Lega Nord, whose complete name is Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania, is a right-wing federalist political party in Italy. In the run-up of the 2018 general election, the party was rebranded as Lega without changing its official name in the party's statute; the party was nonetheless referred to only as "Lega" before the rebranding. The LN is often referred to as Carroccio by the Italian media; the LN was established in 1991 as a federation of regional parties of northern and north-central Italy, notably including Liga Veneta, Lega Lombarda, Piemont Autonomista, Uniun Ligure, Lega Emiliano-Romagnola and Alleanza Toscana. The party's founder was Umberto Bossi, federal secretary from 1991 to 2012. After an internal crisis and struggle, the LN was led by Roberto Maroni. In 2013, Matteo Salvini became secretary. Giancarlo Giorgetti and Lorenzo Fontana are deputy secretaries. Leading members include Attilio Fontana, Luca Zaia, Massimiliano Fedriga, Maurizio Fugatti and Roberto Calderoli. Former leading members include Roberto Cota, Roberto Castelli, Francesco Speroni, Gian Paolo Gobbo, Stefano Stefani, Flavio Tosi, Giancarlo Pagliarini, Gipo Farassino, Marco Formentini, Domenico Comino, Vito Gnutti, Fabrizio Comencini, Irene Pivetti, Franco Rocchetta and Gianfranco Miglio.
The LN advocates the transformation of Italy into a federal state, fiscal federalism and greater regional autonomy for Northern regions. At times, the party has advocated the secession of the North, referred to by party members as "Padania" and Padanian nationalism. However, under Salvini the party has to some extent embraced Italian nationalism and emphasised Euroscepticism, opposition to immigration and other "populist" policies while forming an alliance with right-wing populist parties such as France's National Front, the Netherlands' Party for Freedom and the Freedom Party of Austria at the European level. Salvini established a sister party in southern Italy named Us with Salvini and for the 2018 general election restyled the party's symbol and name, dropping the word "Nord" and introducing "Salvini Premier". All these changes have been harshly criticised by Bossi and the Padanist old guard, which now operates from a minority position within the party. However, under Salvini, the League has reached its highest popularity, both in the North and the rest of Italy.
Furthermore, in northern regions the party still has a strong autonomist outlook in Veneto where Venetian nationalism is stronger than ever. The League maintains its power base in the North, where it gets by far most of its support. In the 2018 general election, the League was the third-largest party behind the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party. In the most recent regional elections, the LN was the largest party in Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Abruzzo, the second-largest in Aosta Valley, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Basilicata, the third-largest in Liguria, Marche and South Tyrol, the fourth-largest in Piedmont and the fifth-largest in Molise. At the 1983 general election, Liga Veneta elected Achille Tramarin. At the 1987 general election, another regional party, Lega Lombarda gained national prominence when its leader Umberto Bossi was elected to the Senate; the two parties, along with other regionalist outfits, ran as Alleanza Nord in the 1989 European Parliament election, gaining 1.8% of the vote.
Lega Nord, first launched as an upgrade of Alleanza Nord in December 1989, was transformed into a party in February 1991 through the merger of various regional parties, notably including Lega Lombarda and Liga Veneta. These continue to exist as "national sections" of the federal party, which presents itself in regional and local contests as Lega Lombarda–Lega Nord, Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, Lega Nord–Piemont and so on; the League exploited resentment against Rome's centralism and the Italian government, common in northern Italy as many Northerners felt that the government wasted resources collected from Northerners' taxes. Cultural influences from bordering countries in the North and resentment against illegal immigrants were exploited; the party's electoral successes began at a time when public disillusionment with the established political parties was at its height. The Tangentopoli corruption scandals, which invested most of the established parties, were unveiled from 1992 on. However, contrary to what many pundits observed at the beginning of the 1990s, Lega Nord became a stable political force and it is now one of the oldest parties among those represented in the Italian Parliament.
