Italy’s constitutional referendum, scheduled for 4 December 2016, has been billed as a vote of confidence in the country’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi. James Dennison and Jonas Bergan Draege illustrate, however, the more voters are invited to link the proposed reforms to Renzi, the less likely they are to support them. They suggest that with support for the reforms falling over recent months, the best strategy for a Yes vote may be to capitalise on distrust in political parties by reframing the referendum as a way to reduce the number of politicians in parliament.
See also the separate LSE EuroppBlog features (related url hyperlinks below):
Why Italians should reject Renzi’s constitutional reform
We are now in the final month of campaigning ahead of Italy’s constitutional referendum on 4 December 2016. Presenting a case for a No vote, Valentino Larcinese argues that the proposed reform would remove much needed checks and balances on executive power in Italy, while the method used by the government to try and enact the reform is also worthy of rejection in its own right.
New survey evidence: Renzi’s support is damaging the chances of a Yes vote in Italy’s referendum
When the Italian constitutional referendum was called, Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, linked the result to the fate of his government, suggesting that he would resign in the case of a No vote. Based on new survey evidence, Céline Colombo, Andrea De Angelis and Davide Morisi write that this strategy appears to have been counterproductive. They illustrate that voter support for the reform declines when it is explicitly linked to the government, but that if the Yes campaign focuses solely on the content of the reform, they may find consensus among a majority of voters on some of the key elements of the proposal.
Italians should back the constitutional reform – there is no guarantee this opportunity will arise again
Marco Simoni outlines a case for a Yes vote. He argues that the proposed reform would address a number of key institutional weaknesses in the country, and that by improving the functioning of Italian democracy, it would help establish proper accountability and trust in the political system.
Watch Italy’s referendum for potential banking problems
Italy’s constitutional referendum is fast approaching and financial markets are already jittery. Lorenzo Codogno and Mara Monti write that while some observers have pointed to the risk of the Five Star Movement getting into power, or even Italy leaving the euro, these are unlikely developments, at least in the short term. The real issue is not about political instability, but about financial stability: the combination of still modest economic expansion, vulnerability in the public finances and, more importantly, ongoing problems in the banking sector may ultimately lead to a dangerous mix.
Who’s afraid of the Five Star Movement? Why Italy leaving the euro remains unlikely regardless of what happens on Sunday
Several observers have raised the possibility that should Italy’s constitutional referendum result in a No vote, it could leave the door open for Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) to win power at the next Italian election. As James L. Newell writes, there has been particular concern over this prospect due to the Five Star Movement’s commitment to hold a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro. However, he argues that the chances of the M5S leading Italy out of the euro remain extremely unlikely, regardless of the result on Sunday.
Criticism of Renzi’s constitutional reform is wide of the mark – it would make Italy’s institutions more efficient and responsive
In the final days of campaigning before Italy’s referendum, we are featuring a number of articles on the pros and cons of the proposed constitutional changes. In this contribution, Corrado Morricone takes issue with recent criticism of the reforms, arguing that they would make the country’s institutions more efficient and responsive to the needs of citizens