Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement wants international observers to monitor next year’s national election campaign to help ward off “fake news”, party leader Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday. His comments came after the ruling Democratic Party (PD) accused 5-Star supporters of using interlinked internet accounts to spread misinformation and smear the center-left government. Di Maio, who was elected 5-Star leader in September, said his party was often misrepresented by the traditional media and said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should oversee the forthcoming election.Full Article: Italy's 5-Star, stung by fake news claims, calls for OSCE election monitors.
Articles about voting issues in the Italian Republic.
Italy: Bracing for Electoral Season of Fake News, Italy Demands Facebook’s Help | The New York Times
With critical national elections only months away, anxiety is building that Italy will be the next target of a destabilizing campaign of fake news and propaganda, prompting the leader of the country’s governing party to call on Facebook and other social media companies to police their platforms. “We ask the social networks, and especially Facebook, to help us have a clean electoral campaign,” Matteo Renzi, the leader of the Democratic Party, said in an interview on Thursday. “The quality of the democracy in Italy today depends on a response to these issues.” In a global atmosphere already thick with suspicion of Russian meddling in elections in the United States, France and Germany, as well as in the British referendum to leave the European Union and the Catalan independence movement in Spain, many analysts consider Italy to be the weak link in an increasingly vulnerable European Union.Full Article: Italy, Bracing for Electoral Season of Fake News, Demands Facebook’s Help - The New York Times.
The Italian government won all five confidence votes it had called in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday on a new electoral law that looks unlikely to produce a clear-cut result at national elections due by next May. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni called the five confidence motions to get the package approved quickly despite furious opposition from the anti-system 5-Star Movement and small leftist groups. All five of the motions, on different articles of the law, garnered comfortable majorities, even though many leftist allies had deserted coalition ranks. The bill has already passed through the lower house. A sixth vote on another article, but which was not the subject of a confidence motion, also passed. A final vote on the law is scheduled for Thursday morning.Full Article: Italian government wins all five confidence votes on electoral law.
Two of Italy’s wealthiest northern regions on Sunday voted overwhelmingly in favour of greater autonomy in the latest example of the powerful centrifugal forces reshaping European politics. Voters in the Veneto region that includes Venice, and Lombardy, home to Milan, backed more powers being devolved from Rome in votes that took place against the backdrop of the crisis created by Catalonia’s push for independence. Veneto President Luca Zaia hailed the results, which were delayed slightly by a hacker attack, as an institutional “big bang”. But he reiterated the region’s aspirations were not comparable to the secessionist agenda that has provoked a constitutional crisis in Spain. Turnout was projected at around 58% in Veneto, where support for autonomy is stronger, and just over 40% in Lombardy. The presidents of each regions said more than 95% of voters who had cast ballots had, as expected, voted for greater autonomy.Full Article: Northern Italy regions overwhelmingly vote for greater autonomy | World news | The Guardian.
The lower chamber of Italy’s Parliament on Wednesday approved the first pieces of a new election law that aims to make the country more governable by encouraging coalition-building, especially among smaller parties. Major parties on the left and right are backing the law, which calls for a combination of seats assigned by a majority system based on colleges and proportional voting. But it is bitterly opposed by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Italy’s largest opposition party in Parliament. It has denounced the proposed law as undemocratic.Full Article: Italy's 5-Stars denounce new election bill as undemocratic | McClatchy Washington Bureau.
The Italian government on Wednesday won two confidence votes on a fiercely contested electoral law that is likely to penalize the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement in next year’s national election. The proposed voting system is backed by three of the country’s four largest parties, with the centre-left government looking to rush it onto the statute books ahead of elections, which are due by May 2018. Five-Star supporters protested in front of parliament as the Chamber of Deputies approved two confidence motions by a wide margin. A third such vote is scheduled for Thursday ahead of a final ballot in the lower house on the disputed bill. Unlike the current rules, the new system would allow the formation of multi-party coalitions before the ballot, a factor likely to hurt 5-Star, which is topping most opinion polls and refuses to join alliances.Full Article: Italy's government wins confidence votes on contested electoral law.
The Italian government called on Tuesday for confidence votes in the lower house of parliament to try to force through an electoral law that is likely to penalize the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. The new voting law, which would be used in a national election due by next May, is backed by the ruling Democratic Party (PD), former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) and the anti-migrant Northern League. Unlike the current rules, the new system, known as the Rosatellum, would allow the formation of broad coalitions before the ballot, a factor likely to hurt the maverick 5-Star, which refuses to join alliances. The party, which tops many opinion polls, says the Rosatellum could cost it up to 50 seats in parliament. It has called for protests on Wednesday, when the lower house is due to hold two confidence motions. A third vote is set for Thursday.Full Article: Italy calls confidence vote on contested electoral law.
