Thursday, January 24, 2008

PR Continues to Fail Italy

Another Italian parliament has bitten the dust under the weight of their broken electoral system.

4 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

Your note should actually read that THIS specific form of PR has failed Italy. There are plenty of countries where it works fine in formats that don't lead to chaos, and you well know that.

berlynn said...

I don't get how this makes PR a failure. This is what democracy is about, the give and take. It's not the democratic system that's failing; it's the politicians who are failing to work within it that is the failure.

Besides, it's been almost 2 years since Prodi took power. That is a pretty decent length of time for a minority. And that is especially so when the world is in such a great state of change right now.

aginsberg said...

Scott, the Italian system as you well know is Proportional Representation. There is no other word for it. It is a pure PR system. This is the 60th Italian government in 63 years. A terrible record.

Berlynn, I didn't say PR is a failure. I said it was failing Italy.

Mushroom said...

Uh oh Scott, you should check the facts carefully. You too, Aginsberg.

Italy went with a closed list proportional representation system until 1995. From 1995, it changed to an additional member mixed proportional representation (AMS-MMP). So you have contradicted yourself being an advocate of MMP.

However, Italy's government has been relatively stable since 1995 as two coalitions have formed (Prodi's Olive Tree and Berlusconi's Forza Italia). That defections from the Olive Tree coalition due to the war in Afghanistan does not represent political failure. It marks the success of MMP.

If Jack Layton and Lizzie May wants to quit Dion's coalition government today by demanding an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, it is their prerogative. Dion can go to Parliament and ask for the other parties help to sustain the mission or call an election and let the voters decide. This suggests the strength of democracy, not a failure.

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