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Parties divided over which year’s census results to use for electoral system reform

  • 2016-03-01 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: March 1, 2016 – p. 4)

 

 Opinion is divided among political parties over which year’s national census results of should be used to review the distribution of single-seat constituencies in the House of Representatives to rectify vote-value disparities. The Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party call for using the 2010 census figures as a base, while the LDP wants to use the 2020 census and the Komeito wants to use the 2015 census.

 

 An advisory panel to the Lower House speaker on the electoral system reform in the chamber proposed adopting the Adams’ method to review seat allocations based on a national census conducted every ten years, but it did not specify which year’s census results should be used as a base.

 

 This has become a source of division among parties other than the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party. The parties agree with the panel’s proposal calling for cutting six seats in single-seat constituencies and introducing the Adams’ method, but they are divided over which year’s national census should be used as a base.

 

 DPJ leader Katsuya Okada called for the immediate introduction of the Adams’ method at a Lower House Budget Committee session on Feb. 29. “The intention of the panel is to redistribute Lower House seats based on the 2010 census,” he said.

 

 But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opposed the DPJ’s proposal. Referring to the results of the 2015 census – a simplified version – released last week, he noted: “If the Adams’ method is introduced using the 2015 or 2010 censuses, there will be a difference in the affected prefectures.” He expressed a stance of introducing the Adams’ method using a census to be conducted in 2020 or later.

 

 The Komeito calls for introducing the Adams’ method and cutting Lower House seats at the same time based on the 2015 census by claiming that new data is preferable when it comes to the population. (Abridged)

 

Parties’ positions on the introduction of the Adams’ method

DPJ, JIP

Komeito

LDP

 

Year of census to be used as a base

 

2010 census

2015 census

2020 census

 

Proposed seat allocations based on the above year of census

 

 

Plus 7, minus 13

Plus 9, minus 15

Plus 9, minus 15

 

Advantages

 

· Conforms with the panel’s proposal that calls for introducing the Adams’ method based on a large-scale national census

 

· Complies with the Supreme Court’s ruling to review seat allocation method

· Can reflect the latest demographics

 

· Complies with the Supreme Court’s ruling to review seat allocation method

· Conforms with the panel’s proposal that calls for introducing the Adams’ method based on a large-scale national census

 

· Can ease the impact of seat allocations by introducing two-tier changes in seat allocations; cut six single-seat constituencies first and implement “plus 9, minus 15”

 

Disadvantages

 

· Cannot reflect the latest demographics

 

· May be able to reinstate seat allocations in some of affected prefectures after 2020

· Using simplified version of census does not go along with the panel’s proposal

 

· May be able to reinstate seat allocations in some of affected prefectures after 2020

· Postponement of the introduction of the Adams’ method may not comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling

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