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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 4 - 10  > JCP releases proposal for reform of Upper House electoral system
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2018 July 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

JCP releases proposal for reform of Upper House electoral system

July 6, 2018

The Japanese Communist Party on July 5 held a press briefing in the Diet building to publish the party proposal for reform of the House of Councilors electoral system with the aim of narrowing vote-value disparities.

The JCP drafted the proposal based on the basic principles of equal voting rights, correct reflection of public opinion in election outcomes, and the prevention of cuts in Diet seats which is tantamount to preclude the Diet from reflecting public opinions.

The JCP proposes that the fixed number of seats in the Upper House not be changed from the current 242 and that the 242 members be elected from 10 blocks under the open-list proportional representation system. Currently, 146 members are elected from single- and multiple-constituencies and 96 are chosen by proportional representation at the national level. Under the JCP proposal, the party predicts that the vote-value disparity between proportional blocs would be 1.08 while the vote-value gap under the current system is 3.08.

The party also proposes that under the proportional representation system, non-affiliated individuals be allowed to run for a seat.

At the press conference, JCP Vice Chair Yamashita Yoshiki, who also heads the JCP Upper House members’ group, noted that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party suddenly proposed to the Diet a party-drafted bill to reform the Upper House electoral system. The bill is designed to further distort the election system to favor of the LDP.

Yamashita criticized the LDP’s move, saying that although the party made no proposals in interparty consultations about the electoral system reform which began at the House of Councilors in February 2017, it now intends to bulldoze through its bill. The JCP vice chair said, “It is unforgivable for the governing party to use its majority force to change the electoral system, which forms the foundation of parliamentary democracy, for the party’s own sake.”

Past related article:
> July Upper House election is ‘in state of unconstitutionality’: high court [October 15, 2016]
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