Pact of Liberal Democrats

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The Pact of Liberal Democrats (Patto dei Liberaldemocratici), also called Segni-Scognamiglio Pact (Patto Segni-Scognamiglio), was a liberal and Christian-democratic Italian political party.

It was conceived in 2003 by Mario Segni, Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini (ex-PLI, ex-PL, ex-FI, ex-UDR, ex-UpR, ex-FdL and ex-DE) and Michele Cossa (leader of the Sardinian Reformers), as a centrist party alternative to the centre-left. The party is aimed at changing Italian political system and especially Italian centre-right, which is perceived by its leaders as populist under the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi. The party is basically the continuation of the late Patto Segni.

Segni and Scognamiglio launched PLD in time for contesting the 2004 European Parliament election, in which they hoped to attract many disgruntled centre-right voters. Instead PLD scored only 0.5% (7.4% in Sardinia, where its regional division, the Sardinian Reformers, is aligned with the House of Freedoms).

After that the centre-right decided again to rally behind Berlusconi, Segni and Scognamiglio decided not to present their list for the 2006 general election, in which Berlusconi's Forza Italia scored 23.7% and the Sardinian Reformers elected a Senator, Massimo Fantola, in UDC list.

Currently, the party is a minor force in Italian politics. Mario Segni is in the spotlight for proposing, along with Professor Giovanni Guzzetta, Arturo Parisi, Antonio Martino and Daniele Capezzone, a referendum aimed at changing the electoral system. If this referendum takes place and succeeds, Italy will be close to a two-party political system, as the party which comes first in the election, whatever is its score, will be returned in the Chamber of Deputies with 340 MPs out of 630.

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