Lega Nord's first electoral breakthrough was at the 1990 regional elections, but it was with the 1992 ge
Forza Italia (2013)
Forza Italia is a centre-right political party in Italy whose ideology includes elements of liberal conservatism, Christian democracy, liberalism. Its leader is Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy; the party, formed out of the former People of Freedom, is a revival of the defunct Forza Italia, active from 1994 to 2009, when it was merged with National Alliance and several minor parties to form the PdL. Forza Italia's leading members include Antonio Tajani, Elisabetta Casellati, Giovanni Toti, Donato Toma, Renato Brunetta, Paolo Romani, Mariastella Gelmini, Anna Maria Bernini, Elisabetta Gardini, Maurizio Gasparri, Renato Schifani, Mara Carfagna and Stefania Prestigiacomo. On 11 September 2014 FI was admitted into the European People's Party, inheriting the PdL's membership. FI is a much smaller party than the original FI and the early PdL, due to the splits of Future and Freedom, the Brothers of Italy, the New Centre-Right, the Conservative and Reformists and the Liberal Popular Alliance.
In the 2018 general election FI was overtaken by Lega Nord as the largest party of the centre-right coalition. The new FI, announced in June 2013, was launched on 18 September and the PdL was formally dissolved into the party on 16 November; the day before a group of dissidents, led by Berlusconi's former protégé Angelino Alfano, had broken away by announcing the foundation of the alternative New Centre-Right. Another group of PdL members, led by former mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno, had left the party earlier in order to form Italy First. According to Berlusconi, the PdL would become a coalition of centre-right parties, including the new FI, Lega Nord, the NCD, the FdI, etc. Among the supporters of the return to FI, the so-called "hawks" and self-proclaimed "loyalists", a leading role was played by Raffaele Fitto, despite the common Christian-democratic background, was a long-time rival of Alfano. Loyalists included Antonio Martino, Renato Brunetta, Denis Verdini, Mariastella Gelmini, Mara Carfagna, Daniela Santanchè, Niccolò Ghedini and Daniele Capezzone, while Maurizio Gasparri, Altero Matteoli and Paolo Romani tried to mediate, but joined the new FI.
The symbol of FI made its return in the 2013 Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol provincial elections, although in a regional fashion: "Forza Trentino" and "Forza Alto Adige". On 27 November the Senate approved Berlusconi's expulsion, following the leader's conviction for tax evasion in August, when Berlusconi was sentenced to four years of imprisonment, the last three being automatically pardoned; the day before FI had joined the opposition to Enrico Letta's government, still supported by Alfano's NCD instead. The latter voted against Berlusconi's expulsion, but since completely parted ways from FI; as of the end of December 2013, Berlusconi was set to appoint two vice-presidents: Antonio Tajani and Giovanni Toti. As a result of the resentment by the party's old guard, notably including Fitto, on the alleged appointment of Toti as coordinator-at-large, Berlusconi appointed him "political counselor" to the party. In the 2014 European Parliament election FI obtained 16.8% of the vote and 13 MEPs elected, including Toti in the North-West, Tajani in the Centre and, most notably, Fitto in the South.
Fitto, the strongest backer of Berlusconi's leadership in late 2013, became his main internal challenger by mid 2014. After months of bickering with Berlusconi over the so-called "Nazareno pact" with Matteo Renzi, leader of the Democratic Party and Prime Minister, in February 2015 Fitto launched his own faction, named "Rebuilders". Fitto's supporters included Capezzone, Maurizio Bianconi, Rocco Palese, Saverio Romano, Cinzia Bonfrisco, Augusto Minzolini and most Apulian MPs. In the run-up of the 2015 regional elections the party was riven in internal disputes and was divided in three groups: Berlusconi's loyalists, Fitto's "Rebuilders" and nostalgics of the "Nazareno pact"; the latter were led by Verdini and some of them, notably including Bondi, were pro-Renzi. Bondi, a former Berlusconi loyalist, his partner Manuela Repetti left the party in March, while other disgruntled Verdiniani propped up the government from time to time. Berlusconi chose Toti as candidate for President in Liguria, confirmed incumbent Stefano Caldoro as the party's standard-bearer in Campania and renewed their support of LN's Luca Zaia in Veneto.
However and Fitto did not find an agreement on the composition of the slates in Apulia, where the two wings of the party fielded two opposing candidates for president, similar problems arose in Tuscany, Verdini's home region and stronghold. Two weeks before the regional election, Fitto left the European People's Party Group in the European Parliament in order to join the European Conservatives and Reformists, he left FI altogether and launched his own party, named Conservatives and Reformists too. By mid July, when CR was formally established as a party, nine deputies, ten senators and another MEP had left FI in order to follow Fitto. In the elections the party lost many votes to the LN, gained more than 10% only in three regions out sev
Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party roughly n% of seats will be won by that party; the essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats; the most used families of PR electoral systems are party list PR, the single transferable vote, mixed member proportional representation. With party list PR, political parties define candidate voters vote for a list; the relative vote for each list determines how many candidates from each list are elected. Lists can be "closed" or "open".
