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参院1票の格差 選挙制度の抜本的見直しを

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Oct. 2, 2009)
Electoral reform needed to end vote disparity
参院1票の格差 選挙制度の抜本的見直しを(10月2日付・読売社説)

The Supreme Court has sent a strong message to the Diet that vote value disparity cannot be fixed only through cosmetic measures.
 小手先の是正だけでは「1票の格差」は解消できない――。最高裁の国会に対する強いメッセージといえよう。

The court's Grand Bench on Wednesday said the disparity in the weight of votes or the number of eligible voters per House of Councillors seat could not be significantly narrowed only by changing the number of seats for certain constituencies.
 参院議員1人当たりの有権者数に大きな格差がある。最高裁大法廷はその1票の格差について、「各選挙区の定数を振り替えるだけでは、大幅な縮小は困難」との見解を示した。

The court then went one step further and called for drastic steps to be taken to correct this gap, saying, "The current electoral system itself needs to be reformed."
 その上で、格差是正を図るには、「現行の選挙制度の仕組み自体の見直しが必要になる」と、制度の抜本改革を求めた。

The top court has previously urged the Diet to fix the disparity in the value of votes cast in upper house elections. But the court appears to have run out of patience as little progress has been made in remedying this disparity, and moved to put strong pressure on the Diet to act.
 参院の1票の格差を巡り、最高裁はこれまでも国会に是正を求めてきた。だが、遅々として進まぬ現状にしびれを切らし、厳しく注文したということだろう。

We hope lawmakers will take the court's advice to heart and hold further discussions on this matter.
 国会はこれを真摯(しんし)に受け止め、抜本改革に向けた議論を進めていかなければならない。

===

Weight problems

The latest court case was fought over the constitutionality of the allocation of seats in the 2007 upper house election. The largest disparity in the election was between the Kanagawa and Tottori prefectural constituencies, with the former having 4.86 times more voters than the latter.
 今回の訴訟では、2007年の参院選の定数配分が憲法に違反するかどうかが争われた。この時、1票の格差が最大だったのは、神奈川県と鳥取県選挙区の間の4・86倍だった。

The top court ruled this imbalance was not serious enough to violate the Constitution, which guarantees equality among the people. Indeed, four upper house seats were taken from less-populous constituencies and given to constituencies with more voters in 2006 in a bid to alleviate the imbalance. However, the court said "significant inequality" still existed between the weight of votes cast in some constituencies.
 最高裁は判決の中で、06年に参院で「4増4減」の是正措置がとられたことなどを考慮し、憲法に違反するほどではないとしたものの、「大きな不平等が存する」と判断した。


The upper house election process currently consists of a prefecturewide constituency segment and a nationwide proportional representation segment. Half of the upper house seats are contested every three years. At least two seats are allocated to each constituency, with the prefecturewide segment electing representatives of each prefecture.
 現行の参院の選挙制度は、都道府県単位の選挙区選と全国単位の比例選からなっており、3年ごとに半数が改選される仕組みだ。選挙区選は、都道府県代表の色合いが強く、各選挙区の定数は、最低でも2が配分されている。

This system, in fact, has been a barrier to reducing the vote value disparity. But if this framework were changed, new problems would emerge instead.
 これが格差是正の障害になっている。だが、この枠組みを崩すと、新たな問題が生じる。

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System hampers progress

For example, when the "plus-four, minus-four formula" was being discussed, the Democratic Party of Japan argued for integrating the Tottori prefectural constituency, which had the fewest number of voters, and the neighboring Shimane prefectural constituency into a single constituency. This would have reduced the largest vote disparity to less than 4:1.
 例えば、民主党は「4増4減」が議論された当時、格差を4倍以内にするため、有権者数が最も少ない鳥取県と、隣の島根県の「合区」案を主張した。

If this measure had actually been implemented, however, voters in these two prefectures would be quite justified in feeling aggrieved since each prefecture would be stripped of its own elected representative.
 仮に実施していれば、両県民から「県の代表がいなくなるのは不公平」との反発が出ただろう。

As the ruling showed, as long as the current framework is maintained, there are limits to how much the vote value disparity can be rectified.
 判決が示したように、現行制度の枠組みを維持する限り、1票の格差是正には、おのずと限界があるのは明らかだ。

The DPJ has pledged to overhaul the electoral system of the upper house by around 2013.
 民主党は、13年をめどに参院の選挙制度の「抜本的改革」を行うと公約している。

The electoral systems of the House of Representatives and the upper house both are comprised of constituency and proportional representation segments. The similarity in their setups has been the target of strong criticism. Some observers argue that upper house elections should be held only under the proportional representation system.
 衆参両院の選挙制度は、選挙区選と比例選の2本立てで、ともに似通ったものになっている。これには根強い批判があり、参院は比例選に一本化すべきといった意見もある。

We want to see thorough discussions for drastic reform of the electoral system--including on the bicameral system itself.
 二院制のあり方を含めて、選挙制度の抜本改革論議が必要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 2, 2009)
(2009年10月2日00時56分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-10-02 11:54 | 英字新聞

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