Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Drive to change Italy's pigsty election law fast-tracked


Rome, August 1 - The drive to change Italy's much
criticised 'pigsty' election law has been fast-tracked and a new
one should be voted on in the Lower House in October.
On Wednesday a proposal for the reform to be declare urgent
was approved in the House.
Some have interpreted the move as a sign the parties want
to rush through a new system as they see early elections a
possibility given the weakness of Premier Enrico Letta's
left-right government.
The executive, which was sworn in in April to end two
months of deadlock after February's inconclusive general
election, is strained by differences between Letta's centre-left
Democratic Party (PD) and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's
centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.
The government may collapse if Italy's supreme court on
Thursday upholds a tax-fraud conviction against Berlusconi.
The current election law has been widely derided since it
was framed by the centre right ahead of the 2006 elections and
not just because it failed to produce a clear winner in
It has also been blasted because it awards an unfairly
large bonus to the top party in the House and does not allow
voters to pick their MPs.
The fact voters cannot express preferences about which of
the candidates on any given party list they want to go to
parliament means party bosses effectively decide who becomes a
lawmaker by setting the order in which candidates feature on the
Some commentators have said this means politicians are more
interested in pleasing their party superiors than they are in
helping their constituents.
The party whips have said a bill for a new election law
will spend no longer than a month in parliamentary commissions
after it is presented.
This should make it possible for it to be debated on the
floor of the House in September and go to a vote in October,
although the parties still have to overcome differences over
what the new system should be like.
"The urgent-procedure decision taken in the House for the
election law is excellent," Letta said via his Twitter account,
"Now everyone must assume their responsibilities. I am

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