Italy’s parliament is to have a new voting system for its deputies.
The move should end the problem of so- called “pianists” – MPs who stretch across their own desks to press a button to vote for absent colleagues. The new technology will allow deputies to vote after entering a smart card, containing details of their identity and fingerprints, into an electronic voting terminal. But some critics within the government coalition object, particularly to the finger printing. “In parliamentary democracies, the representatives should have pride to represent people and cannot be treated as a criminal,” was the opinion of centre-right MP, Paolo Guzzanti. The initiative has come from an opposition party and non-government members appear to approve. Paolo Cento of the Green Party said he was in favour of collecting MP’s fingerprints, “so a member of parliament is like anybody else, his fingerprints can be used to guarantee voting regularity.” Parliamentary cheating caught on camera has done little to enhance the reputation of Italy’s politicians. The system is being introduced on a voluntary basis and is due to begin next week.