The present electoral law, introduced by the former Berlusconi government, only allows voting for the party while this last (well,…the Premier) will nominate members of parliament; a typical example of imperfect democracy. It was argued that a direct election of candidates would encourage vote rigging among unscrupulous contenders; as a result, the present technocrat parliament headed by Mr Monti but composed of MPs nominated by the former Berlusconi government, includes a sizable number of condemned and/or corrupt members.
Reiterated attempts to change the law to grant a direct election of candidates, strongly called for by President Napolitano, have been shelved yesterday as PDL withdrew confidence on Mario Monti, in concurrence with the long delayed and now officially announced return of 77 years old Mr Berlusconi, Popolo della Libertà (PDL), who will run again for elections due in early Spring 2013.
On the other side of the fence “the Left” Partito Democratico (PD) have just held their “primary elections” where Mr Bersani, incumbent Secretary, and Mr Renzi, Florence mayor, fought a quasi-civilized campaign to gain leadership, with 3 million citizens voting for the two candidates who finally assigned a 60% score in favour of Mr Bersani.
Given that next political elections will be held with the present law (named pigsty), Partito Democratico, likely winner as polled at 34%, has promised their electorate to hold a new primary contest to enable voters to choose members of parliament for the next legislation, by that sidestepping the “pigsty electoral law” and force democracy in favour of their voters. Let’s hope PD will maintain their word.
This weekend polls rate the situation as follows: PD 33.9%, Movimento 5 Stelle 17%, PDL 15%, SEL (far Left) 5.8%, Lega Nord 5.7%, Unione Di Centro (Catholics) 5%, Italia Futura (a new centrist party) 2%, Italia Dei Valori 2.1%.
The striking finding is not the aged PDL leader’s political whims probably motivated by his still unresolved trials, and not even the unabated devotion of his lieutenants surely bewitched by Mr Berlusconi’s purse; really disturbing is the fact that 15% of the population, a sizable lump, still supports candidates with little sense of integrity.