首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

2011/08/28
The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 27
EDITORIAL: DPJ needs to reinvent its political future.
首相退陣、代表選へ―民主党は一から出直せ

Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially announced his resignation on Aug. 26, saying, "I've done what I've had to do."
 菅首相がきのう、「やるべきことはやった」と述べて正式に退陣を表明した。

During the two years since the historic regime change, two prime ministers quickly got bogged down in a political quagmire and stepped down.
 歴史的な政権交代から2年。あっという間に2人の首相が行き詰まり、去っていく。

This is undeniably a disastrous failure of politics under the rule of the Democratic Party of Japan.
これは明らかな失政である。

What are the root causes of the dreadful political situation?
 原因は何なのか。

It is not that Kan pushed policy in the wrong direction.
 菅氏が掲げた政策の方向性が間違っていたわけではない。

Kan deserves credit for responding to the Fukushima nuclear disaster by trying to lead the nation toward a future less dependent on atomic energy.
 原発事故のあと、脱原発に踏みだそうとしたのは、菅氏の功績といえる。

We also applaud him for tackling the tough political challenge of developing plans for the unpopular but important proposal of integrated tax and social security reform involving a consumption tax hike.
消費増税を含む税と社会保障の一体改革という不人気な政策づくりに取り組んだことも評価する。

But executing a policy requires building consensus.
 けれど、政治は合意を取りつけなければ前に進まない。

Kan was unskilled at consensus building, and he sometimes didn't even make efforts to win support for his proposals from his Cabinet members.
菅氏は合意づくりの術がつたなく、時に閣内の根回しさえ怠った。

As he simply proposed policies without laying the necessary political groundwork, he was inevitably criticized for practicing off-the-cuff politics.
方針を唱えるだけでは、思いつきの政治だと批判されても当然だった。

But let us hazard a question.
 だが、あえて問う。

Would the Kan administration have lasted much longer if he had been a leader with a broader perspective and a greater ability to build consensus?
もっと視野が広く調整能力のある首相なら、長期政権になったのか。

The DPJ is in such disarray that it is hard to answer the question in the affirmative.
首をかしげざるを得ないほど、民主党は混乱している。

■未成熟な選挙互助会

Kan was constantly hobbled not merely by the opposition control of the Upper House but equally by perennial political wrangling within the ruling party.
 菅氏が苦しんだのは、衆参のねじれとともに、党内の足の引っ張り合いだった。

Kan's efforts to push through such key policy initiatives as a consumption tax hike and a review of the party's election manifesto were met with opposition from party members, especially a group of lawmakers led by former DPJ chief Ichiro Ozawa.
 めざした消費増税やマニフェストの見直しなどに、小沢一郎元代表が率いるグループを中心に反対意見が渦巻き、

With the party unable to reach agreement on these and other key policy issues, the Kan administration lost political momentum.
党としての意思決定がままならず、政権は失速していった。

The confrontation within the party came to a head in June, when the Ozawa group threatened to support an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Cabinet.
 対立が最も先鋭化したのが、6月の野党提出の内閣不信任案に、小沢グループが賛成する構えを見せたときだ。

As he avoided a final Diet floor showdown with his opponents within the party, Kan set the stage for his departure.
 あそこで採決による決着を避けたために、菅氏は辞任への道を歩み始めた。

As the top item in the memorandum he exchanged with his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, during their talks for avoid passage of the no-confidence motion against him, Kan promised not to "destroy the DPJ."
その際に、鳩山前首相と交わした覚書の第1項目に「民主党を壊さない」とあったことが、

This fact symbolized the grim reality and limitations of the party.
民主党の現実と限界を象徴していた。

The DPJ was formed as a rugged collection of politicians pursuing sharply different political agendas and approaches.
 もともと民主党は政策も政治手法も、水と油ほど違う勢力が一緒になった。

It was a political alliance among a wide range of lawmakers who didn't belong to the Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled the nation for decades.
衆院小選挙区で勝つために、「非自民」勢力を幅広く抱え込んだ結果だった。

Its principal mission was to secure electoral victories in single-seat constituencies of the Lower House.
要するに、小選挙区制が生んだ「選挙互助会」だったのだ。

In a nutshell, the DPJ was a mutual electoral support group born out of the single-seat election system.
When it was in the opposition, the party managed to put up a united front under the banner of regime change.
 野党のころは「政権交代」の一点で共闘できた。

As soon as it achieved this political goal, however, the party found itself without a shared vision and plunged into an endless cycle of infighting.
しかし、成し遂げた途端に共通の目標を見失う。

The DPJ's track record since it came to power suggests that the group is too politically immature to be called a political party.
そして内紛を繰り返す現状は、政党と呼ぶには未熟過ぎるように見える。

If the party remains as it is, the next administration is sure to repeat the same failure.
 このままでは、次の政権も同じ愚を繰り返すに違いない。

The challenge facing the DPJ is whether it can outgrow its old self as an electoral mutual support group and morph into a full-fledged political party.
 「選挙互助会」から政党に脱皮できるかどうか。

The party leadership election officially announced on Aug. 27 is of critical importance for the political viability of the DPJ.
きょう告示される党代表選は、民主党の存廃をかけた正念場になる。

