Alessandro Torre

«The Fewer, the Merrier»? Parliamentary Representation Between Quantity and Quality

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Members of Parliament; Reduction; Representation; Constitutional Amendment.

The issue of what one should consider as being the appropriate number of representatives in a bicameral Parliament is a recurring matter of debate among politicians and constitutionalists. Indeed, those wishing to reform the system focus on how to determine a balanced relationship between the quantity of elected representatives and the quality of democratic representation. The number of members of the House of Deputies and the Senate was once determined by the drafters of the Italian Constitution and has never been altered since then. Currently, the number of MPs is the focus of a more specific constitutional amendment which will be put to a referendum, on the basis of Art. 138 It. Const., this coming Autumn. In the past, the debate on the appropriate number of MPs was usually seen as a marginal issue within the context of much broader constitutional reforms, but this time the situation is different because the proposed constitutional amendment is much more specific. The question, therefore, is very simply whether a sharp reduction of MPs might adversely affect the integrity of Italian democracy?

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