As all the world knows, December 4th will be the crucial day for the entire Italian Republic: this is the date when all the Italians will be called up to vote whether the constitution is to be changed according to the “Boschi law” (it takes the name after the Minister who proposed it, it’s an Italian tradition). The change that our constitution may undergo are dramatic.
The reform, briefly and in points:
- End of the perfect bicameralism, that is, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate will not have the same exact competences any longer.
- The Senate won’t be composed of 315 elected members anymore but only of 100 members of which 74 will be chosen among the Regional deputies and 21 among the mayors of the major cities, plus 5 members directly appointed by the President of the Republic; these 100+ members won’t earn a wage for their being Senators.
- Abrogation of the useless CNEL (Consiglio Nazionale dell’Economia e del Lavoro) which up to today acts as a consulting organ for the executive for themes regarding economics and job; I’ve read that during all its life this organ has done a little more than nothing.
- Change of the Title Fifth of our Constitution, the part which regulates the competences between national government and local governments (regions) and, for its complexity, has been one of the major sources of conflicts before the Constitutional Court.
These are the potential advantages of the reform.
- General reduction of costs of politics and of the members of the chambers.
- Clear distinction between Chamber of Deputies and Senate’s competences. The Senate will have totally different competences with respect of the other Chamber. In other words, they will cease to be twin chambers, which is a 100% Italian feature.
- Speed up the path for the approval of a law as a consequence of point 2. This is because an ordinary law will not need anymore to be approved by both the Chamber and the Senate with the same text. Indeed, up to today, if a law is approved by the Chamber with a certain text but it’s approved at the Senate with an edited text, even a conjunction, the path must be repeated, bringing biblical timing for the approval which are not suitable for a modern G8 nation.
- More clear distinction between State and Regions’ competences, by limiting the Regions’ competences.
- The financial market turmoil around the instability of Italy will end, reducing the spread between Italian and German 10 years bond.
These are the potential drawbacks.
- The reduction of politics costs are just a drop in the ocean. Estimates talk about 150 – 200 millions per year while the Italian public expenditure is around 800 billions per year.
- The appointment of Regional deputies and mayors as Senators must be regulated with a law but actually there is no law doing this, so the process is still unknown and unclear.
- The problem of the “shuttle”, that is the text of a law going back and forth from the Chamber to the Senate and viceversa to be definitely approved is not so much serious (see here) as the want us to believe.
- The clear distinction between State and Regional competences will not be so much clear as the promoters of the reform says. Indeed, the text says that the State can deal with topics which are regional exclusive competence when the National interest is at stake but establishing when the national interest is at stake can be a major source of conflicts.
- The reform, in union with the new electoral law mainly promoted by the democrats, which are also the promoters of the Constitution reform, may concentrate a lot of power in the hands of few deputies. In fact, the new electoral law establishes a large majority premium to the most voted party and the reform will give the most of the ruling power to the Chamber of deputees.
- Our fathers spilled rivers of blood to set Italy free from Nazi and fascists and to establish a Republic having this very constitution.
My point of view, after all.
The democrats, the main Italian party has based its advertising campaign on the reduction of the costs of politics. As I said, this reduction is little more than nothing, 150 millions per year over 800 billions per year of public expenditure, but this argument is nowadays so popular that the democrats couldn’t help to use it, lowering themselves to the same level of parties who mainly use populist arguments.
Also, the Prime Minister declared that in case the reform didn’t pass he would have retired from politics. Well, I think it would be wrong because this is not a referendum on his person but on the reform of the constitution. During all his 1000 days of office, he’s always been attacked as he was the cause of all the troubles we have here in Italy. Nobody is perfect but I think that in three years he did far more than his predecessors, whether his decisions were good or bad, at least he really tried to do something, in contrast with the traditional immobilism of Italian executives.
I’m too young to fully understand the sacrifice of our fathers for this constitution. After all, we are not going to vote to adopt another constitution but to change it and to try to make Italy a more modern country. The present constitution has made this country what it is (in addition with the old electoral law that brought us Berlusconi, of course) and this country, from a political point of view doesn’t work. What I don’t understand is the stubborness of the “no” party to keep somthing that doesn’t make this country work properly. At home, if something doesn’t work, I change it. We should try to change this country, we have the chance in two weeks.
After all, I’m gonna say yes; at least, I don’t want the news to talk about spread anymore. I can’t stand it anymore.