Bringing Down the House

When we last checked in with billionaire media mogul and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, both he and his opposition were looking to lead the political simple life, and reduce Italian politics to the simplistic binary of an American-style two party system. It seems, however, that not all the members of his new right-wing bloc-party are on board with the timing of his proposed reforms.
An ally of Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to bring down his government over the timing of a referendum, Berlusconi said on Thursday, acknowledging friction in his coalition for the first time. At issue was a referendum on electoral reform that aims to bring greater political stability to a country which has seen 62 governments since 1945. But the Northern League, Berlusconi's main external ally, and other smaller parties fear the referendum could weaken them . . . Berlusconi said he favoured an American-style two party system but added he had to make a difficult choice about the referendum's timing, given that the Northern League would have brought down the government.

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