Friday, Jul. 29, 2011


On the Ballot

Party: Lega Nord (Northern League)
Leader: Umberto Bossi
Key issues: Immigration, devolution
Seats in parliament: 85/945

The Northern League won 12.7% of the national vote in Italy's 2010 election. The League has long been a controversial and sometimes troublesome partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition. In 1994, the League abandoned the partnership after less than a year in power, collapsing Berlusconi's government and driving him from office in 1995 — it took until 2001 for him to make it back into the president's seat. The party holds governorships in Piedmont and the Veneto region, and nine seats in the European Parliament.

On the Fringe

Movimento Sociale-Fiamma Tricolore (Tricolor Flame)
The neo-fascist political party, founded in 1995, got 0.79% of the vote in Italy's 2009 parliamentary election.

Veneto Fronte Skinheads
One of many skinhead organizations in Italy, the group, founded in 1986, is based in the Veneto region, reportedly the center of the country's neo-Nazi activity.