Hacking attacks on the web platform used by Italy’s 5-Star Movement to select representatives and shape policy threaten to dent confidence in its methods before a parliamentary election it is well placed to win. Internet-based direct democracy, in which members vote online, is a hallmark of the anti-establishment group that first entered parliament in 2013 and leads many opinion polls before the election, due to be held by May. Gianroberto Casaleggio, the late internet guru who co-founded 5-Star in 2009, believed the web would eventually supplant representative democracy, the system under which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. But in August anonymous hackers broke into 5-Star’s web platform, called “Rousseau” after the 18th century Swiss-born philosopher, and obtained secret data on its members and donors.Full Article: Hacking attacks: a pre-election setback for Italy's 5-Star Movement.
Italy’s politics is currently paralysed. Since the resignation of PM Matteo Renzi last December, the majority of the population and most political parties want an election, even though one is not scheduled to occur until next year. The country is now on its fourth consecutive unelected PM, Paolo Gentiloni. As he leads the government Renzi remains behind the scenes, calling the shots for his party and itching to get back into power. Yet an early election cannot occur immediately, nor can electoral reform happen overnight. It is a debate Italians and Canadians are quite familiar with. Italy has seen such proceedings, on and off, for more than two decades. The numerous reforms that have emerged from this debate demonstrate perfectly the various tradeoffs that electoral reform entails, and illustrate the idea that no electoral system is perfect.Full Article: Italy's Surprisingly Long and Tortured History with Electoral Reform · MIR.
Italian voters have rejected the populist 5-Star Movement in mayoral elections, favoring established center-left and center-right tickets, but its leader vowed Monday to press on until national power is achieved. With a majority of ballots counted from elections a day earlier in some 1,000 small cities and towns, the 5-Star Movement had imploded in all big races, including in Genoa, home of its leader and founder, comic Beppe Grillo. Voters thrashed the anti-euro movement, which bills itself as anti-establishment since supporters’ online selections generally determine their slate of candidates.Full Article: Populists’ surge in Italy stops in voting for Italy’s mayors - The Washington Post.
Italy will not hold elections until the natural end of the legislature in spring next year, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who leads the ruling Democratic Party (PD), said on Saturday. Renzi said he saw little hope of reforming the electoral system after a deal between the four largest parties broke down this week, meaning Italy will probably vote with a system considered inefficient and unlikely to produce a majority. In an interview with daily Corriere della Sera, Renzi denied that he wanted to go to the polls this autumn, as was widely believed, and when asked when he expected the election he replied: “in 2018, at the end of the legislature.”Full Article: Italy's Renzi sees elections at natural end of legislature in 2018 | Reuters.
A deal between Italy’s main political parties on electoral reform unraveled on Thursday, leading to calls for a snap election that could usher in more instability in the euro zone’s third largest economy. Two major opposition parties, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing Northern League called for an immediate vote, and the ruling Democratic Party (PD) said it now seemed hard for the government to carry on. An accord in favor of a proportional representation voting system based on the German model collapsed after the PD lost a parliamentary vote on a minor, proposed amendment.Full Article: Pressure builds for early Italy vote after electoral reform deal unravels | Reuters.
The path is beginning to clear for Italians to head back to the polls as the country’s main political parties near a deal on a new electoral law. Italy’s biggest parties are considering a proportional system similar to the German model with a 5 percent cut-off for smaller parties, and lawmakers are due to discuss a first draft of the new law early next month. An agreement would remove any hindrance to snap elections, eliminating the need to wait for scheduled elections in early 2018. “Momentum is building among political leaders and is pushing towards early elections but it will be an uphill battle against the President and parts of the rank-and-file in the parliament,” Giovanni Orsina, a professor of government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University said in a phone interview.Full Article: Italy Moves Toward Early Elections as Voting Rules Deal Nears - Bloomberg.
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Tuesday that Italy’s largest parties agree on the need for a proportional representation electoral system and that a law to adapt it should be enacted in the first week of July. Renzi’s confirmation of the position of the ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD), of which he is head, raised the chances of an early national election before one is due to be held in May 2018, political commentators said. Some commentators said an approval of a new electoral law in early July would raise the chances of an unprecedented autumn parliamentary vote, perhaps as early as September. Italy has never had a parliamentary election later than June.Full Article: Italy's Renzi Says Parties Agree on Proportional Electoral Law.
