Italian referendums, 1981

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A five-part referendum was held in Italy on 17 May 1981.[1] The proposals included repealing laws on public order, life sentences, gun licences, abortion. All were rejected by voters, with no proposal receiving more than 32% of the vote.[2]

Abortion referendums[edit]

Two referendums were held on the new Law 194, which had legalized the abortion. The first referendum was called by the Radical Party, which asked more liberalization abolishing all the remaining limits to the free choice of the women. The second was called by Christian Democracy and the Catholic Church and its related movements for life, trying to restore the ban on abortion.

Results[edit]

Liberalising abortion laws[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 3,588,995 11.6
Against 27,395,909 88.4
Invalid/blank votes 3,285,296
Total 34,270,200 100
Registered voters/turnout 43,154,682 79.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Prohibiting abortion[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 10,119,797 32.0
Against 21,505,323 68.0
Invalid/blank votes 2,651,999
Total 34,277,119 100
Registered voters/turnout 43,154,682 79.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Although both referendums were rejected, and the percentages of support of the catholic question was higher than the percentages of the radical one, the combined result of the two votes was generally seen as a victory of the Radical Party, which won at least one referendum in a country generally considered highly influenced by the Vatican City.

Police powers referendum[edit]

A third referendum was held on repealing the Reale Law, which had been the subject of a referendum in 1978. The referendum was called by the Radical Party, but was only partially supported by the Italian Socialist Party.

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 4,636,809 14.9
Against 26,524,667 85.1
Invalid/blank votes 3,095,721
Total 34,257,197 100
Registered voters/turnout 43,154,682 79.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

The referendum was rejected by the Italian electors, following the positions of all the parties of the so-called Constitutional Arch.

Life imprisonment referendum[edit]

A fourth referendum was called by the Radical Party asking voters to reject life imprisonment as the highest level of punishment for crimes.

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 7,114,719 22.6
Against 24,330,954 77.4
Invalid/blank votes 2,831,521
Total 34,277,194 100
Registered voters/turnout 43,154,682 79.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Gun licence referendum[edit]

The last referendum was called by the Radical Party asking voters to repeal the law on licences to guns, allowing the police to give weapons to some high-risking citizens, thereby banning all citizens from owning guns.

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 4,423,426 14.1
Against 26,995,173 85.9
Invalid/blank votes 2,856,777
Total 34,275,376 100
Registered voters/turnout 43,154,682 79.6
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1048 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, pp1056-1057