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Electoral System in Italy: There’s the Need of a party-based Bipolarism

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IN Il Sole 24 Ore, 12 December 2013, Guido Tabellini, a columnist of this newspaper, published an article in which he argues the need in Italy to have an electoral system that favors governance as well as bipolarism. In that sense, proposes an electoral law that awards the party rather than the coalition.
 
According to Tabellini, "a majority premiumin a proportional-based system (as in the proposal of Robert D’Alimonte, sustained by Luciano Violante) would inevitably lead to the formation of large and quarrelsome coalition governments, in which the minor and extremist parties will influencethe decisions of the majority... a proportional-based system induces the proliferation of parties, and forces the biggest parties to present coalition as wide as possible in order to win the prize of majority. In conclusion, we would have a two-party (coalition) system and governments chosen by the voters, but they will be blocked by the power of minor parties… "
 
Moreover, Tebellini argues that, "The majority premium or a political force that exceeds a minimum threshold or who won the runoff can also be added to a majoritarian system, such as the single-member constituency in a one-round process ( the so-called Mattarellum ) or in a two-round process like the French one. In this case, the gain of governability (compared to the past) would be abyssal. The single-member constituency, in a single or a double turn, favors larger parties and reduces the number of parties represented in Parliament. If the majority premium was given to the parties (and not to coalitions), we would have governments supported by a single majority party, and no fragile coalition governments. The difference between a single and a double turn is also relevant to governance. The double turn reduces the bargaining power of smaller and extremistparties, and makes it less likely withdrawal agreements between parties on neighboring colleges. In fact, the largest party would still have access to the second round. And in the second round, however, it could take the vote of who in the first round had voted for the extremist party (or less ) close to him... An objection to a double majority system is that it would sacrifice representation in favor of governability. But there is no perfect electoral system; the best system is the most suited to the priorities of the country."
 
In our opinion,
 
the double electoral turn is a guaranty to Democracy;  the majority premium in the first electoral round can also remain, but an high minimum threshold is necessary; finally a system that awards parties and not coalition is a greater guaranty to Democracy. Indeed, in the second round of elections, the voters of the partiesexcluded during the first round will no longer be forced to vote for the coalition their party belong to, but the party who (in second choice) can best represent their will.
 



 
From Il Sole 24 ore

12 December 2013