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衆院選あす投票 ネット利用が課題として残る

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 16, 2012)
Voters should study policies and vote to change politics
衆院選あす投票 ネット利用が課題として残る(12月15日付・読売社説)

Sunday's House of Representatives election is important in setting the nation's course. We want to prepare for the vote by scrutinizing each political party's platform.
 日本の針路を決める重要な選挙だ。各党の政策をきちんと吟味し、あすの投票日に臨みたい。

In this election, 12 parties are fighting a close, heated battle. In contrast, voters appear to be less enthusiastic.
 今回の衆院選では、12もの政党が競う混戦となった反面、有権者側の熱気は今ひとつのように見える。

According to a nationwide survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun after the official election campaign kicked off, 82 percent of respondents said they were interested in the forthcoming lower house election, down 10 percentage points from a similar poll conducted ahead of the previous 2009 election.
 読売新聞社が公示後に実施した全国世論調査によると、衆院選に「関心がある」と回答した人は82%で、前回の2009年衆院選に比べて10ポイント低い。

The number of early votes cast so far for Sunday's election was also reportedly lower than that for the previous election.
 期日前投票も、前回よりは総じて低調という。

This is attributable to growing public distrust of politics due to the current political disarray.
 その理由として、政治の混迷が続き、政治不信が深まっていることが挙げられるだろう。

New parties, formed to challenge established parties, largely serve as mutual-aid entities designed only to help defectors from the Democratic Party of Japan and lower-profile candidates win seats in the election. Apparently drawn up hastily, their proposed measures hardly address issues that people are dissatisfied about.
 既成政党を批判する新党も、民主党離党組らが生き残るための選挙互助会の色彩が濃く、政策はいかにも急ごしらえだ。不満の受け皿として十分とは言い難い。

In a basic step to change politics, voters must look closely into each party's policies and then exercise their voting right.
 政治のあり方を変えるには各党の政策に耳を傾けて、投票権を行使するのが基本である。

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Low turnout of young voters

Meanwhile, it is a matter of concern that the voting rate for people in their 20s is always significantly lower compared with other age brackets.
 懸念されるのは、20代の投票率が、常に他の年代を大きく下回っていることだ。

However, we want young people, in particular, to become more interested in politics as they will be forced to shoulder various burdens as a result of the nation's financial difficulties and expanding economic disparity among people.
 危機的な財政や経済格差の拡大によって、将来様々なツケを背負わされる若者たちこそ、政治にもっと関心を持ってほしい。

Parties tend to put measures to support child care on the back burner as they focus on the pension system and health care for the elderly in their social security policies. Some observers say such a tendency reflects the parties' focus on middle-aged and elderly people with higher voting rates.
 社会保障政策では、高齢者の年金・医療が優先され、子育て支援策は後回しになりがちだ。政党がこれまで、選挙で投票率の高い中高年齢層を重視してきたことの表れだとの指摘もある。

The nation's economy has worsened. If the parties make wrong policy choices now, job scarcity for university students and other young people could become serious again.
 景気は悪化している。ここで政策を誤ると、大学生らの就職難が再び深刻になりかねない。

Concerned over the higher youth jobless rate, the parties have proposed employment measures such as making part-time workers known as freeters regular employees and providing young people with assistance to develop job skills. Some parties have pushed for steps friendly to young people and families with small children in their campaign pledges.
 各党は若年失業率の高さを踏まえ、フリーターの正規雇用化や若者の就労支援などの雇用対策を掲げている。若者や子育て世帯向けの重点政策を出した党もある。

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Use of Net remains an issue

Voters are being urged to assess what party has proposed realistic measures that are unlikely to pass excessive burdens onto future generations.
 どの党の政策が現実的か、次世代に過大な負担を回さないか、きちんと見極めてもらいたい。

To boost the turnout of young voters, the expanded use of the Internet for elections would be effective.
 若年層の投票率を高めるには、選挙でのインターネット利用を一層拡大することが、有力な手段になるだろう。

However, even updating the website of a party after the start of an official campaign could violate the Public Offices Election Law if the act is deemed part of election campaign activities.
 ところが、公示後の政党のホームページ更新は選挙運動と見なされれば公職選挙法違反となる。

With the number of Net users nearing 100 million and Japanese expatriates casting their ballots from overseas, such a regulation is unreasonable. It is no wonder that many parties have criticized the outdated law during the latest election campaign.
 ネット利用者が1億人に迫り、海外の日本人も投票する中で、こうした規制には合理性が乏しい。今回の衆院選を通じて、各党から公選法は時代遅れだといった指摘が上がったのはもっともだ。

We hope the parties will work on establishing rules on the use of the Internet for elections before next summer's House of Councillors election.
 来夏の参院選に間に合うよう、各党はネット利用のルールづくりに取り組んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2012)
(2012年12月15日01時41分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-17 06:10 | 英字新聞

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