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2013年6月27日 (木)

「0増5減」成立 参院の存在意義はどこにある

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 26, 2013
Upper house role questioned after inaction on electoral reform
「0増5減」成立 参院の存在意義はどこにある(6月25日付・読売社説)

The House of Councillors appears to have abandoned its responsibility as a legislative organ. The meaning of its existence needs to be strictly scrutinized.
 参院は、立法府としての責任を放棄しているに等しい。存在意義が厳しく問われている。

A law to rezone the House of Representatives’ single-seat constituencies, under which the number of the seats will be cut by five, has been enacted after a lower house plenary session passed it in a second vote by a majority of more than two-thirds, with support mainly coming from the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.
 衆院小選挙区定数「0増5減」を実現する区割り法が、衆院本会議で自民、公明両党などの3分の2以上の賛成で再可決、成立した。

After the bill first passed the lower house, the upper house failed to vote on it within the prescribed 60 days. As Article 59 of the Constitution stipulates, the bill therefore was considered to have been rejected by the upper house. It is the first time since 2008 that a bill has been passed by a second vote by the lower house after being rejected through the upper house’s failure to act on it.
 法案は衆院通過後、参院で採決されないまま60日経過したため、憲法59条の規定で、否決とみなされた。「みなし否決」による再可決は2008年以来である。

The rezoning law is meant to rectify disparities in the value of a vote in the lower house’s single-seat constituency election, which the Supreme Court has judged as being in a “state of unconstitutionality.”
 区割り法は、最高裁が「違憲状態」と判断した衆院小選挙区の「1票の格差」を是正する。

Measures insufficient

The number of single-seat constituencies will be cut in five prefectures, including Yamanashi, and the zoning of 42 constituencies in 17 prefectures, including the five, will be redrawn. The gap in population among constituencies based on the 2010 national census thus will be reduced to less than 2-to-1.
 山梨など5県の小選挙区数を減らし、17都県42選挙区の区割りを改定することで、10年国勢調査に基づく選挙区間の人口格差は、2倍未満に縮小される。

The rezoning law still keeps the so-called one-seat allotment system, in which one seat is allocated to each prefecture first before seats are distributed on the basis of population, although the Supreme Court said this system should be abolished. Some observers have pointed out the law is not enough to correct the disparity. But as the court issued its “state of unconstitutionality” ruling, there was no choice but to take emergency measures.
 最高裁が廃止すべきだとした「1人別枠方式」は、区割り法に残っている。是正には不十分との指摘もあるが、「違憲状態」とされた以上、緊急的な措置を講じないわけにいかない。

The upper house even failed to enter deliberations of the bill. The opposition parties called the ruling camp “arrogant” for just sitting back and waiting for the bill to pass through a second lower house vote. In this regard, the ruling parties’ handling of the matter could be considered problematic.
 参院では法案の審議入りすらできなかった。野党側は再可決という手段で法案がいずれ成立するという「与党のおごり」が根本にあると批判している。与党の対応にも問題はあるだろう。

But passage by a second vote is a democratic move, as it is stipulated under the Constitution. The ruling parties should not hesitate to resort to it.
 だが、再可決は、憲法の定める民主的なルールであり、与党がためらう必要はない。

What makes no sense is the Democratic Party of Japan’s handling of the issue.
 筋が通らないのは、野党第1党の民主党の対応である。

In November, the DPJ agreed to implement a reduction of five seats first and support a law to reform the lower house election system. But after a shift in power, the party opposed the rezoning bill, which was to implement the electoral system reform law.
 民主党は昨年11月、0増5減の先行実施に同意し、衆院選挙制度改革法に賛成した。ところが、政権交代後、その法律を実施するための区割り法には反対した。

The DPJ caucus in the upper house even refused to vote on the bill. The DPJ apparently believed that if the bill was sent back to the lower house for a second vote, the party could criticize the ruling parties’ handling of Diet affairs for forcing the issue.
 参院民主党は、法案の採決も拒んだ。衆院での再可決に持ち込めば、参院選を前に、「与党の強引な国会運営」をアピールできるといった思惑も働いたとされる。

DPJ approach opportunistic

The public will never accept such an opportunistic approach. The humiliating defeat in the recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election may not be unconnected with the DPJ’s self-serving stance in the handling of Diet affairs.
 こんな“ご都合主義”に国民から共感を得られるはずがない。東京都議選の惨敗も、独りよがりな国会対応と無縁ではあるまい。

It is regrettable that the ruling and opposition camps failed to reach an agreement over more drastic reform of the lower house election system following the move to reduce the number of seats by five.
 「0増5減」の先にある衆院選挙制度の抜本改革で、与野党が合意できなかったことは残念だ。

Political parties have yet to come up with a written agreement to resume talks on the issue after the upper house election. This is because the DPJ remains unyielding, demanding that the timeline for measures to reduce the total number of lower house seats be disclosed.
 参院選後に協議を再開するための各党間の文書ですら、まとまっていない。民主党が「定数削減の期限の明示」を要求し、妥協しようとしないからである。

To reach an accord on electoral system reform, reducing the number of seats, over which the ruling and opposition parties differ significantly, should be separated from other issues. Any idea of attracting public support by reducing the number of Diet members should be discarded, so discussions on electoral reform can be set on the right path.
 選挙制度改革で合意形成を図るには、与野党の見解の隔たりが大きい定数削減問題を切り離すべきだ。国会議員を減らせば国民に歓迎されるといった大衆迎合的な発想は捨て去り、制度改革の議論をリセットしなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2013)
(2013年6月25日01時27分  読売新聞)

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