Chamber of Deputies (Italy)

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Chamber of Deputies

Camera dei Deputati
Chamber of Deputies current composition.svg
Political groups
Government (237)

Confidence and supply (1)

Opposition (162)

Elections
Montecitorio Aula.jpg
Palazzo Montecitorio, Rome
Website
en.camera.it
camera.it
Rules
Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies (English)

The Chamber of Deputies (Italian: Camera dei deputati) is the lower house of the bicameral Italian Parliament (the other being the Senate of the Republic). The two houses together form a perfect bicameral system, meaning they perform identical functions, but do so separately. The Chamber of Deputies has 400 seats, of which 392 will be elected from Italian constituencies, and 8 from Italian citizens living abroad. Deputies are styled The Honourable (Italian: Onorevole)[1] and meet at Palazzo Montecitorio.

Location

The seat of the Chamber of Deputies is the Palazzo Montecitorio, where it has met since 1871, shortly after the capital of the Kingdom of Italy was moved to Rome at the successful conclusion of the Italian unification Risorgimento movement.

Previously, the seat of the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy had been briefly at the Palazzo Carignano in Turin (1861–1865) and the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (1865–1871). Under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, the Chamber of Deputies was abolished and replaced by the figurehead Chamber of Fasces and Corporations from 1939 to 1943 (during World War II).

Normal operation

The Chamber is composed of all members meeting in session at the Montecitorio. The assembly also has the right to attend meetings of the Government and its ministers. If required, the Government is obligated to attend the session. Conversely, the Government has the right to be heard every time it requires.

The term of office of the House (as well as the Senate) is five years, but can be extended in two cases:

  • The "prorogatio", as provided by art. 61.2 of the Constitution, states that deputies whose terms have expired shall continue to exercise their functions until the first meeting of the new Chamber.
  • An extension of the term, provided for by art. 60.2, can be enacted only in case of war.

Electoral system

The electoral system is a mixed-member majoritarian with 37% of seats allocated using first-past-the-post voting (FPTP) and 63% using proportional representation, allocated with the largest remainder method, with one round of voting.

The 400 deputies are elected in:

  • 147 in single-member constituencies, by plurality;
  • 245 in multi-member constituencies, by national proportional representation;
  • 8 in multi-member abroad constituencies, by constituency proportional representation.

For Italian residents, each house members are elected by single ballots, including the constituency candidate and his supporting party lists. In each single-member constituency the deputy/senator is elected on a plurality basis, while the seats in multi-member constituencies will be allocated nationally. In order to be calculated in single-member constituency results, parties need to obtain at least 1% of the national vote. In order to receive seats in multi-member constituencies, parties need to obtain at least 3% of the national vote. Elects from multi-member constituencies will come from closed lists.

The single voting paper, containing both first-past-the-post candidates and the party lists, shows the names of the candidates to single-member constituencies and, in close conjunction with them, the symbols of the linked lists for the proportional part, each one with a list of the relative candidates.

The voter can cast his vote in three different ways:

  • Drawing a sign on the symbol of a list: in this case the vote extends to the candidate in the single-member constituency which is supported by that list.
  • Drawing a sign on the name of the candidate of the single-member constituency and another one on the symbol of one list that supports them: the result is the same as that described above; it is not allowed, under penalty of annulment, the panachage, so the voter can not vote simultaneously for a candidate in the FPTP constituency and for a list which is not linked to them.
  • Drawing a sign only on the name of the candidate for the FPTP constituency, without indicating any list: in this case, the vote is valid for the candidate in the single-member constituency and also automatically extended to the list that supports them; if that candidate is however connected to several lists, the vote is divided proportionally between them, based on the votes that each one has obtained in that constituency.

Article 61 of the Italian Constitution maintains that elections for the Chamber of Deputies must take place within 70 days of the dissolution of the house, and that representatives must convene within 20 days of those elections.

President

The President of the Chamber of Deputies (Presidente della Camera dei Deputati) performs the role of speaker of the house and is elected during the first session after the election. During this time the prerogatives of speaker are assumed by the vice president of Chamber of Deputies[2] of the previous legislature who was elected first. If two were elected simultaneously, the oldest deputy serves as president of Chamber of Deputies.

The President of Chamber of Deputies has also the role of President during the Parliament joint sessions, when the upper and lower houses have to vote together.

Lorenzo Fontana is the current president of the Chamber of Deputies.