Matteo Renzi’s chances of recapturing the Italian prime minister’s office this year may be slipping away. His push for early elections has triggered so much dissent within his own party that he may have to wait until next year for a comeback attempt. The ex-premier’s Democratic Party, the biggest force in parliament, holds a meeting of its leaders in Rome on Monday. They’ll decide whether to seek national elections this year, or wait until a vote scheduled for early 2018. Should Renzi prevail on Monday, there is the prospect of yet another European election alongside Germany, France and the Netherlands this year. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which wants a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro area, is keen to exploit its standing in opinion polls that show it neck and neck with the Democratic Party.Full Article: Italy Intrigue May Halt Renzi’s Comeback Bid - Bloomberg.
Italy’s constitutional court on Wednesday threw out aspects of an electoral law approved by former prime minister Matteo Renzi but presented a reworked version that can be used immediately, raising the chance of early elections this year. Italy’s largest parties – Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement – are both calling for a vote by the summer, about a year ahead of schedule. The system laid out by the court, which only applies to the lower house Chamber of Deputies, is based on proportional representation and hands a clear parliamentary majority to any party winning 40 percent of the vote.Full Article: Italian court ruling paves way for possible 2017 election | Reuters.
After prime minister Matteo Renzi’s crushing defeat in last weekend’s constitutional referendum, Italy has been thrown into political crisis. President Sergio Mattarella may appoint a caretaker government in the next few days. But a general election seems inevitable, as the only way to resolve the impasse in the longer term. The populist, anti-euro Five Star Movement led by the comedian Beppe Grillo is running neck and neck in the opinion polls with Mr Renzi’s Democratic party. Under an electoral law known as Italicum that came into force in July and under which the next general election is set to be held, Five Star could form a majority single-party government if it wins a certain share of votes. That prospect frightens Italy’s political establishment. Five Star aims to bring Italy out of the euro. Whatever one’s views on the single currency, such a development would be destabilising for Italy and the eurozone. Italy has chronically weak banks and an underperforming economy and a period of upheaval as it changed currency would make matters worse.Full Article: A post-Renzi election complicated by a new Italian election law.
Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella wants parliament to draft a new electoral law before any ballot is held, a source close to the president said on Tuesday, a move likely to delay any vote after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigns. Renzi said he would step down after losing a referendum on constitutional reform on Sunday, but Mattarella asked him to stay on until parliament passes the 2017 budget, a vote scheduled for Wednesday. The next parliamentary election is not scheduled until 2018 but on Tuesday there was growing consensus among party leaders for it to be held a year earlier. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said the vote should be held in February. Senior members of Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) will meet on Wednesday to discuss the referendum defeat and the party’s future strategy.Full Article: Italian president pushes for new voting law before election | World | Reuters.
Matteo Renzi was roundly defeated in a referendum to change Italy’s constitution, marking a major victory for anti-establishment and rightwing parties and plunging the eurozone’s third largest economy into political chaos. The prime minister conceded defeat in an emotional speech at his residence, Palazzo Chigi, and said he would submit his resignation to Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, on Monday afternoon. “My experience in government ends here … I did all I could to bring this to victory,” Renzi said. “If you fight for an idea, you cannot lose.” It was a not an unexpected defeat but it was nevertheless a humiliating one, with 59.1% of Italians voting against the proposed reforms, which would have made sweeping changes to Italy’s constitution and parliamentary system. Pointing to the high voter turnout – 65% of eligible voters cast ballots in the referendum – Renzi said the vote represented a “feast of democracy”.Full Article: Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after referendum defeat | World news | The Guardian.
When Italians vote on a much-awaited popular referendum on Sunday, they will also be deciding the fate of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government—and expressing the country’s appetite for change. The ballot is ostensibly over Mr. Renzi’s proposal to overhaul Italy’s legislature. But with his popularity waning and the economy stalled, it has become a make-or-break vote on the premier himself and his vision for a nimbler and faster-growing Italy. A loss would likely drive Mr. Renzi from office and usher in a period of instability amid growing support for a large populist party. Italy’s referendum kicks off a momentous electoral year in Europe, where populist parties are expected to do well. On the same day as the Italian vote, Austrians go to the polls to elect a new president, in a race that could install the country’s first right-wing populist head of state since World War II. Support for anti-establishment parties is surging in France and Germany, too, both of which have elections next year.Full Article: Italian Referendum to Determine Matteo Renzi’s Fate - WSJ.