Italy’s electoral law ruled unconstitutional

Italy’s Constitutional Court has invalidated the country’s electoral law. Reuters:

The constitutional court picked out the “winner’s bonus” system where the coalition with the biggest number of votes automatically gets 55 per cent of the seats in the lower house, irrespective of its actual share of the vote.

That can give a political grouping without an overall majority total control of the lower house, but none at all of the upper house, the Senate, which is voted in through a different system.

Actually, the Senate system is the same, but the bonus is calculated region-by-region, rather than nationwide, as it is in the Chamber.

If the ruling is against the bonus provision, then it is not quite accurate to refer to “a system blamed for creating parliamentary deadlock”.

The article says that options include a two-round system or a return to the 1994-2001 mixed-member system.

The ruling is not retroactive, so it does not invalidate the election held earlier this year.

Thanks to Filippo Tronconi for the tip. Filippo tells me that the provisions for a closed list were also mentioned in the court’s ruling. The reasoning behind the court’s decision will not be released for a few weeks.