During the prelude to the election, many prospective candidates talked about unity and reconciliation among party members.
 前哨戦では、盛んに「挙党態勢」「党内融和」という言葉が聞かれた。

Such talk may find a certain resonance among party members who are eager to see an end to the intraparty struggle that continued even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March.
震災後も繰り広げられた党内抗争は、いい加減にやめようという響きもあって、一定の説得力を持つ。

If, however, "party unity" here means turning a blind eye to differences over policies among members, such slogans only represent an extremely irresponsible answer to the party's problems.
 だが、「挙党一致」に込められた意味が、政策の違いには目をつむろうということなら、あまりにも無責任な対応だ。

If the candidates try to win the leadership race by offering the powerful Ozawa group key posts that control the party's election funds and the right to nominate official party candidates for national elections, the party will inevitably lose the support of even more voters.
 まして、小沢グループにカネと公認権を握るポストを譲るというのなら、有権者の支持をさらに失っていくのは避けられないだろう。

■結集するか分裂か

It is clear what the party should do in the leadership race.
 代表選でやるべきことは、はっきりしている。

It should redefine its political position.
党の立ち位置を定め直すことだ。

 最悪なのは、各候補者が「票目当て」に、あいまいな政策を掲げることだ。代表選は乗り切れても、対立の種は残り、政治が前に進まない。

First, all the candidates should make clear their stances toward the party's manifesto for the Lower House election that led to its ascent to power.
 第一に、政権交代時に掲げたマニフェストへの対応を各候補者が明確にすることだ。

Would they revise or stick to the platform?
見直すのか貫くのか。

Candidates who vow to adhere to the manifesto should say how they would raise the money needed to deliver on the election promises.
順守するなら、どの予算を削って財源を調達するのか。

The DPJ's plan to raise funds through spending cuts has become synonymous with wishful thinking in the past two years.
「歳出削減で賄う」という表現はこの2年で「願望」と同義語になっているのだ。

Secondly, after the leadership election, all party members should come together to support the policies proposed by the winner and contribute to the new leader's efforts to push through his proposals.
 第二に、選挙後は勝者の方針のもとに結集し、政策の実現に協力することだ。

The quality of the manifesto should be improved in line with the new policy agenda.
それに沿ったマニフェストの質向上も要る。

DPJ lawmakers who cannot agree to the new chief's policy agenda should leave the party.
同意できない議員は党を割って出るしかなかろう。

Like the DPJ, the LDP also comprises politicians with widely different political stripes.
 民主党のみならず、自民党も幅広い勢力を抱えており、

There is enough room for political realignment around key policy issues.
政策を軸に再編する余地はある。

Such a development would give voters a fresh opportunity to choose a new government on the basis of policies instead of a simple choice between the LDP and the DPJ.
 有権者にとっても「自民党がだめだから民主党」といった否定形の選択の代わりに、政策本位で政権を選ぶ道が開ける。

■政策本位の政治へ

The worst thing that could happen to the party is a leadership contest without serious policy debate in which the candidates only propose vague policies in order to win as many votes as possible.
Even if the party can choose its new leader without meaningful debate, such a race would plant seeds of future confrontation that hamper progress in politics.
Political styles and ways to run the government should also be among major topics for the party leadership election.
 代表選では、政治手法や政権運営の方法も問われるべきだ。

We believe that politics of partisan confrontation driven by the power of numbers should come to an end.
私たちは「数の力」で与野党が激突するばかりの政治を終わらせるべきだと考える。

When it was led by Ozawa, the DPJ exploited its power as the largest voting bloc in the Upper House to keep making things tough for the government of the LDP-New Komeito coalition.
 民主党は小沢代表のとき、参院第1党の力を使い、徹底して自公政権を揺さぶった。

The DPJ used its political muscle effectively to drive the LDP-led government into a corner through such maneuvers as rejecting the government's nominees for the new Bank of Japan governor and thereby keeping the post of the central bank chief vacant for a while.
日銀総裁を空席にするなどして政府を追い込み、早期の衆院解散、政権交代を迫った。

The DPJ's strategy worked well to pressure the government into an early dissolution of the Lower House for an election to choose the government.
確かに政権交代を果たしたが、

The DPJ came to power as a result, but the party has been suffering from political reprisals by the LDP.
今度は民主党が報復を受け続けている。

During this period, Ozawa boasted that he would be able to raise any amount of money to finance the party's policy proposals and had the party increase the monthly child-care allowance it promised to 26,000 yen per child.
 小沢氏は「財源はなんぼでもできる」と言い、子ども手当は月額2万6千円出すと公約を上積みさせた。

At the heart of such an approach to politics is a single-minded pursuit of power.
こうした政治手法の根っこにあるのは、権力奪取を第一とする発想だ。

Japan should outgrow such old-fashioned politics and move toward a new era of politics in which the ruling and opposition parties try to find common ground through serious and constructive policy debate.
 こんな政治からは卒業して、与野党が政策本位で合意点を探す政治に変えよう。

The principal lesson to be gleaned from the bitter experiences in the past two years is that this is the only way to break the political stalemate in this age of a divided Diet.
それが、ねじれが常態化する時代の政治を動かす道だと、この2年の経験から学ぶべきである。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-30 04:30 | 英字新聞

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