All the Quirinale’s Men, a MiniDossier by Openpolis

We analyzed the activity of the 12 Presidents from 1948 until today to understand how the different Heads of State utilized their powers and carried out their functions. A comparison with other EU Member States and an in depth look at the electoral college.

The importance of the Quirinale. The President of the Republic is the Head of State and the representative of national unity. He guarantees that Italian politics comply with the Constitution.  A very delicate and important role, that in recent years has become synonymous with political stability. We analyzed the activity of the 12 Presidents from 1948 until today to understand how the different Heads of State utilized their powers and carried out their functions

European context. The role of the Head of State is very different in each country of the European Union. In fact, depending on the type of Government, the length of the mandate and the procedure for election, the figure and the importance of the role varies in nature. Even the anagraphic data is quite indicative: in power we mostly find men (82%), with an average age of 55, considerably young compared with italian politics.

The President’s Identikit. While the required age is 50, the average age of the 12 Presidents was 73. The oldest President has been Napolitano (turning 88 when reelected in 2013), while the youngest was Cossiga (57 in 1985). In Italy’s history there have been 12 mandates, with office being held always by men, that all came from the political world.

Political Role. We took some time to take a look at all the duties given by the Constitution to the President of the Republic. From the appointment of Constitutional Court Judges, and Senators for life, to granted pardons and honorary distinctions of the Republic. Obviously we gave importance to the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister, and the ability of the Quirinale to manage political instability.

Electoral College. The consensus on the name of the candidate for the presidency of the Republic is one of the elements that characterizes the process of election of the Head of State. Usually 9 voting sessions are necessary to gather the right amount of consensus around a single figure. A very difficult task for the electoral college made up 1.009 members, also considering the recent difficulties during the 2013 elections, and the on going changes taking place in Parliament.

MiniDossier Openpolis. “All the Quirinale’s Men” is the first number of a series of publication called “MiniDossier”. Through a data journalism approach its goal is to verify, analyze and compare data from different official sources in order to suggest different point of views and tell different stories. To contribute and help this research, it is fundamental to support openpolis through our membership campaign.

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  • Cini

    A 74 years old President replaced a 90 year old one. A step toward the new and modernity. Italian style of course!!

  • Cini

    In Italy we live in a very odd period and type of government. The last 3 of them were never elected and not by chance were all, including the present one considered unconstitutional. The non elected government in turn unconstitutionally voted-in the new President. If this odd unusual situation, inconspicuously dictatorial should serve the porpose to force drastic changes in the running of the country, right now out of control, dominated by corrupted politician and managers of State runned companies that accorded themselves a series of incredible privileges, enormous easy and early golden pensions that exceed by far the salary of President Obama, to mention just a few, then it will be most welcome. We can only wait, hope for the best and see. Most italian, including myself have full confidence in the young Premier, modern, dynamic, charismatic and full of stamina Matteo Renzi. We keep crossing our fingers!!