ITALY,BURMA: The Law That Boomeranged


One of the causes of parliamentary instability in Italy today is a law designed to give it stability. In 1953 Alcide de Gasperi's Demo-Christians pushed through an electoral law providing that any group winning 50.1% of the popular vote should receive 64% of the chamber seats, a clear working majority. At election time the Reds challenged so many ballots that the Demo-Christians fell just 55,000 votes short of earning the electoral bonus; the law itself proved so unpopular that it is widely known as the legge truffa (fraud law).

Last week Italy's fellow-traveling Nenni Socialists called for its repeal. Premier Mario...

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