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【2015.10.31】Right answer, spoken out of turn 不合时宜的正确答案

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发表于 2015-11-6 12:36:54 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 黑蔷薇 于 2015-11-6 14:17 编辑

原文链接 :http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21677199-long-it-remains-unelected-second-chamber-cannot-be-serious-check-government-right

Britain’s House of Lords
英国的上议院
Right answer, spoken out of turn
不合时宜的正确答案

As long as it remains unelected, the second chamber cannot be a serious check on government
非由选举产生的上议院没有权利监督政府

Oct 31st 2015 | From the print edition



RETURNED to power with a surprise majority in May and now facing a weak Labour opposition, Britain’s Conservative government has found everything almost too easy. Sure enough, on October 26th came the banana skin: a flailing defeat in the House of Lords, the drowsy but occasionally deadly upper chamber, which voted to delay a big welfare cut.

对于保守党来说,一切似乎太过顺利:五月以出乎意料的多数席位当选执政党,且对手工党作为在野党气息奄奄,果不其然,8月26号保守党踩到了第一块香蕉皮—其福利支出削减预算被昏昏欲睡但会偶尔给予致命一击的上议院否决。

The slip-up was richly deserved. The scotched plan, to take £4.4 billion ($6.7 billion) in tax credits, mostly from the lowest-paid, would have inflicted hardship on the country’s poorest children and reduced incentives for their parents to work. Britain is better off with the measures on ice. Yet the defeat by the Lords presents a bigger problem. Unelected and unaccountable, the peers tread on dangerous ground when they slap down the plans of an elected government. If the House of Lords is to serve as a check on power—which, as this week showed, is needed—it must undergo a few reforms of its own.

这一跤摔得罪有应得,此次被否决的预案—将给最低收入人群的税收抵免削减四百四十万英镑,将会使英国最穷的小孩群体生活变得更加艰苦,并且挫伤他们父母的工作积极性,英国最好将这样的计划冰封。然而政府被上议院击败这件事情揭示了更大的问题:不经选举产生、也不承担责任的上议院贵族推翻了经由人民选举产生政府的预案,这种行为本身就很危险,如果如本周所示,上议院作为权力监督机构而存在,那么它必须要自身改革了。

Peer pressure 贵族的压力

The tax-credit plans deserved a trashing. The people they affected would not, as the government claimed, be fully reimbursed by other tweaks to tax policy and a higher minimum wage (see article). Far from nudging more people into employment, the cuts would reduce the incentive to work for most of them, raising the effective marginal rate of tax to as much as 80%. The higher minimum wage will add to the mess by reducing the incentive for employers to create jobs.

税收抵免(削减)计划毫无价值,(求助)。这项削减与提高就业率的初衷背道而驰,只会挫伤大部分人民的工作积极性,并将实际边际税率提高80%之多,另外提高最低工资也是火上浇油:雇主更不愿意增加雇员来增加就业岗位了。

Following the defeat in the Lords the chancellor, George Osborne, has promised to soften the reform’s impact, perhaps by raising the threshold for national-insurance contributions. That wouldn’t work: tax credits are aimed at poor families, whereas higher thresholds would benefit a broader, richer group. The only way to cancel the effects of this flawed policy is to junk it—or take less money out of the system.

被上议院否决后,George Osborne承诺将会以更加温和的方式进行改革,比如提高国民保险费的阀值。(然而)这样并不起作用:税收补贴针对的是贫困家庭,而提高国民保险费阀值将会使基数更大、更加富裕的人群受惠。唯一能消除其瑕疵政策所带来的负面影响的办法是彻底抛弃它,或少削减一些国民预算。

So the Lords are right. But they are also wrong, having overstepped their constitutional limit, in so far as anyone can tell where it lies. A 300-year-old convention—formalised, sort of, in a century-old law—holds that the Lords cannot scupper “money bills” (see article). The tax-credit measure is a statutory instrument, not a bill, so some argue it is open to scrutiny (the Tories only have themselves to blame for this doubt: they chose a statutory instrument to curb debate in the Commons). But the billions in play make it a money bill in all but name.  

总之上议院的决定是正确的,然而只要任何人都能辨别底线在哪里,其僭越宪法的行为就是错误的,一项300年以来有些正式、被写入法律100年的传统规定上议院不可干预财政法案,但税收减免是调控工具而不是法案,所以说它可以被上议院审查也没错(这个模糊的问题要怪只能怪托利党自己,是他们在下议院采用调控工具来控制辩论的)。

Every time the unelected Lords flex their muscles Britain is less democratic. Labour and the Liberal Democrats handily outnumber the Tories there, though Labour was pummelled in the May election, and the Liberal Democrats were almost wiped out. Peers almost never retire—even after earning criminal convictions—meaning the chamber takes a lifetime to overhaul. Unlike ministers of other religions, 26 Church of England bishops get a place, though only one in six Britons is Anglican. The bishops anointed their first woman only this year and still exclude “practising” homosexuals. Bad as the tax-credit plan is, it is hard to cheer its defeat by a chamber of losers, crooks and self-appointed holy men.