Voting districts can be as large as a province or an entire nation. The single transferable vote uses small multiple-member districts, with voters ranking individual candidates in order of preference. During the count, as candidates are elected or eliminated, surplus or discarded votes that would otherwise be wasted are transferred to other candidates according to the preferences. STV enables voters to elect independent candidates. Mixed member proportional representation called the additional member system, is a two-tier mixed electoral system combining a non-proportional plurality/majoritarian election and a compensatory regional or national party list PR election. Voters have two votes, one for their single-member district and one for the party list, the party list vote determining the balance of the parties in the elected body. According to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, some form of proportional representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries. Party list PR, being used in 85 countries, is the most used.
MMP is used in seven lower houses. STV, despite long being advocated by political scientists, is used in only two: Ireland, since independence in 1922, Malta, since 1921; as with all electoral systems, both accepted and opposing claims are made about the advantages and disadvantages of PR. The case for proportional representation was made by John Stuart Mill in his 1861 essay Considerations on Representative Government: In a representative body deliberating, the minority must of course be overruled, but does it follow that the minority should have no representatives at all?... Is it necessary that the minority should not be heard? Nothing but habit and old association can reconcile any reasonable being to the needless injustice. In a equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, but a minority of the electors would always have a minority of the representatives.
Man for man, they would be as represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government... There is a part whose fair and equal share of influence in the representation is withheld from them, contrary to all just government, above all, contrary to the principle of democracy, which professes equality as its root and foundation. Many academic political theorists agree with Mill, that in a representative democracy the representatives should represent all segments of society. PR tries to resolve the unfairness of majoritarian and plurality voting systems where the largest parties receive an "unfair" "seat bonus" and smaller parties are disadvantaged and have difficulty winning any representation at all; the established parties in UK elections can win formal control of the parliament with as little as 35% of votes. In certain Canadian elections, majority governments have been formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast. If turnout levels in the electorate are less than 60%, such outcomes allow a party to form a majority government by convincing as few as one quarter of the electorate to vote for it.
In the 2005 UK election, for example, the Labour Party under Tony Blair won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21.6% of the total electorate. Such misrepresentation has been criticized as "no longer a question of'fairness' but of elementary rights of citizens". Note intermediate PR systems with a high electoral threshold, or other features that reduce proportionality, are not much fairer: in the Turkish general election, 2002, using an open list system with a 10% threshold, 46% of votes were wasted. Plurality/majoritarian systems can disproportionately benefit regional parties that can win districts where they have a strong following, while other parties with national support but no strongholds, like the Greens, win few or no seats. An example is the Bloc Québécois in Canada that won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, all in Quebec, on 13.5% of the national vote, while the Progressive Conservatives collapsed to two seats on 16% spread nationally. In the 2015 UK General Election, the Scottish National Party gained 56 seats, all in Sc
Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northeast Italy comprising the historical regions of Emilia and Romagna. Its capital is Bologna, it has an area of 22,446 km2, about 4.4 million inhabitants. Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe, with the third highest GDP per capita in Italy. Bologna, its capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life indices and advanced social services. Emilia-Romagna is a cultural and tourist centre, being the home of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world, containing Romanesque and Renaissance cities, a former Eastern Roman Empire capital such as Ravenna, encompassing eleven UNESCO heritage sites, being a centre for food and automobile production and having popular coastal resorts such as Cervia, Cesenatico and Riccione. In 2018, the Lonely Planet guide named Emilia Romagna as the best place to see in Europe; the name Emilia-Romagna is a legacy of Ancient Rome. Emilia derives from the via Aemilia, the Roman road connecting Piacenza to Rimini, completed in 187 BC and named after the consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.
Romagna derives from Romània, the name of the Eastern Roman Empire applied to Ravenna by the Lombards when the western Empire had ceased to exist and Ravenna was an outpost of the east. Before the Romans took control of present-day Emilia-Romagna, it had been part of the Etruscan world and that of the Gauls. During the first thousand years of Christianity trade flourished, as did culture and religion, thanks to the region's monasteries. Afterwards the University of Bologna—arguably the oldest university in Europe—and its bustling towns kept trade and intellectual life alive, its unstable political history is exemplified in such figures as Matilda of Canossa and contending seigniories such as the Este of Ferrara, the Malatesta of Rimini, the Popes of Rome, the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza, the Duchy of Modena and Reggio. In the 16th century, most of these were seized by the Papal States, but the territories of Parma and Modena remained independent until Emilia-Romagna became part of the Italian kingdom between 1859 and 1861.
