What role for political parties in the Italian electoral reforms? – Diego Praino and Gennaro Ferraiuolo

Bancada del Parlament italiàThe Italian electoral system, in the past twenty-five years, has been through a “saga”. We have seen referenda that have altered the rules, several reforms at the different levels of government, decisions of the Constitutional Court that modified the electoral formula, and so on.

Since the 1990s, the key idea has been “government stability”. That was only natural. In front of severe institutional and political problems—such as high fragmentation of government coalitions, frequent executive crises and dissolutions of Parliament, etc. —the main goal has been to achieve a system where it is possible to identify a clear winner who will be able to govern for a whole term. With this goal in mind, the Italian legislator has intervened several times at different levels of government, from the municipalities and provinces to the regions and the state.

But it seems that the way this idea has been put into practice does not really make sense. Are the electoral mechanisms adopted consistent with the “natural” political dynamics within a multi-party parliamentarism? The answer is probably “no”, and a thorough analysis of these reform processes and of how they worked is extremely useful to verify this claim.

We present such analysis in the paper “The role of political parties in the Italian electoral reforms”, published in the Revista Catalana de Dret Públic last December (No. 57, pages 154-165).Llegeix més »