每次上议院大展身手的时候英国的民主化就后退了一步,尽管在五月的选举中工党受到了重创,自由民主党也差点被扫地出门,然而比起托利党,它们还是具有压倒性的优势。贵族们永不退休,即使是刑事定罪也不能使他们下台,这意味着上议院要花好几十年才会重新洗牌。另外与其他的教派牧师不同,26名英国教主教在上议院有一席之地,虽然新教徒只占英国人口比例的六分之一。主教们今年才(求助),并且仍然反对同性恋性行为。这次失败像(削减)预算法案一样糟糕,被一群失败者、作恶者和自我加冕的人打败让政府颜面无存。

With Labour so weak in the Commons, an alternative check on the government is more valuable than ever. The Lords have defeated the government 19 times since May, often with good reason. But, to act as a brake, they need clarity and a mandate. That means a written constitution to codify their powers, and election of its members. The Commons resists Lords reform for fear of a rival chamber with the legitimacy to challenge it—and then proceeds to scream illegitimacy whenever the Lords blocks legislation. If the tax-credits debacle provokes a rethink, it will be long overdue.

因为工党在下议院的影响力变得微不足道,新的政府监督机制显得尤为重要。从今年五月以来,上议院今年已经19次用充分的理由打败了下议院,然而作为政府行权的阻力,他们应该体制清晰且有正式授命,这意味着要将他们的权力范围和选举机制编纂进宪法。(然而)下议院却抵制对上议院进行改革,因为他们害怕与这样一个拥有立法权的对手为敌,于是只好每次在上议院阻碍他们立法时尖叫着这种干预并不合法。如果(削减)税收抵免法案的惨败能够引起他们的三思,改革也会姗姗来迟。

From the print edition: Leaders

背景补充:

国民保险费:这是一个由雇主和雇员共同供款的税收,使民众能享有失业救济、免费医疗等社会保障,相当于一项包括国民退休金在内的社会保险税收。目前,在英国年收入超过5720英镑的雇员,必须按收入的11%缴交国民保险税,企业雇主也同时按每名雇员收入的12%向政府缴交该项税。

上议院(House of Lords),直译贵族院,是英国国会的上院(upper house)。英国国会同时也由英国君主与下议院(British House of Commons,直译庶民院)组成。上议院有大约700多名非选举产生之议员,当中包括英国国教会的26名大主教或主教(即“灵职议员”,英文为Lords Spiritual)以及600多名贵族(即“俗职议员”,英文为Lords Temporal)。灵职担任者于其保有神职身份时续任,而俗职为终身职。

红色为不确定部分,请大神们不吝赐教~~万分欢迎大家的任何评论~~感谢感谢~


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发表于 2015-11-6 15:50:14 | 显示全部楼层
Unlike ministers of other religions, 26 Church of England bishops get a place, though only one in six Britons is Anglican.
另外与其他的教派牧师不同,26名英国教主教在上议院有一席之地,虽然新教徒只占英国人口比例的六分之一。
Anglican,安立甘宗或圣公宗,也就是英国国教会,即使广义上来说也和大多数可以称为Protestant的新教支派有很大差别。

点评

谢谢哦~~Church of England只指括英国新教是吗?  详情 回复 发表于 2015-11-8 06:55
发表于 2015-11-7 10:32:33 | 显示全部楼层
1。they chose a statutory instrument to curb debate in the Commons
       他们选择了一种调控工具以抑制议会中的辩论。

2。 The bishops anointed their first woman only this year  。
         anoint: To anoint someone means to put oil or water on a part of their body, usually for religious reasons. 意即任命或者授予。


3。 RETURNED to power with a surprise majority  
       当选执政党是不对的。这次选举前,保守党原来也是执政党,不过是和自由民主党联合执政。在今年5月份的选举中,保守党一党独大,获得了独立执政所需要的绝对多数。

4。 check  我更喜欢翻译成:制衡。因为监督存在一个问题:谁来监督行使监督权力的人或者机构?

5。 raising the threshold for national-insurance contributions  提高国民保险缴费的门槛。经济学人的文章是深入浅出,能用大白话说明白的,就应该用大白话。

点评

学习了,谢谢~ checkf翻译成制衡太有才了! 不过有两句我还是有点没看懂,第一句“他们选择了一种调控工具来抑制议会中的辩论”是什么意思呢?调控工具怎么用来抑制辩论呢? 第二句“主教今年才任命了第一名女性  详情 回复 发表于 2015-11-8 07:05
 楼主| 发表于 2015-11-8 06:55:57 | 显示全部楼层
Ivlianvs 发表于 2015-11-6 15:50
Unlike ministers of other religions, 26 Church of England bishops get a place, though only one in si ...

谢谢哦~~Church of England只指括英国新教是吗?
 楼主| 发表于 2015-11-8 07:05:50 | 显示全部楼层
fsz 发表于 2015-11-7 10:32
1。they chose a statutory instrument to curb debate in the Commons
       他们选择了一种调控工具以 ...

学习了,谢谢~  checkf翻译成制衡太有才了!

不过有两句我还是有点没看懂,第一句“他们选择了一种调控工具来抑制议会中的辩论”是什么意思呢?调控工具怎么用来抑制辩论呢?

第二句“主教今年才任命了第一名女性”跟后文有什么关系呢?是想说他们之前太保守吗?这跟他们对经济预算作出的决策有什么关系呢?

不好意思政治懂得太少,,请版主赐教
发表于 2015-11-9 09:59:10 | 显示全部楼层
黑蔷薇 发表于 2015-11-8 06:55
谢谢哦~~Church of England只指括英国新教是吗?

这个wiki一下就好了。https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England
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