According most of the Italian and International scholars, during the so-called First Republic the short living Italian cabinets have not been enjoyed strong procedural prerogatives in the legislative process (Predieri 1964, 1975 Döring 1995). Yet, Italian politics has gone through a political and institutional upset for the last thirteen years, and also the legislative arena has been affected by changes. In this period, the Italian governments seem to have acquired a stronger role in the legislative agenda setting; parliamentary committees have lost their traditional centrality, the usual consensual style of the decision making has been often changed in a harsher one; and the legislative output has been decreased (Capano & Giuliani 2001, 2003, Zucchini 2001, Vassallo 2001, Fabbrini, 2000, De Micheli & Verzichelli 2003, Ieraci, G. 2003). Despite this intriguing dynamics, none have tried to evaluate systematically the changes in the agenda setting power distribution, neither to connect them with other changes in the broader political environment. This paper tries to fill the existent gap. The primary intent is to summarize the information about all current methods the government uses to control parliamentary agendas (Doering 1995, Tsebelis 2002), looking for the main changes that have taken place in the last decade. On this subject the evidence seems mixed: there are not relevant changes in the Parliamentary standing orders about the Government’s role, and no change has been carried out about the Executive’s Constitutional prerogatives. Yet, important changes have permanently taken place without the approval of new formal rules, through a the revitalisation of old constitutional prerogatives (the delegated decree authority) (Zucchini 2003), through the effects of a third player intervention (the Constitutional court), through apparently marginal innovations in the legislative process. The secondary goal of this paper is putting forward a plausible and testable hypothesis about the source of this legislative agenda setting evolution (and its features). I argue that, at the moment, the law making is affected by two contrasting factors. On one side, the party system has turned from the pivotal to the “alternational” type (Strom 2003, Verzichelli, L. e M.Cotta 2000); therefore, Government has achieved more legislative agenda setting power vis à vis the Parliament, mainly as reaction to the increased responsiveness of Government formation and Government behaviour to electoral results. The overall effect is more delegation of legislative power from the principal-parliament to the agent–executive and from the party backbenchers to the party leadership. On the other side, the persistent high number of veto players (and the large size of the Veto players’s Pareto set) restrains the Government to play a more incisive role (Tsebelis 2002), it helps to maintain the status quo in many policy areas, it moves further the struggle for the legislative agenda setting from the Executive-legislative relationship towards the intra-Cabinet interaction. The present parliamentary debate about the reform of Italian constitution would reflect at least partially this situation.
|Titolo:||The legislative agenda setting power in a changing parliamentary democracy : the Italian puzzle|
|Data di pubblicazione:||apr-2005|
|Parole Chiave:||Legislative Agenda setting ; Italy|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||European Consortium of Political Research|
|Citazione:||The legislative agenda setting power in a changing parliamentary democracy : the Italian puzzle / Francesco Zucchini. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Joint Sessions ECPR tenutosi a Granada nel 2005, April 14-19.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|