referendum_1217

“Vote Yes for a Safe Italy” or “Vote No to Defend the Constitution”: Italian Constitutional Politics between Majoritarianism and Civil Resistance

by Paul Blokker

‘In order to obtain a united Europe against terrorism, we need a strong country, with a Constitution that gives stability’. In this way, Maria Elena Boschi, the Italian Minister for Constitutional Reform, recently justified the pending comprehensive reform of the Italian Constitution of 1948. Boschi’s ambiguous observation – suggesting that a vote against the constitutional reform project in the upcoming referendum in October leaves Italy more vulnerable in the face of terrorism – is part of an intense public debate in Italy.

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swiss

Decisions on constitutional amendments by the Swiss sovereign

by Thomas Fleiner

On May 18 the Swiss voters and the cantons had to decide on three popular initiatives. They adopted two constitutional proposals and rejected one initiative. On the same day the voters had also to decide on the acquisition of 22 Gripen, which are new military jets that Switzerland wanted to buy from Sweden for more than three billion francs. The Swiss legislature enacted a law to provide an endowment fund. Against this legislation, some people required a referendum. In the end, the peoples decided with 53% of the voters to reject this law.

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