So Italy is going to the polls again, this time on 13-14 April, almost two years to the day after the last elections, and three years before the normal end of the mandate. Everyone agreed that the electoral law passed by the centre-right government before the 2006 elections was an invitation to instability, and so it turned out; but Italians will be using the same law when they vote in April and there is a fair chance that the next government will be no more stable than the last.

Still, there have been changes. When elections were announced in early February, Walter Veltroni, Rome