Wednesday 17 September 2008

Tracking: European parliament elections 2009 (XIII)

For the most recent articles in this series, see the sidebar category "Road to the European Parliament Elections 2009"!

In Italy, official discussions about the electoral law and its provisions for the upcoming European Parliament elections have started yesterday.

The issues at stake are the threshold, and the ability of voters to express preferences (source linked above):
[T]he ruling coalition top exponents ... decided for an electoral system firmly based on a minimum five per cent of the votes as a threshold and a blocked candidates list, which means no possibility of expressing preferences in the ballot: a format less desirable for the opposition than the previous majority proposal originally presented by Minister Roberto Calderoli.

That system, contemplating a four per cent limit and the expression of one preference by the elector, was closer to the format considered as ideal by the opposition, which would provide for a three per cent threshold and the possibility of expressing two preferences by the elector.
The system proposed by the coalition leaders resembles very much (in fact, exactly) the basic principles of the German electoral law. Obviously, smaller opposition but even coalition parties are not amused with the threshold limiting their chances to get one of the 78 seats Italy possesses according to the provisions of the Nice Treaty.

And concerning the Nice Treaty, Forbes remarks that
"in the ... European Commission, the European Parliament and among EU governments, the realisation is setting in that next year's European elections and appointment of the next Commission will take place under the existing Nice treaty."
I think that there are few doubts about this question, and anyone telling that we might get elections under the Lisbon provisions is either overly optimistic or quite far away from the scheduling realities of European politics. No offence intended...

Under the category "Tracking: European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009. So far: (12), (11), (10), (9), (8), (7), (6), (5), (4), (3), (2), (1).


Ralf Grahn said...

Not only the European Parliament elections and the appointment of the new European Commission, but the whole European Union is going to function (in a manner) according to the unfortunate Treaty of Nice.

This is the real result of the June 2008 Irish referendum.