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What should be our position on Italy's referendum?
On December 4, Italian citizens will vote in a referendum to amend their country’s constitution, which will have a clear European impact.
At the Coordinating Collective (CC), we have received numerous requests from our members for DiEM25 to take a position on whether this proposed amendment should pass, and to campaign for it!
A vast majority of members and DSCs from Italy have recommended a ‘No’ vote, and our CC also believes the case for ‘No’ is stronger. However, in line with our movement’s ultimate goal to democratise decision-making in the EU, as well as DiEM25’s pan-European essence, we’re asking our members in every corner of the Union to vote on which side we should be on: ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Why vote ‘No’?
If the amendment passes, it would hinder the democratic process in Italy. It would concentrate more power in the hands of the Italian government, reducing the role of Parliament, and diminish plurality by guaranteeing an absolute majority to the party with the most votes. Furthermore, the amendment would reduce the power of regions, hampering local autonomy.
But more broadly, the amendment would be yet another expression of the EU’s current demand for reliable national governments that can implement technocratic decisions without the nuisance of a political opposition and organised dissent. It would ensure we see more of the same “There Is No Alternative” rhetoric that has characterised the EU’s stance post-2008.
Why vote ‘Yes’?
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign if the amendment is defeated — which could see a period of instability in one of the key countries in the Eurozone. Proponents of the ‘Yes’ vote also suggest the amendment will make Italian decision-making faster and more efficient, as well as reducing the instability of future governments by guaranteeing a solid absolute majority in Parliament.