参院選民主敗北 バラマキと迷走に厳しい審判

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 13, 2010)
Voters give DPJ policy the thumbs-down
参院選民主敗北 バラマキと迷走に厳しい審判(7月12日付・読売社説)

Voters have passed a stinging judgment on the Democratic Party of Japan's 10 months in government since it came to power following last summer's general election.
 昨年夏の衆院選で政権交代を果たし、その後の政権運営の評価を問う民主党に対し、有権者は厳しい審判を下した。

The DPJ suffered a crushing defeat in Sunday's House of Councillors election and fell far short of the 54 seats targeted by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who also is DPJ president. Justice Minister Keiko Chiba lost her seat. The DPJ and its tiny coalition partner, the People's New Party, failed to hold their majority in the 242-seat upper house, including uncontested seats.
 11日投開票の参院選で民主党は、菅首相が目標に掲げた改選54議席を大きく下回り、敗北した。千葉法相も落選した。連立与党の議席も、非改選を含め過半数に届かなかった。

The election has led to a divided Diet in which the House of Representatives is controlled by the ruling camp and the upper chamber by opposition parties. To gain a majority in the upper house, the DPJ has no alternative but to stitch together a coalition with one or more opposition parties.
 この結果、衆参両院で多数派が異なる「ねじれ国会」になる。民主党は、参院の過半数を確保するため、野党との連立を模索せざるを得ない状況だ。

At a news conference after the election, Kan insisted he would stay on, saying, "I would like to continue to responsibly manage the government." However, Kan's political clout has undeniably been weakened. Political chaos is all but certain as moves grow within the DPJ demanding the party leadership--including Kan--take responsibility for the election loss.
 菅首相は記者会見で「責任ある政権運営を続けたい」と、続投の意向を表明したが、求心力の低下は否めない。首相を含めた党執行部の責任問題が浮上する可能性もあり、混乱は避けられまい。

Kan's handling of the consumption tax issue was the biggest factor behind the DPJ's setback.
 民主党の最大の敗因は、菅首相の消費税問題への対応だ。

Kan hinted the rate could be lifted to 10 percent, a move echoing the Liberal Democratic Party's campaign pledge. But Kan failed to properly explain the purpose of the tax increase and how the revenue would be used. He compounded his problems by making inconsistent remarks on tax refunds for low-income earners.
 自民党の消費税率10%への引き上げ公約に乗る形で税率引き上げに言及したが、税率アップの狙いや使途などについて十分説明を尽くさず、低所得者対策に関する発言も揺らいだ。

The DPJ was not unified on the consumption tax. Some party members openly opposed Kan's tax policy.
 首相の方針に対して、民主党内から公然と批判が出るなど、党内不一致も露呈した。

Of course, other factors also contributed to the election defeat, including political funding scandals that tainted former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and former party Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa; the Hatoyama administration's bumbling of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture; and deadlock over handout policies such as child-rearing allowances.
 無論、鳩山前首相、小沢一郎・前幹事長の「政治とカネ」の問題をはじめ、米軍普天間飛行場移設問題の迷走、子ども手当などバラマキ政策の行き詰まりなど、前政権の失政も響いた。

===

LDP's strategy successful
 ◆自民が改選第1党に◆

The LDP won the most seats contested Sunday, topping the number snared by the DPJ. The LDP's election tactics, such as fielding rookie candidates handpicked from public applicants, proved successful.
 自民党は、今回の改選議席では民主党を上回った。公募による新人候補の擁立など選挙戦術も功を奏したとみられる。

Nevertheless, it is premature to conclude the LDP has made a full recovery.
 もっとも、自民党が本格的に復調したと考えるのは早計だ。

The LDP rode to victory largely thanks to the DPJ's shortcomings. The LDP fared worse than the DPJ in the proportional representation bloc elections. Many voters probably were counting on the LDP to prevent the DPJ from "running wild."
 民主党の敵失に乗じた面が大きく、比例選では民主党に及ばなかった。有権者は、民主党の“独走”を阻む役割を自民党に期待したのではないか。

Your Party made major gains by attracting voters disillusioned with both major parties. The party called for slashing the number of government employees and abolishing amakudari--a practice in which high-ranking government officials parachute into cushy jobs after retirement.
 みんなの党は、公務員の大幅削減や天下り根絶などを唱えて、2大政党にあきたらない人々の票を吸い上げ、躍進した。

The party now has a responsibility to act in a manner befitting the number of seats it holds. The party might have to rethink some of its policies and behavior that smack of populism.
 しかし、今後は、その議席数にふさわしい責任を果たさねばならない。ポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)的な政策や言動は、改めざるを得ないだろう。

Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe, who had set the goal of positioning his party to hold a decisive say in the Diet, should not whip up political turmoil by taking advantage of the seats his party gained in Sunday's election.
 キャスチングボートを握ることを目指していた渡辺代表は、今回の獲得議席を基に、政局を混乱させることがあってはなるまい。

