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2013年8月19日 (月)

選挙制度改革 有識者の議論も聞いてみたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 19, 2013
Outside experts should be involved in reform of natl electoral system
選挙制度改革 有識者の議論も聞いてみたい(8月18日付・読売社説)

It is difficult for political parties to agree on the ideal structure of the electoral system through negotiations because the outcome directly affects their fate. The time has come to have outside experts draft a plan to reform the system.
 選挙制度のあり方は各党の消長に直結するだけに、政党間の話し合いでは合意は難しい。有識者に改革案作りを委ねる時期に来ている。

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party soon will call for other parties to resume discussions on electoral reform for the House of Representatives, which were suspended because of the recent House of Councillors election.
 自民党は近く、参院選で中断していた衆院の選挙制度改革論議の再開を各党に呼びかける。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed the creation of a third-pary advisory panel on electoral reform under the lower house speaker. Attention is focused on whether the opposition parties will agree to the idea.
 安倍首相は衆院議長の下に、有識者による第三者機関を作り、制度改革を諮問することを提案している。これを野党が受け入れるかどうかが焦点だ。

The ruling coalition parties are planning to negotiate with the Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), both of which have expressed support for drafting a reform plan by outside experts, with an eye to creating the advisory panel.
 与党は、有識者による改革案作りに理解を示す民主党、日本維新の会などと調整し、諮問機関の設置を目指す方針だ。

It is important to establish concensus among the parties in advance so recommendations submitted by the panel will be respected.
その答申については、各党が尊重するよう取り決めておくことが大切である。

The three years left in the term of current lower house members is not enough time to implement reforms, considering the time needed for discussions among experts, legislative work based on the panel’s report and making the changes public.
 有識者の検討期間や、答申に基づく立法化の作業、国民への周知などを考えると、衆院議員の残り任期が3年余りあっても、十分な時間とは言えまい。

Under the current election system mainly based on single-seat constituencies, a winning party can capture an overwhelming number of seats and produce many lawmakers with insufficient social experience, sometimes referred to as legislative “children.” Indeed, some observers have pointed out that the quality of Diet members has been declining in recent years.
 小選挙区中心の現行制度では、第1党が圧倒的な議席を獲得し、「チルドレン」と称される社会経験の浅い議員が大量に生まれる。政治家の質が低下してきたのではないかとも指摘されている。

Discussions between the ruling and opposition parties focused on the reduction of Diet seats, but the parties refused to make concessions on reductions in the number of seats they had proposed, preventing an agreement. Reduction of Diet seats has many harmful effects such as undermining scrutiny of bills by lawmakers. The issue of reducing parliamentary seats should be kept separate from discussions on electoral reform.
 与野党協議では、定数削減が焦点となったが、各党が削減幅の主張を譲らず、合意形成の障害となった。定数を削れば、国会議員の法案審査がおろそかになるなど、弊害が大きい。定数削減は、選挙制度論議と切り離すべきだ。

Vote value disparity

In lawsuits over the disparity in the value of votes in the 2012 lower house election, one high court after another ruled the disparity was unconstitutional. But electoral reform is more than just equalizing the value of votes.
 2012年衆院選の1票の格差を巡る訴訟では、各高裁から「違憲」判決が相次いだ。ただし、選挙制度は、1票の価値を平等にすればいいというものではない。

Using only the proportional respresentation system in elections would resolve the disparity in vote value. But it would also make it easier for small and medium-sized parties to win seats, increasing the number of parties in the Diet. This would give small and mid-sized parties an initiative in policy decisions and lead to destabilization of Japanese politics.
 完全な比例代表制とすれば、1票の格差は解消される。反面、中小政党が議席を得やすくなり、多党化は不可避だ。中小政党が政策決定の主導権を握るなど、政治は不安定化しかねない。

And if the disparity in the value of votes were eliminated, the voices of people living in rural areas would be heard much less in the Diet because the population is declining rapidly in those areas.
 地方は人口減が著しいだけに、投票価値の平等が行き過ぎると、地方の声が国政に反映されにくくなることが懸念される。

The election system must be reformed with a view to better representing public opinion and realizing stable governance.
 民意を集約し、安定した政治を実現する視点が欠かせない。

In light of court rulings and the need for political stabilitiy, the only options left are to either modify the current combination of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation or return to a multiple-seat constituency system.
 司法の要請と、政治の安定などを考慮すると、小選挙区比例代表並立制の手直しか、中選挙区制に戻すしか選択肢はなかろう。

The Supreme Court has also ruled that disparity of the value of votes in the upper house election was in “an unconstitutional state.” Observers also has pointed out that functions expected for the upper house, such as checking and supplementing the lower house, are undermined by the similarity between the upper house and lower house election systems.
 最高裁は参院選の1票の格差も「違憲状態」と判断している。参院の選挙制度が衆院と似通っていることが、参院に期待される「衆院の抑制や補完」という役割を損ねているとの指摘も出ている。

Before considering the reform of the upper house election system, it is important to study the division of roles to be played by the upper and lower houses.
 衆参両院の役割分担を検討した上で、参院の選挙制度を併せて考えることが肝要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 18, 2013)
(2013年8月18日01時43分  読売新聞)

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