Gianfranco Pasquino

Parliament and Government in the Italian Republic

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: parliament, government, prime minister, institutional reforms, electoral systems.

As in Imperial Germany, analyzed by Max Weber, the most important Italian institutional problem is represented by the inadequate structuring and the unsatisfactory functioning of the relationship between parliament and government. This paper explores the roots of the problem, that is the motivations behind the choice of a symmetric bicameral parliament and a weak government when the Italian constitution was drafted. The author then explores the different meanings and practices of the "centrality of parliament" and its consequences. No proposal for the strengthening of the powers of the Prime Minister alone has reasonable chances of success if both the electoral system and parliament are not intelligently reformed. It is now impossible simply to "return" to the Constitution, but reforming it means to devise a system in which the power of the Prime Minister will be the almost logical consequence of the strength and the cohesion of his/her coalition. The noble intellectual task of Italian political scientists is to contribute to the appropriate reform and to teach their students how to do it.

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