Solving the Government's Puzzle: The Controversial Consequences of the Italian Elections of 24–25 February 2013
Contemporary Italian Politics, 2013
Posted: 13 Apr 2014
Date Written: May 5, 2013
A clear political majority did not emerge from the February 2013 elections but instead three quasi-equivalent minority parties emerged. The three groupings have been shown to be reciprocally inconsequential, thus creating a long political stalemate. Political stalemate is not a novelty in democratic countries. But in Italy, after more than one year of technocratic government and in the context of the most serious financial crisis the country has experienced since the end of the Second World War, the political stalemate has called into question the viability of the institutional system. At the same time, the elections have led to a radical change in parliamentary representation, bringing the legislature more into line with international standards. Old and new have come to co-exist in an unpredictable manner. Nevertheless, Italy has not yet found a solution to its institutional problem; that is, how to protect its governmental capability from the crisis and from the transformation of the political parties. The coincidence of the election of the President of the Republic made the formation of a political majority even more difficult. Over two months after the elections, and following a dramatic re-election of the incumbent President, a government was finally constituted, but its cohesion and stability are highly uncertain.
Keywords: Italian elections; Italian democracy; Italian parliament; political stalemate; populist movement
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