衆院選挙制度 「格差」と定数削減は別問題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 16, 2013
Don't lump 'vote value disparity' issue with planned cuts in lawmakers
衆院選挙制度 「格差」と定数削減は別問題だ(4月14日付・読売社説)

Both the ruling and opposition camps must place top priority on resolving what the judiciary has described as a "state of unconstitutionality" in the House of Representatives electoral system, and do everything possible to enact a bill that will alleviate the problem.
 与野党は、「違憲」状態の解消を最優先し、法案の速やかな成立を図るべきである。

The government has presented to the lower house a bill that would change the demarcation of the chamber's single-seat constituencies by revising the Public Offices Election Law, with the aim of trimming the number of first-past-the-post districts by five to 295 from the current 300.
 政府が、衆院小選挙区定数の「0増5減」を実現する区割り法案(公職選挙法改正案)を衆院に提出した。

The bill would revamp 42 single-seat districts of 17 prefectures, including Tokyo, based on recommendations submitted in March to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by an expert panel tasked with rezoning lower house constituencies.
 法案は、衆院選挙区画定審議会が3月に安倍首相に勧告した区割り改定案に基づき、17都県42選挙区を見直すものだ。

If the bill becomes law, disparities in the weight of each vote on the basis of the 2010 national census will fall below 2:1 between the most and least populated districts, the ratio the Supreme Court has ruled as "being within the bounds of reasonableness."
2010年国勢調査に基づく「1票の格差」は、最高裁が「合理的」と判断する2倍未満に縮小される。

No consensus on reform

In 17 administrative lawsuits filed over vote value disparity in the previous lower house election in December, high courts have handed down rulings of "unconstitutionality" in 15 of them. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue as early as this autumn.
 先の衆院選での「1票の格差」を巡る行政訴訟17件のうち、各高裁は15件の「違憲」判断を示した。一連の訴訟について、最高裁は今秋にも判決を出すとみられる。

Given that this will have a bearing on its makeup, it is only natural that the the Diet should rectify state of unconstitutionality.
 国会の姿勢としても、違憲状態の是正を図るのが筋だろう。

However, most opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan, are poised to oppose the bill.
 ところが、民主党など大半の野党は、法案に反対する構えだ。

They say the bill would not abolish the system under which each of the 47 prefectures is automatically allocated one single-seat constituency, and the remainder of seats is apportioned among them, according to their populations. A 2011 Supreme Court ruling said this system should be scrapped because it was a major cause of vote value disparities.
 最高裁は、各都道府県にまず1議席を割り振る「1人別枠方式」が格差の主因だとし、廃止を求めたが、今回の法案には別枠方式が残っているからだという。

DPJ Secretary General Goshi Hosono insists the government-submitted bill for eliminating five single-seat districts "doesn't go far enough to eliminate the state of unconstitutionality." He has called for consultations between the ruling and opposition blocs on drastically reforming the lower house electoral system, including slashing the large number of seats in the chamber.
 民主党の細野幹事長は、「0増5減では、違憲状態の解消には不十分だ」と述べ、大幅な定数削減を含む抜本改革に向けた与野党協議を求めている。

It should be remembered, however, the DPJ agreed in November to a bill that would establish a framework for pruning five single-seat constituencies from the chamber. The party's latest tactic smacks of opportunism.
 だが、民主党は昨年11月、0増5減の大枠を決めた選挙制度改革法には賛成したはずだ。ご都合主義ではないか。

The parties remain far apart in their thinking on how the electoral system should be reformed. Given the slim chances of forming a consensus on this issue, it is the minimum responsibility of the legislature to pass into law as quickly as possible the bill to erase five seats.
 抜本改革に関する各党の主張の隔たりは大きい。合意形成が困難である以上、0増5減の区割り法案を早期に成立させることが立法府の最低限の責務だ。

Fundamentally, the arguments by many parties for advocating reforms by linking them with the issue of reducing lower house seats are not reasonable.
 そもそも、多くの政党が定数削減と絡めた改革案を唱えていること自体がおかしい。

In an apparent bid to justify its position, the DPJ insists Diet members should be willing to put themselves on the line to obtain public support for higher burdens the people will face due to looming increases in the consumption tax rate. The DPJ assertion, however, is completely unrelated to the issue of rectifying vote value gaps.
民主党は消費増税で国民に負担を求めるため、国会議員の身を切る必要があると言うが、「1票の格差」是正とは次元の異なる問題である。

Revote may be inevitable

We have doubts about the debates among the parties that are seemingly vying over the number of seats to be cut. This seems little more than a populist tactic to garner support as the House of Councillors election draws near.
 定数の削減数を競うような議論は疑問だ。参院選を前に国民受けを狙ったポピュリズム(大衆迎合主義)そのものではないか。

Japan has relatively few legislators per head of population compared with other developed nations. The legislature must ensure it functions to properly oversee the actions of the administration by representing the opinions of a wide spectrum of the public.
 日本の国会議員の定数は、他の先進国と比較すると、人口比ではかなり少ない。様々な民意を幅広くすくい上げ、適切な行政監視機能を確保する必要もある。

The ruling parties have floated an idea to make the bill, if it is voted down or is not put to a vote in the upper house due to a failure to agree on terms with the opposition, passed into law through a revote in the lower house in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution.
 与党内では、野党との合意がまとまらずに参院で法案が否決、あるいは採決されない場合、憲法59条に基づいて衆院で再可決し、成立させる案が浮上している。

Time is running out, as the current Diet session will be adjourned in June. The Diet must not let the "unconstitutionality" issue go unaddressed any longer. Under the circumstances, the government may have no option but to take a revote to legislate the bill as an emergency step.
 6月の会期末まで、時間は限られている。これ以上、「違憲」は放置できない。緊急措置としての再可決もやむを得ないだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 14, 2013)
(2013年4月14日01時37分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-04-17 08:15 | 英字新聞

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