The interests behind the reform to cut MPs

Voiced by Amazon Polly

While the Mediterranean is in full swing, Libya sinks into chaos more and more every day, and the Middle East is crossed by the winds of crisis between the US superpower and the Persian challenger, Italian politics adds a further element to the already remarkable process of progressive dissociation from its surrounding reality with the pitiless ballet staged in the last few days on the reform that cuts MPs numbers.

The controversy over popular consultation is yet another political battleground between those who work to stabilize the current legislature and those who, on the contrary, aim to return to the polls as soon as possible. With all due respect to matters of principle (last October, almost all the Parliament voted in favor of reducing the number of MPs), or the opportunity to witness without lifting a finger the literal upheaval of the region that surrounds Italy. With potentially devastating effects for the Country’s national interest – an alien concept in the eyes of Italian rulers us and perhaps precisely for this reason set aside without too many worries.

The iconic constitutional reform strongly desired by the M5S aims to reduce the number of MPs by one third (from 630 to 400 deputies and from 315 to 200 senators) and should have entered into force in the three months following its publication in the Official Gazette, unless that a confirmatory referendum request does not arise first. What punctually occurred in the last hours, after the new subscriptions made by League senators made it possible to compensate for the surprise withdrawal of four Forza Italia MPs, belonging to the Carfagna area, as well as the doubts of some PD signatories.

There was no lack of criticism or reasons for debate on the reform: according to skeptics, in fact, the cut of parliamentarians would end up compressing the representation of the voters, making the parliamentary groups smaller and therefore better controllable by leaders and secretaries, with the result of further distancing the electorate from politics. But more than lending itself to an erudite juridical and constitutional quarrel, the impression is that the story is linked above all to the power play between the actors of the political arena.

Without the referendum, as seen, the reform would have entered into force in mid-January while for the moment the citizens’ response will have to be waited for. And now that the ruling coalition has agreed in principle on the contents on the next electoral law (a proportional system with a 5% threshold, on the German model), the reform has revealed for what it really is: a tool to get around the obstacle and immediately go to vote with the current system. A goal that pleases Salvini’s League, as well as those who yearns to return to vote with a thousand seats Parliament up for grab. Albeit with some side effects: in the event of a government crisis, it cannot be excluded that the Head of State favors instead the birth of another government, called to manage the referendum before the new political elections are held.

Be that as it may, it is a fact that the real object of clash no longer concerns the goodness of the reform: having lost the spiritual battle against it, what remains is just the prosaic count of the interests of individuals and parties.