Post-electoral politics in Italy : institutional problems and political perspectives
Title: Post-electoral politics in Italy : institutional problems and political perspectives
Publisher: Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Citation: Journal of modern Italian studies, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 466-484
ISSN: 1354-571X; 1469-9583
A dysfunctional electoral law and an obsolete bicameral Parliament contributed to the surprising results of the 24-25 February 2013 Italian elections, which have solved none of Italy's institutional and political problems. This article briefly analyses the distribution of votes, stressing especially that the success of the Five Stars Movement derives from the dissatisfaction and the protest of a significant sector of the electorate. Beppe Grillo, like Silvio Berlusconi, is a political entrepreneur, who through patience, hard work and commitment has constructed an organization with a wide geographical following. The presence in Parliament of the Five Stars Movement made the election of the President of the Republic very difficult. President Napolitano was obliged to accept an unprecedented second term and then led the Democratic Party, the People of Freedom and Civic Choice to form an unusual government, almost a sort of Grand Coalition. The government is here briefly assessed. The article ends underlining two critical aspects of the situation. Neither the Italian parties nor the party system have succeeded in reaching a satisfactory level of consolidation and stability. This means that the President of the Republic has been obliged to make good the shortcomings of the political parties. Even malgre soi, the President's behaviour has given rise to a situation in which his own position raises the urgent need for institutional reforms along the lines of the semi-presidential mould of the French Fifth Republic to bring to a close Italy's overlong political transition.
Subject: Elections and electoral law; parties and party system; President of the Republic; government; Five Stars Movement
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