation contests.
比例ブロックの数を減らすのも、中小政党の死票を減らし、議席を増やす狙いがある。

It seems the LDP may have thought it inevitable to give consideration to smaller parties to ensure an accord between the LDP, Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan last November to reach an agreement on lower house electoral reform, including curtailment of seats in the House of Representatives, during the current ordinary Diet session.
 中小政党への配慮は、昨年の民主、自民、公明3党合意に基づき、今国会中に定数削減を含めた衆院選改革を実現するためには、やむを得ないと考えたのだろう。

The idea of preferential allotment of seats to smaller parties, however, has been criticized by some as possibly a violation of the constitutional principle of equality in vote values.
 だが、優遇枠の新設は制度上、「1票の価値の平等」という観点から憲法違反の恐れが指摘されている。

This is because adoption of the system would mean the value of the votes cast for the party getting the most ballots would be diluted according to the extent of the preferential seat allotment given to smaller parties.
得票数が1位の党に投票した比例票が、2位以下に投票した票に比べて、優遇枠の分だけ軽く扱われることになるからだ。

Another problem that cannot be overlooked is that the proposed system would be more complex than the current combination of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation, and would likely be unintelligible to voters. Too much consideration of the benefits to smaller parties would call the very reasonableness of the system into question.
 現行の小選挙区比例代表並立制よりも制度が複雑で、有権者に分かりにくいという弊害も看過できない。中小政党に配慮するあまり、制度の合理性にも疑問がある。

The LDP has said it will make efforts to prevent a situation under which the planned preferential seat allotments could result in the top vote-getting party taking fewer seats than the party with the second-most ballots. Doing so, however, would make the system all the more complicated.
 自民党は、優遇枠によって、得票数が1位の党の獲得議席が2位の党と逆転しない仕組みにするというが、そうしようとすれば、制度がさらに複雑になろう。

===

Seek feasible alternative

Noteworthy in this connection is the fact that the LDP opposed last year a DPJ proposal for partially introducing a new multiseat constituency system blending elements of single-seat and proportional representation processes in a way advantageous to smaller parties. At that time, the LDP criticized the plan for possibly being "unconstitutional and unintelligible to the public."
 そもそも自民党は昨年、中小政党に有利になる「連用制」を一部導入する民主党の改革案について「違憲の恐れがあり、制度が分かりづらい」などと批判し、反対していた経緯がある。

Komeito supports the LDP's latest draft, but Speaker Bunmei Ibuki of the lower chamber, who hails from the LDP, has pointed out "constitutional problems" that could arise due to the preferential seat allocation for smaller parties.
 自民党案について、公明党は前向きな姿勢を示す一方、自民党出身の伊吹衆院議長は優遇枠の「憲法上の問題」を指摘した。

The DPJ has opposed the planned system on the grounds it would be constitutionally questionable and also because not enough seats would be cut under the plan.
 民主党は、憲法上の疑義に加えて、比例定数の削減幅が不十分だとして、反対している。

Such opposition parties as Your Party and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) are also wary of the LDP draft, saying they refuse to accept any electoral system that may be unintelligible to the public.
日本維新の会やみんなの党も、「国民に分かりにくい制度は駄目だ」と、否定的な立場だ。

Given that reform of the electoral system directly affects the different parties' chances of getting their seats in the legislature, it is naturally difficult to work out a plan both ruling and opposition parties can agree on.
 選挙制度改革は各党の獲得議席に直結する問題だけに、与野党がそろって賛成する案をまとめることが難しいのは理解できる。

However, regarding the planned preferential allocation of seats for parties getting the second-largest shares of votes or less in proportional representation contests, all parties must discuss the matter in a more scrupulous way.
 だが、2位以下の党の優遇枠については、より慎重に議論することが必要だ。

If an accord is reached to give strong consideration to smaller parties, serious studies should be conducted on the wisdom of adopting a system other than the LDP-envisioned preferential seat allocation.
中小政党に配慮するのであれば、優遇枠以外の方法を真剣に検討すべきだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 15, 2013)
(2013年3月15日01時38分  読売新聞)

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