We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti Andres Kudacki/AP/Press Association Images

Italy's electoral law increases market fears

The current system allows party leaders to pick and choose the list of candidates the electorate can vote for and guarantees a strong majority in parliament for the winning party.

UNCERTAINTY OVER ITALY’S economy has deepened as political instability in the country fuels market fears that it will follow Greece in a default on its government bonds and require a bailout.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will step down for a general election next spring and it is unclear what electoral system will be used as time runs out for politicians to replace the current law, Reuters reports.

Under the current electoral law, sometimes referred to as “pigsty law”, the electorate cannot vote directly for candidates but rather party leaders choose a fixed list under a proportional system for voters to choose from.

This system allows leaders to favour friends or candidates who are more compliant with their views and the law also give the winning party a large premium which guarantees a strong majority in parliament.

The law has been strongly criticised in the past, even by the man who introduced the law, the separatists Northern League’s Roberto Calderoli who soon after its introduction called it “crap”.

Earlier this year Italy’s highest court refused an attempt to repeal the law despite a petition signed by 1.2 million people.

Last month Italian President Giorgio Napolitano told political parties in the country to make faster progress to reform the electoral law to reinforce Italy international credibility.

Most members of parliament want to see a change in the law but there is disagreement between parties on what system should replace it.

Business Insider reported that Citi economist Jürgen Michels said this political instability in Italy could impact on the outcome of the general election and so intensify market fears in the run up to the election.

Read: Head of Bundesbank says buying ECB bonds is “like a drug”>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.