政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 8, 2009)
Parties should be open to revising election vows
政権公約選挙 正しい方向なら変更は当然だ(8月8日付・読売社説)

Obviously, it is important for politicians to try to stick to election pledges. However, if they treat pledges as if they are set in stone, they may face problems in meeting their political obligations.
 公約を「守る」ことが大切なのは確かだが、金科玉条のごとく「守る」ことだけにこだわれば、現実の政治には不具合が生じよう。

The Aug. 30 poll will be the third House of Representatives election for which political parties have announced their policy platforms, along with proposed revenue sources and deadlines for implementation, since the practice began in 2003.
 各政党が政策ごとに財源や実施期限を明示した政権公約を掲げて衆院選を実施するのは、2003年以来、3度目となる。

Academics who proposed such an approach have stressed the need to review previous election pledges each time a lower house election is held.
これを提言した学者らは、衆院選のたびに過去の公約を点検することが重要だと説いた。

In keeping with this goal, a number of organizations recently held a joint meeting to rate the degree to which the ruling bloc has met manifesto pledges laid out ahead of the 2005 lower house election.
 この提言に沿って、与党の05年公約の達成度を検証する集会が先日、開かれた。

The organizations were critical of the ruling parties, saying that the structural reform drive promoted by the cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had been gradually adjusted over the past four years.
参加した各団体は「小泉内閣の構造改革路線が、なし崩し的に修正された」と批判した。

However, when judging the ruling parties' success, it is dangerous to simply focus on whether the points as laid out in their manifestos four years ago have been attained.
 だが、4年前の公約通りに実践したかどうかだけを判断基準にするのは危険だ。

===

Changing realities of reform

The negative effects of Koizumi's reform drive, such as widening social and economic disparities, started to become evident after the last lower house election in 2005. In addition, the country later entered a dramatic economic downturn as a result of the global economic crisis that began last autumn.
 格差拡大など小泉改革の「影」の部分が問題化したのは、前回衆院選以降のことだ。経済が急減速したのも、世界同時不況の影響が広がった昨年秋以降である。

If cabinets that succeeded the Koizumi administration had continued belt-tightening policies--neglecting economic current conditions and failing to take into account problems resulting from market-based structural reforms, such as widening disparities--the Japanese economy likely would have been thrown into chaos.
 もし「小泉後」の歴代内閣が、格差拡大を生んだ市場原理主義的な構造改革の弊害を省みず、景気動向を無視して緊縮財政路線を続けていれば、日本の経済は今ごろ大混乱していただろう。

It is therefore essential to maintain flexibility and a willingness to modify policies in response to changing economic and political realities.
 政治や経済の環境変化に合わせて政策を修正する柔軟さまで否定すべきではない。

At the same time, it is important for policymakers to offer a clear explanation to voters of why such adjustments are necessary.
ただ、その前提として、変更の理由は有権者にきちんと説明する必要はあろう。

However, simply judging the ruling parties' pledges while ignoring the implications of the opposition's proposals also is questionable--the Democratic Party of Japan is battling with the ruling parties for power in the upcoming lower house race, and it is therefore only right that its policy pledges come in for scrutiny.
 与党の公約達成度だけを問題にするのも疑問だ。政権の座を争う以上、民主党の公約も厳しくチェックしないとバランスを欠く。

===

DPJ must be flexible

The DPJ stated in its 2005 manifesto that the party would "undertake" a revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement with a view to having U.S. bases in Okinawa Prefecture relocated out of the country.
 民主党は05年の公約に、日米地位協定の改定に「着手」し、在沖縄米軍基地の「国外への移転」を目指すと明記していた。

But if the DPJ had seized power in the 2005 election and followed through with its election pledges, cracks would have been created in Japan-U.S. relations. Acceptance of this reality is evident in the DPJ's decision to change the phrasing regarding the bilateral accord from "undertake" to "propose" and drop the reference to relocation overseas in its latest manifesto.
 05年の衆院選で民主党政権が誕生し、公約通りに行動していれば、日米関係に亀裂が生じる事態に陥っただろう。そのことは、民主党が今回、「着手」を「提起」に改め、国外移転の文言を削除したことが雄弁に物語っている。

Of course, it is not right to judge the DPJ's pledges solely on their consistency--if positive changes are made they should be welcomed.
 無論、民主党の公約点検でも、「ぶれた」かどうかを唯一の物差しにするのは誤りだ。望ましい方向への修正なら、むしろ歓迎すべきことだ。

The DPJ reportedly plans to modify wording on decentralization and a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement in its election pledges.
 民主党は、地方分権や日米自由貿易協定(FTA)の記述で公約の修正を行うという。

Apart from this, there are some pledges whose feasibility is doubtful and which are written in an extremely ambiguous way, especially on security and global environment issues, among others.
 ほかにも、安全保障政策や地球環境問題をはじめ、実現可能性を疑われたり、表現が極めて曖昧(あいまい)だったりする公約がある。

The party must therefore continue to carefully examine and reflect on its manifesto pledges until the election is officially announced, and it must not hesitate to revise them if necessary.
公示まで精査に努め、必要であれば修正もためらうべきではない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 8, 2009)
(2009年8月8日01時23分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-08-08 12:03 | 英字新聞

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