After the referendum of 2006, seven municipalities of Montefeltro were detached from the Province of Pesaro and Urbino to join that of Rimini on 15 August 2009. The municipalities are Casteldelci, Novafeltria, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria and Talamello. On 20 and 29 May 2012 two powerful earthquakes hit the area, they caused churches and factories to collapse. 200 were injured. The 5.8 magnitude quake left 14,000 people homeless. The region of Emilia-Romagna consists of nine provinces and covers an area of 22,446 km², ranking sixth in Italy. Nearly half of the region consists of plains while 27 % is 25 % mountainous; the region's section of the Apennines is marked by areas of badland erosion and caves. The mountains stretch for more than 300 km from the north to the south-east, with only three peaks above 2,000 m – Monte Cimone, Monte Cusna and Alpe di Succiso; the plain was formed by the gradual retreat of the sea from the Po basin and by the detritus deposited by the rivers. Marshland in ancient times, its history is characterised by the hard work of its people to reclaim and reshape the land in order to achieve a better standard of living.
The geology varies, with lagoons and saline areas in the north and many thermal springs throughout the rest of the region as a result of groundwater rising towards the surface at different periods of history. All the rivers rise locally in the Apennines except for the Po, which has its source in the Alps in Piedmont; the northern border of Emilia-Romagna follows the path of the river for 263 km. The region has a temperate broadleaved and mixed forests and the vegetation may be divided into belts: the Common oak-European hornbeam belt, now covered with fruit orchards and fields of wheat and sugar beet, the Pubescent oak-European hop-hornbeam belt on the lower slopes up to 900 m, the European beech-Silver fir belt between 1,000 and 1,500 m and the final mountain heath belt. Emilia-Romagna has two Italian National Parks, the Foreste Casentinesi National Park and the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park. Emilia-Romagna has been a populated area since ancient times. Inhabitants over the centuries have radically altered the landscape, building cities, reclaiming wetlands, establishing large agricultural areas.
All these transformations in past centuries changed the aspect of the region, converting large natural areas to cultivation, up until the 1960s. The trend changed, agricultural lands began giving way to residential and industrial areas; the increase of urban-industrial areas continued at high rates until the end of the 2010s. In the same period and mountainous areas saw an increase in the registration of semi-natural areas, because of the abandonment of agricultural lands. Land use changes can have strong effects on ecological functions. Human interactions such as agriculture and deforestation affect soil function, e.g. food and other biomass production, storing and transformation, habitat and gene pool. In the Emilia-Romagna plain, which represents half of the region and where three quarters of the population of the region live, the agricultural land area has been reduced by 157 km2 while urban and industrial areas
Stefano Bonaccini is an Italian politician and member of the Democratic Party, he is the President of Emilia-Romagna since 24 November 2014. Stefano Bonaccini was born in Modena, on 1 January 1967. Bonaccini started his political career during 1980s. In 1990 he was appointed assessor near Modena, where he lived. In 2007 he became the provincial secretary of the new formed Democratic Party and two years Bonaccini was elected regional secretary of the PD for Emilia-Romagna. After the 2010 regional election, Bonaccini was elected regional councilor for the Democratic Party. On 13 December 2013, he was appointed national coordinator for "Local Authorities" in the national secretariat of the PD, under the leadership of Matteo Renzi, who Bonaccini supported in the 2013 primary election. After the resignation of the Emilia-Romagna long-time President Vasco Errani, Bonaccini run and won the centre-left primary election to become the candidate-President for the Democratic Party, with 60.9% of votes against the former mayor of Forlì, Roberto Balzani.
