Everything changes so nothing changes
On Sunday 20 and Monday 21, a referendum will be held to reduce the number of parliamentarians. That would go from 630 to 300, 315 senators to 200.
The referendum asks the citizens: “Approved the text of the constitutional law concerning “Amendments to Articles 56, 57 and 59 of the Constitution regarding the reduction of the number of parliamentarians”, approved by the Parliament and published in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic n.240 of 12 October 2019?”
Those who answer yes will approve the constitutional reform. Those who vote no, will not approve the cut of parliamentarians.
WHY SHOULD WE VOTE YES?
The constitutional reform, with the cut of 345 parliamentarians, a saving of 100 million per year for a total of 500 million in a legislature.
From a numerical point of view, Italy with 400 deputies and 200 senators would have 1 MP per 100,000 voters, compared to an average of 1 per 190,000 democracies with more than 30 million inhabitants. The United States, for example, has a total of 535 members of parliament and senators, despite a much larger population than we have.
The reform would also reduce the fragmentation of parliamentary groups, making Parliament more streamlined and efficient with those elected who will be more accountable and recognizable.
Why did you vote no?
According to those who will vote No in the referendum, the real savings would not be 100 million a year but 82 million (53 million in the House and 29 million in the Senate), which would then become 57 million (285 per legislature) because it must be considered the net salary and not the gross one.
Moreover, the reform disproportionately and unreasonably reduces the representation of entire territories. Cutting the number of parliamentarians will weaken the relationship between the elected and voters, with Italy which is already one of the countries with the lowest ratio of population and number of elected.
Finally, if the Yes wins, it will be necessary to change the Constitution regarding the election of the President of the Republic, rebalancing the numerical relationship between parliamentarians and regional delegates.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE WENT TO VOTE AFTER THE REFERENDUM?
As the image below indicates, there would be two different scenarios.
- To vote with the Rosatellum.
According to the latest polls, the majority would go to the centre-right, with a possible minority government or broad understandings with Forza Italia, PD and Movimento 5 Stelle.
- To vote within Brescellum.
This electoral law, presented in committee in January of this year, would have as a badge pure proportional, the threshold of barrier to 5% and the parties that have reached a percentage worthy of note, would be entitled to place in the gallery, or they could only speak but not vote at public sittings. This would facilitate the right to express one’s ideas in an official institution.
- Voting with the Majority (personal hypothesis).
Another type of electoral law could be on a majority basis, that is, the first party would automatically rule with 51% of the vote. With a high threshold, the veto for oppositions (that is, oppositions, with a certain number of representatives, could impose a veto on a bill that would have unfair bases) and confirming the right of tribune, would give stability to the first party.
What do you think of the referendum? It would be interesting to know what you think, respecting the opinions of others.
The estimates come from the poll published on AGCCOM: http://www.poll politicoelectionli.it/ListaSondaggi.aspx