Italian Electoral Law Set For Rough Ride
A new controversial electoral reform package has finally reached Italy’s parliament (after a decade). It’s no walk in the park. Smaller political parties won’t give in (to this new reform) that easy… This isn’t the first showdown in Italy’s parliament. Political stalemate isn’t uncommon either.
But this new electoral law could change all of that. This reform sets the bar (a high bar, at that) for entrance into parliament. In turn, this favors strong coalitions and parties. Guaranteeing a majority for the winner… along with an extra round to decide the result (if need be).
Smaller parties in Italy argue that they are still at a disadvantage. James Walston, professor of Italian and Comparative Politics at The American University of Rome, shares his thoughts.
James Walston: “It is a controversial issue because the smaller parties might find themselves in difficulty, the choice of candidates is a big issue, at the same time there is agreement. It is very clear there is general agreement just to modify the present law which is unsatisfactory.”
Italy’s government history is very well-documented. Since the second world war, it’s had more than 60. Of those 60, Berlusconi was the only one to last his full five-year term. Some Italians are ready for change and are looking for some stability.
Antonello Colandrea, Rome businessman, says, “It will certainly be more governable regardless of who wins, it will allow one party to get a real majority.”
Vincenzo Campo, Rome resident, says, “It is not a priority for the country, but it is right that after so many years of talking about it there is the necessity to change it to proportional representation.”
Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Renzi’s Democratic party have already agreed on the changes. With a vote due next week… full parliamentary approval is still warranted.
Many wait for the government to pass overdue economic reforms… reforms that will boost employment and growth. And hopefully, they’ll make it easier for the government to do that. But, first things first. The package must be approved. And frankly, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.