On 23 November 2014, he won the regional election in Emilia-Romagna with 49.1% of votes, becoming the 9th President of the region. On 17 December 2015, Bonaccini was elected President of the Conference of the Region and Autonomous Provinces, replacing Piedmontese President Sergio Chiamparino, who resigned few weeks before. While on 12 December 2016, Bonaccini was elected president of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. In 2017 and 2018, Bonaccini implemented a policy with the aim of increase political and fiscal autonomy of Emilia-Romagna
Communist Refoundation Party
The Communist Refoundation Party is a communist political party in Italy, emerged from a split of the Italian Communist Party in 1991. The party's secretary is Maurizio Acerbo, who replaced Paolo Ferrero in 2017. Armando Cossutta was the party's founder; the latter transformed the PRC from a traditional communist party into a collector of radical social movements. The PRC is a member of the Party of the European Left, of which Bertinotti was the inaugural president in 2004; the PRC has not been represented in the Italian Parliament since 2008, but it has a member of the European Parliament, Eleonora Forenza, who sits with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group. In February 1991, when the Italian Communist Party was transformed into the Democratic Party of the Left under the leadership of Achille Occhetto, left-wing dissidents led by Armando Cossutta launched the Movement for Communist Refoundation; that year, Proletarian Democracy, a far-left outfit, dissolved itself so that its members could join the PCI dissidents and form a united front of all Italian communists.
In December, the PRC was founded and Sergio Garavini was elected secretary. In the 1992 general election, the party obtained 5.6% of the vote. Garavini resigned from secretary in June 1993 and was replaced by Fausto Bertinotti, a trade unionist of the Italian General Confederation of Labour who had left the PDS only a few months before, in January 1994. In the 1994 general election, the PRC was part of the PDS-led Alliance of Progressives and obtained 6.1% of the vote. In June 1995, a group of splinters led by Lucio Magri and Famiano Crucianelli formed the Movement of Unitarian Communists, which would merge with the PDS, being one of the founding members of the Democrats of the Left in February 1998; the leadership of Bertinotti was a turning point for the party, which jumped to 8.6% of vote in the 1996 general election, fought by the party in a loose alliance with the centre-left coalition named The Olive Tree. After the election, the PRC decided to externally support the first cabinet led by Romano Prodi, but tensions soon arose within the coalition and the party.
In October 1998, the PRC was divided between those who wanted to stop supporting Prodi's government, led by Bertinotti. The central committee endorsed Bertinotti's line, but Cossutta and his followers decided to ignore this line and to support Prodi; the votes of the cossuttiani were not enough and the government lost a confidence vote in Parliament. The dissidents, who controlled the majority of deputies and senators and formed a rival communist party, the Party of Italian Communists, which joined the first cabinet led by Massimo D'Alema, leader of the DS and first post-communist to hold the job of Prime Minister of Italy. Deprived of most of its parliamentary representation, the PRC fought for its existence and voters supported it rather than the PdCI, both in the 1999 European Parliament election and the 2001 general election. Having confirmed its position as Italy's largest communist party, the PRC started to enlarge its scope aiming at becoming a collector of radical social movements and, the main representative of the anti-globalization movement in Italy.
The PRC forged new alliances at the European level and was instrumental in the foundation of the Party of the European Left in May 2004. In October 2004, the PRC re-joined the centre-left coalition, once again led by Prodi. In April 2005, Nichi Vendola, an gay politician and one of the emerging leaders of the party, won a primary election and was elected president of traditionally conservative southern region of Apulia, becoming the only regional president belonging to the PRC. In the 2006 general election, the PRC was part of The Union, which won narrowly over the centre-right House of Freedoms coalition and the party obtained 5.8%. After the election, Bertinotti was elected President of the Chamber of Deputies and replaced by Franco Giordano as secretary. Additionally, for the first time it entered a government by joining the Prodi II Cabinet, with Paolo Ferrero Minister of Social Solidarity and seven undersecretaries; the decision to participate in the coalition government and vote to refinance the Italian military presence in Afghanistan and send troops to Lebanon attracted criticism from sectors of the European far-left and provoked the splits of several groups from the ranks of his own party, notably including the Workers' Communist Party, the Communist Alternative Party and Critical Left.
Prodi, whose majority was weak and fragmented, resigned in January 2008. For the 2008 general election, the PRC formed a joint list named Rainbow Left with the PdCI, the Federation of the Greens and the Democratic Left under Bertinotti's leadership. SA obtained no seats. Bertinotti quit politics and Giordano resigned and after that some bertinottiani, led by Ferrero and Giovanni Russo Spena, had forged an alliance with former cossuttiani. At the July 2008 congress, the PRC was divided around ideological and regional lines with Vendola, the bertinottiani's standard-bearer, accusing northern delegates of having absorbed leghismo and stating that it was the end of the party as he knew it; the internal left-wing prevailed over the bulk of bertinottiani and