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2013年12月30日 (月)

参院1票の格差 国会に抜本改革迫る高裁判決

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 29, 2013
High court rulings demand drastic reform of nation’s election system
参院1票の格差 国会に抜本改革迫る高裁判決(12月29日付・読売社説)

Thurday’s ruling at the Akia branch of the Sendai High Court marked the last in a series of 16 lawsuits filed around the country by two groups of lawyers seeking to invalidate the results of the House of Councillors election in July, which had a maximum vote-value disparity of 4.77-1. We think most of the high courts and their branches made reasonable judgments on the issue.
 おおむね妥当な判断が示されたと言えよう。
 「1票の格差」が最大4・77倍だった7月の参院選を巡り、全国の高裁で審理された16件の訴訟の判決が出そろった。

The courts and their branches ruled in 13 of the suits that the upper house election was “in a state of unconstitutionality” and in three cases that the election was unconstitutional. But only the Hiroshima High Court’s Okayama branch, in a case challenging results in the Okayama prefectural constituencies, irresponsibly ruled the election results should be nullified.
 「違憲状態」が13件、「違憲」は3件で、選挙を「無効」とする無責任な判断は広島高裁岡山支部の1件だけだった。

In November, the Supreme Court ruled that the House of Representatives election last year was in a state of unconstitutionality but stressed that not only how long the vote-value disparity was left unaddressed but also what measures would be needed to correct it should be comprehensively considered in handing down a ruling.
 昨年の衆院選を「違憲状態」とした先月の最高裁判決は、格差を放置した期間の長短だけでなく、是正に必要な措置などを総合的に考慮すべきだと指摘した。

Of course, the situations of the upper and lower houses are different, but the recent series of rulings by the high courts that the upper house election was in a state of unconstitutionality are apparently based on the Supreme Court’s view.
 衆参の違いはあれ、今回の一連の「違憲状態」判決は、最高裁の考え方を踏襲している。

Many high courts have recognized it takes some time to drastically review the upper house election system and concluded that the time needed to correct the vote-value disparity has not yet run out. This is a pragmatic judgment that duly considered the discretion of the legislative body.
 多くの高裁が、参院の選挙制度の抜本的見直しには相応の時間がかかることを認め、是正に必要な期間は過ぎていないと結論づけた。立法府の裁量権に配慮した現実的な判断である。

Some high courts gave certain credit to a measure taken by the Diet before the upper house election to add four seats in densely populated constituencies and cut four seats in less populated constituencies.
 選挙区定数を「4増4減」して参院選に臨んだ国会の対応に一定の評価を与えた高裁もある。

The high court rulings on the lower house election last year were much tougher. High courts said in two cases that the lower house election was in a state of unconstituionality and that in 14 cases it was unconstitutional.
 昨年の衆院選を巡る高裁段階の判決は、「違憲状態」2件、「違憲」14件と、より厳しかった。

The ratio of “in a state of constitutionality” to “unconstitutional” is almost the opposite this time because the courts have apparently taken into consideration higher hurdles at the upper house for reapportionment. As half of the seats in the upper house are up for reelection every three years, at least two seats must be allotted to every constituency. It also would not be easy to rezone constituencies since prefectures are currently used as constituency units.
 今回の内訳が逆になったのは、参院における定数是正のハードルの高さも考慮した結果だろう。3年ごとに半数を改選する参院では最低2人を各選挙区に割り振らなければならない。都道府県単位の区割りの変更も困難を伴う。

Additional clause is key

Many recent high court rulings have emphasized an additional clause in the revised Public Offices Election Law that stipulates the addition of four seats and reduction of four seats. The additional clause stipulates that results of the drastic reform must be achieved by the next upper house election in 2016. The rulings demand realization of this stipulation.
 一方、今回の高裁判決の多くが「4増4減」を定めた改正公職選挙法の付則を重視した。付則は2016年の次期参院選までに抜本改革の結論を得るとの内容で、判決はその実現を求めている。

The Diet must keep this in mind. In appeal hearings, the Supreme Court is highly likely to emphasize the additional clause.
 国会はこの点に留意せねばなるまい。上告審で最高裁もこの付則を重視する可能性が高い。

Parties with members in the upper house have already begun discussions on electoral system reform, aiming to hold the next upper house election under a new system.
 既に参院の各党は、次期参院選からの新制度移行を目指して、制度改革の協議を続けている。

For instance, Takeo Nishioka, former president of the upper house, had proposed dividing the nation into nine proportional representation blocs but revised this later to nine multiple-seat large constituencies.
 具体案として、西岡武夫元参院議長はかつて全国9ブロックの比例選を提案し、その後、9ブロックの大選挙区選に修正した。

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan once proposed merging neighboring prefectures with small populations into one constituency. Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party voiced support for the idea.
 民主党は以前、人口が少ない隣接県を一つの選挙区に統合する「合区」を提案したことがある。自民党内に同調する声もある。

Both ideas have advantages for correcting the vote-value disparity easily. The Diet should work on the electoral system reform based on the these ideas. In the process, it should be remembered that the system must not lead to creation of too many parties and must also be able to consolidate the voters’ opinions.
 いずれの案も格差を是正しやすい利点がある。これらを参考に改正作業を急ぐべきだ。その際、多党化を招かず、民意を集約できるようにする視点も欠かせない。

If there are too many parties in the upper house, a ruling party that won a lower house election—a poll in which voters choose which party will take office—will have difficulties winning a majority in the upper house. We must avoid an election system that is likely to create division of the Diet, which would make an administration unstable.
 参院が多党化すれば、政権選択選挙である衆院選で勝利した与党は参院で過半数を取りにくい。ねじれが生じて政権が不安定になる制度は、避ける必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 29, 2013)
(2013年12月29日01時22分  読売新聞)

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