Up to now we have argued that the transformation in Italian party politics that began after 1989 can be explained in terms of three broad sets of factors, each of which was stimulated to some degree by the collapse of communism: the exposure of corruption; the emergence and growth of the Northern League; and the success of the referendum movement in forcing a change in the electoral laws. Corruption, we have seen, had deep roots in the partitocratic character of the Italian state and spread via the self-generating mechanisms inherent in it. With the end of the communist question, investigating magistrates were encouraged to launch an anti-corruption drive secure in the knowledge that, in so doing, whatever damage they inflicted on the governing parties could no longer play into the hands of an opposition PCI. Corruption had so undermined the solidity of the governing parties 7 membership bases and organizational structures that its exposure led to their complete disintegration.