October 11, 2017
A parliamentary coup in Italy
Italian politics has always been full of intrigues and surprises, and the passage of the electoral law is following that same pattern. Ansa reports that the Italian government has authorised a confidence vote attached to the bill, which has the advantage - for the government - that the vote is not secret. There will be a total of three votes in the house, starting today, before the bill moves on to the Senate next week.
Politically this is a stitch-up between the PD, Forza Italia, and the Lega. Opposed are the Five Star Movement and the MdP, the new left-wing breakaway party from Matteo Renzi's PD. The motion was brought by PD house whip Ettore Rosato, after whom the current bill is named: Rosatellum. It has elements of the German electoral system, with two/thirds of the MPs elected on proportional representation, and one-third in a first-past the post contest. The Five Star Movement fears that the way the bill is designed will make it impossible for it to form a government, should they emerge as the largest party, which some of the polls suggest they might. Five Star and MdP politicians expressed their dismay yesterday, accusing the government to misuse the confidence vote procedure to manipulate electoral outcomes. Pier Luigi Bersani called for a demonstration in support of democracy, which he sees threatened as a result of this procedure.