Indecisione 2006


Against expectations, the Italian elections are turning into a Bush-Gore-style debacle. They seem to illustrate, too, the quirks of having a relatively recent Constitution that can be amended without much fuss. Center-left candidate Romani Prodi apparently defeated President Berlusconi by 49.8% to 49.7%. (The remaining .5% went to libertarian candidate Michael Badnarico.) But this might not give either man a majority, because:

A new system of proportional representation … uses different formulas to determine majorities in the [lower] chamber and in the Senate.

Berlusconi passed the law on the eve of the election campaign, when he was trailing badly in the polls. It was widely seen as a bid to manipulate the outcome of the election.

American elections are manipulated years in advance, when states use new census data to draw congressional districts. (Unless they don't like those districts and make new ones when they feel like it later.) It's interesting to wonder what the current crop of Republicans would do if they were facing electoral defeat and the Constitution was flimsy enough to "correct for errors."