===

Promote tax debate
 ◆消費税協議を進めよ◆

A hallmark of this election campaign was that the two major parties--the DPJ and the LDP--did not sidestep debate on a consumption tax hike.
 今回の選挙戦の特徴は、民主、自民の2大政党が、消費税率引き上げという増税論議を避けずに戦ったことである。

According to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey during the campaign, two-thirds of respondents said a tax hike will be "necessary." This indicates public understanding of a consumption tax hike has solidified.
 選挙中の本紙世論調査では、税率アップについて3人に2人が「必要」と答えていた。消費増税への理解は着実に進んでいるとみていいようだ。

On the campaign trail, Kan called for suprapartisan discussions on sweeping tax system reform, including an increase in the consumption tax. The LDP, for its part, wants a similar roundtable discussion on the matter.
 菅首相は、選挙戦で消費税を含む税制の抜本改革に関する超党派の協議を呼びかけた。自民党も同種の「円卓会議」を主張した。

But it is unreasonable to launch such a debate while the DPJ-led government charges ahead with child-rearing allowances and other cash handouts. A responsible government would only enter discussions on a consumption tax hike after reviewing such handout policies.
 だが、子ども手当などのバラマキ政策を放置し、協議を開始するのは無理がある。これらの政策を見直したうえ、消費税率引き上げに向けて協議を進めることが政治の責任と言える。

The DPJ and the LDP both should make concessions to start talks on the matter.
 民主、自民両党は互いに歩み寄って協議に入るべきだ。

The end of August is the deadline for deciding on a construction method for a runaway at a replacement facility for the Futenma base and other relocation details. The government must follow through on the Futenma agreement reached with the United States and get bilateral ties back on track before U.S. President Barack Obama visits Japan in November.
 普天間問題では、工法決定などの約束期限が8月末に迫っている。日米合意を誠実に履行し、日米関係を修復の軌道に乗せて、11月のオバマ米大統領の来日につなげる努力が欠かせない。

The DPJ's election loss could embolden a group of party members who support Ozawa to strengthen moves to shake up the party leadership ahead of the party's presidential election in September.
 今回の参院選敗北を受けて、民主党内では、小沢前幹事長支持グループなどが、9月の党代表選に向けて、執行部への揺さぶりを強める可能性がある。

But if Kan changes tack on the consumption tax and Futenma issue in the face of intraparty opposition, public confidence in his government will fade even further.
 しかし、首相が、消費税や普天間の問題で示した方針を変更するようなことがあれば、国民の信頼を一層、失うだけだ。

Kan should maintain the pragmatic approach to domestic and diplomatic issues he adopted in a major break from the line taken by the Hatoyama administration.
 鳩山前政権から大きく舵(かじ)を切った内政、外交の現実路線は、しっかり堅持すべきであろう。

The DPJ commands an absolute majority in the lower house. But the DPJ and the PNP hold fewer than two-thirds of the seats in the lower house, the threshold at which the ruling bloc can approve again--and pass--a bill voted down in the upper house.
 民主党は、衆院では絶対安定多数を維持しているが、国民新党を加えても、参院で否決された法案を衆院で再可決するための3分の2以上の議席には達しない。

Consequently, the Kan administration will face a more difficult job in steering Diet business than the LDP-led administrations of three former prime ministers--Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso--that also found themselves in a divided Diet.
 この点では、自民党の安倍、福田、麻生の歴代政権よりも、厳しい国会運営が迫られる。

===

Policy-based coalition needed
 ◆連立は政策本位で◆

At the news conference, Kan said he would reach out to opposition parties to hold policy discussions and try to build a coalition government.
 菅首相は記者会見で、野党との連立を視野に入れ、政策面の協議を行う考えを表明した。

He should remember that the coalition with the Social Democratic Party blew up in the DPJ's face because their security policies had little in common. The major premise for a coalition government should be that the parties involved share basic policies.
 その際、安全保障政策で隔たりのある社民党との連立が政治を混乱させたことを忘れてはなるまい。連立政権は、基本政策の一致を大前提とすることが肝要だ。

With the next lower house election in mind, many opposition parties have said they will not join a coalition government. Therefore, the government will inevitably pursue a noncabinet partnership or a partial coalition with an opposition party on certain bills.
 各野党は、次期衆院選をにらみ、連立政権には参加しないとしている。このため、閣外協力や、法案ごとに協力し合う「部分連合」も追求せざるを得ないだろう。

Many hurdles loom for the Kan administration, including an extraordinary Diet session and a DPJ presidential election.
 菅政権の前途には、臨時国会や党代表選など、多くのハードルが待ち構えている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 12, 2010)
(2010年7月12日03時55分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-07-13 08:00 | 英字新聞

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