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Riforme elettorali, maggioritario e garanzie costituzionali

Electoral Reforms, Majority System and Constitutional Guarantees

Anno XXIX, n. 125, aprile-giugno 1994
Centro Einaudi


Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

In this essay, the author assesses the immediate consequences of the recent Italian electoral reforms on the country's formal and living Constitution. In practice, the old proportional system was part and parcel of the constitutional pact on which the Italian Republic was founded for almost half a century. The shift from a proportional to a majority system implies important consequences in terms of constitutional guarantees, especially with regard to review procedures. According to the Constitution, one of the principal guarantee mechanisms is provided by the so called guarantee quorums; that is, by the provision for qualified majorities for a series of decisions pertaining to elected assemblies, including modifications to the Constitution. Clearly, the real guarantee value of these quorums is altered drastically by the shift from a proportional to a majority system. With the latter, for example, it would be wrong to imagine that a parliamentary majority is the expression of an analogous majority among the electorate. The question of guarantees in constitutional review procedures will have to figure high on the agenda of the new legislature, if institutional change is not to harm fundamental democracy and civil coexistence.