“Government in the time of crisis” a MiniDossier by Openpolis

The first year of the Renzi Government is the chance for a comparative analysis of the activities of the Berlusconi, Monti, Letta an Renzi Cabinets. Which priorities, how many laws, changes in numbers and the relationship with the Parliament.

Institutional equilibrium.  The transition towards the “Third Republic” begun on an unclear path with few certainties. The main one is the need to harmonize from a normative point of view a phenomenon that has become common practice: a Government with more power.

Government-Parliament Relationship. A proof of Government centrality in the political system is its enormous ability to influence the legislative process. A shift in the balance of power that, obviously, resulted in a Parliament with less influence and importance.

Legislative process. This is clear through a number of analyses: initiative (80% of laws are proposed by Government, only 20% by Parliament), success rate (30% of Government proposals become Law, while not even 1% of proposals by MPs), time for approval (usually a Government proposal becomes Law within 112 days, while the days necessary for Parliament proposals is over 330).

Votes of confidence. In order for all of this to be possible italian voters witnessed an intensive use of votes of confidence. Not only on particularly heated debates, but also as a way to test the strength of the majority and to limit the parliamentary debate. The relationship between approved laws and votes of confidence reached new heights with the Monti and Renzi Governments, both around 45%.

Parliamentary inquiries. One of the tasks of the Parliament is to monitor the activity of the Government, operation that is carried out mainly by submitting parliamentary inquires or questions. Unfortunately the response rate is very low. Of the total number of inquiries submitted only 35% received an answer, with the percentage dropping to 25% with the Renzi Government.

Political agenda. One of the most interesting comparisons that can be made between the four Governments is the different focus on issues discussed in Parliament. Labour with Renzi (approval of the Jobs Act), the debate on provinces’ reform and local authorities under Letta and the focus on businesses and Public Administration efficiency with Monti, are only some examples.

More transparency. We hope to enrich our research with more data that as of now is not public. There is very little information regarding the meeting of the Council of Ministers and the publication of the necessary decrees for the actual implementation of laws that are approved by Parliament.

MiniDossier Openpolis. “Government in the time of crisis” is the second 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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