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参院1票の格差 抜本改革へ最高裁の強い警告

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 19, 2012)
Top court sternly warns Diet over electoral system reform
参院1票の格差 抜本改革へ最高裁の強い警告(10月18日付・読売社説)

It was a strong warning from the Supreme Court to the Diet, which is not working on fundamentally rectifying the vote-value disparity.
 「1票の格差」の抜本的な是正に取り組まない国会に対する最高裁の強い警告である。

The top court's Grand Bench ruled Wednesday that the 2010 House of Councillors election, which had a maximum vote-value disparity of five times, "was in a state of unconstitutionality."
 1票の格差が最大5・00倍となった2010年の参院選について、最高裁大法廷は「違憲状態にあった」との判決を言い渡した。

Twelve of the 15 justices so concluded, while the remaining three judged the election "unconstitutional," which is a stricter term.
 15人の裁判官のうち12人の意見で、残る3人は、より厳しい「違憲」判断を示した。

The Supreme Court pointed out, as it has done before, that it is "extremely difficult to meet a request to ensure equality of the value of votes" under the current system based on 47 prefectural constituencies while populations have become concentrated in urban areas.
 最高裁は、都市部への人口集中が進む中で、47都道府県を単位とする選挙区制度のままでは、「投票価値の平等という要求に応えるのは、もはや著しく困難」と改めて指摘した。

This is because, under the current system, two seats must be allotted even to Tottori Prefecture, the prefecture with the smallest population.
 現行制度では、人口が最も少ない鳥取県にも定数2を割り振らざるを得ないからだ。

===

Pending bills not bold enough

A bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law submitted to the Diet by the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party in the last ordinary Diet session will not change this prefecture-based electoral system. Instead, it calls for a two-seat increase in each of two prefectural constituencies and a two-seat reduction in each of two other prefectural constituencies.
 民主、自民両党が先の通常国会に提出した公職選挙法改正案は、この制度に手を付けず、選挙区定数を「4増4減」するものだ。

Wednesday's ruling also said simply increasing or reducing the number of seats for some prefectural constituencies will not solve the disparity. In other words, the top court apparently meant to raise doubt that "a state of unconstitutionality" would be eliminated even if the bill to introduce the "plus-four, minus-four" plan were enacted.
 判決は、一部の選挙区の定数を増減させるだけでは解決にならない、との見解も示した。仮に「4増4減」案が成立しても、違憲状態は解消されないとの疑義が示されたとも言える。

If the upper house election is held in summer next year with only such a cosmetic measure taken, there is no doubt that a wave of lawsuits over the number of seats allotted to prefectural constituencies will be filed after the election. It is even possible that a court in the future may rule an election "unconstitutional," invalidating part of it.
 こんな弥縫(びほう)策だけで来夏の参院選を迎えれば、選挙後、定数訴訟が相次いで起こされるのは間違いないだろう。裁判所が違憲と判断し、一部選挙を無効とする判決を出す可能性すら排除できない。

We think the ruling and opposition parties should quickly discuss another plan, one bolder than the "plus-four, minus-four" plan, to correct the number of seats allotted to constituencies.
 与野党は、「4増4減」よりも踏み込んだ定数是正案をまずは検討すべきではないか。

The drastic electoral reform urged by the top court should also be quickly implemented.
 最高裁が求める抜本的な制度改革も急ぐべきである。

===

A better plan fizzled

In debates over reform of the upper house electoral system that started in 2010, the ruling and opposition parties took up for discussion a plan to change constituencies from prefecture-based to bloc-based. This is because the bloc-based system has an advantage--it would make it easier to narrow disparities.
 10年からの与野党の参院選制度改革論議では、選挙区を、都道府県単位からブロック制に改める案なども俎(そ)上(じょう)に載せた。格差を縮小しやすい利点があるからだ。

The plan fizzled out after the death of Takeo Nishioka, the former upper house president who took the initiative in introducing the change. However, we think the plan should be discussed again.
 旗振り役の西岡武夫前参院議長の死去で立ち消えになったが、検討し直すべきではないか。

The Diet response has always been too late. This may make people think Diet members lack the ability to handle the problem, only increasing public distrust in politics.
 国会の対応はこれまで、常に後手に回ってきた。これでは、国会議員には当事者能力がない、ということになり、国民の政治不信を高めるだけである。

The top court previously ruled that the 2009 House of Representatives election was also "in a state of unconstitutionality." It is unusual for judicial authorities to judge both chambers to be in a situation violating the Constitution, which stipulates equality under the law.
 最高裁は09年衆院選でも、「違憲状態」との判断を示している。両院ともに、法の下の平等を定めた憲法に違反した状態にあると司法が断じる異例の事態だ。

The electoral system for the upper house is a dual system that combines proportional representation and constituencies. It resembles that of the lower house. It is indispensable, then, to have discussions with an eye on the division of roles of the lower and upper houses.
 参院選の制度は比例代表と選挙区の2本立てで、衆院選と類似している。衆参の役割分担も視野に入れた論議が不可欠である。

The ruling and opposition parties must quickly convene an extraordinary Diet session and take necessary measures to solve the state of unconstitutionality in time for the next elections.
 与野党は、次回の選挙に間に合うよう、早急に臨時国会を開き、違憲状態から脱するための措置を講じなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 18, 2012)
(2012年10月18日01時20分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-21 07:35 | 英字新聞

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