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Stefano Rodotà on the referendum: "the Reform of embarrassing for inadequacy of content and language,"

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Published on Oct 08, 2016

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The electoral campaign, the constitutional referendum is turning into a manifesto of the anti-politics, fuelled by Matteo Renzi. So, on the pages of the Republic, the jurist Stefano Rodotà, a supporter of the battle for the No to the consultation on 4 December, analyzes the political disputes in the act in view of the vote.

"Looking at the discussions on the constitutional referendum, it seems every day more and more difficult to draw a boundary between politics and anti-politics, to determine where it ends one and begins the other. A manifest like the one that asks citizens to “do you Want to decrease the number of politicians? Just a " Yes”, incorporates moving the anti-politics, gives it a legitimacy that so far was missed. But what risks accompany this legitimacy in a period where there is a strong distrust of the citizens towards the institutions, great is their need of participation, more and more intense search for ways of direct representation? It is increasingly clear that the long, and in many ways violent, election campaign, far from over, has already caused deep divisions on the constitutional level, where the logic should be rather that of the mutual recognition of common principles. And interventions to continue, and often aggressive, the president of the Council certainly does not help to create the conditions. The risk is that, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, a significant part of the citizens can not recognize themselves in the result of the vote.

Rodotà underlines the close link between Italicum and constitutional reform, but also the possible changes to the electoral law, "the more ventilated, which translated into commitments", according to him, "would not have the effect of making acceptable the reform". The criticism of Rodotà is in the merit of the reform:

"It is embarrassing even, to the inadequacy of the content and of the language, read the text which has been handed the challenging task of rewriting well-forty-three articles of the Constitution. The declared intention is to simplify the dynamics of the constitution, in particular the legislative process. But to get rid of so much deprecated, bicameralism, equal has landed instead in a bicameralism that generously could be said of the botched. Even the scholars most experts have been able to give a unique interpretation of the number of new and different procedures of adoption of laws. But critical attention has been rightly paid to the composition of the new Senate, which seems to be designed to make how much ever difficult, and in some ways impossible, operation. The task given to the new senators, in fact, it is very difficult to reconcile with their primary institutional task. It is, in fact, of the regional councillors and mayors. And it is precisely the role played in particular by the auditors in the last period, to become crucial to the relationship between citizens and institutions, makes it unacceptable or actually impossible, their active presence and informed as senators. Not being able to play a real and effective institutional function, the new senators will attend the Palazzo Madama as a sort of club?".

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