Name Period Legislature
Giovanni Gronchi (DC) 8 May 1948 – 29 April 1955 I, II
Giovanni Leone (DC) 10 May 1955 – 21 June 1963 II, III, IV
Brunetto Bucciarelli-Ducci (DC) 26 June 1963 – 4 June 1968 IV
Sandro Pertini (PSI) 5 June 1968 – 4 July 1976 V, VI
Pietro Ingrao (PCI) 5 July 1976 – 19 June 1979 VII
Nilde Iotti (PCI) 20 June 1979 – 22 April 1992 VIII, IX, X
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro (DC) 24 April 1992 – 25 May 1992 XI
Giorgio Napolitano (PDS) 3 June 1992 – 14 April 1994
Irene Pivetti (LN) 16 April 1994 – 8 May 1996 XII
Luciano Violante (PDS) 10 May 1996 – 29 May 2001 XIII
Pier Ferdinando Casini (CCD) 31 May 2001 – 27 April 2006 XIV
Fausto Bertinotti (PRC) 29 April 2006 – 28 April 2008 XV
Gianfranco Fini (PdL) 30 April 2008 – 14 March 2013 XVI
Laura Boldrini (SEL) 16 March 2013 – 22 March 2018 XVII
Roberto Fico (M5S) 24 March 2018 – 12 October 2022 XVIII
Lorenzo Fontana (Lega) since 14 October 2022 XIX

Membership

The Chamber has 400 members. They were most recently elected at the 2022 general election.

Reform proposals

In 2019, the Italian parliament passed a constitutional law that reduces the number of the deputies from 630 to 400. The law was approved on 21 and 22 September 2020 by a referendum.[3]

Legislature XIX of Italy was the first one in which the complexive number of Deputies was equal to 400.

Historical composition

1861–1924

  PCI
  PSI
  PSU
  PSdA
  PRI
  PSRI
  PDR
  Left
  PD
  PDC
  PDSI
  PLDI
  Others
  Independent
  Vacant
  SeT
  PPI
  UL/PLI
  UECI
  Right
  PE
  PdC
  CC
  BN/LN
1861
14 62 25 342
1865
15 156 89 183
1867
225 74 43 151
1870
195 56 24 233
1874
232 276
1876
414 94
1880
119 218 171
1882
44 19 289 9 147
1886
45 26 292 145
1890
42 401 17 48
1892
56 323 36 93
1895
15 47 334 8 104
1897
15 25 42 327 99
1900
33 29 34 296 116
1904
29 24 37 339 3 76
1904
29 24 37 339 3 76
1909
41 24 45 336 10 16 36
1913
60 17 73 19 11 29 270 20 9
1919
157 4 12 6 60 96 5 100 41 7 20
1921
15 124 6 11 29 68 2 9 108 43 5 10 105
1924
19 22 24 2 7 10 14 1 4 39 15 374

Since 1945

  DP/PdUP
  PCI
  PSIUP
  PSI
  US/PSDI
  FdV
  PdA
  PSdA
  PR
  PRI
  UV/VdA
  SVP
  MIS
  Others
  DC
  UDN/PLI
  UQ
  PMP
  BNI
  MSI
1946
104 115 7 2 23 4 7 207 41 30 16
1948
130 53 33 1 9 3 1 305 14 5 14 6
1953
143 75 19 5 3 263 13 40 29
1958
140 84 22 6 1 3 1 273 17 14 11 24
1963
166 87 33 6 1 3 260 39 8 27
1968
177 23 62 29 9 3 266 31 6 24
1972
179 61 29 15 1 3 266 20 56
1976
6 228 57 15 4 14 3 1 262 5 35
1979
6 201 62 20 18 1 4 1 262 9 30
1983
7 198 73 23 11 29 1 1 3 1 225 16 42
1987
8 177 94 17 13 13 21 2 1 3 1 234 11 35
  PRC
  PDS
  PSI
  PSDI
  FdV
  PR
  PRI
  LR
  VdA
  SVP
  Others
  DC
  PLI
  LN
  MSI
1992
35 107 92 16 16 7 27 12 1 3 2 206 17 55 34
  PRC
  PdCI
  PDS/DS
  PSI
  FdV
  NPSI
  AD
  SDI
  LR
  IdV
  DL
  RI
  PPI
  UDEUR
  VdA
  SVP
  Others
  PS
  CCD+CDU/UDC
  LN
  FI
  AN
1994
38 125 15 11 16 8 33 1 3 1 13 27 111 118 110
1996
35 172 14 3 26 69 1 3 2 30 123 59 93
2001
11 10 136 17 3 83 1 3 3 40 194 30 99
2006
41 16 123 15 4 18 17 90 10 4 15 39 140 26 72
  SEL
  AVS
  LeU
  PD
  M5S
  A–IV
  CD
  IdV
  SC
  VdA
  SVP
  Others
  UdC
  NM
  MpA
  PdL/FI
  LN/LSP
  FdI
2008
217 29 2 2 36 8 276 60
2013
37 297 109 6 39 1 5 3 8 98 18 9
2018
14 112 227 4 12 104 125 32
2022
12 69 52 21 1 3 5 7 45 66 119

Predecessors

See also

Notes

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

References

  1. ^ "onorevole [o-no-ré-vo-le] agg., s." Corriere della Sera. Dizionario di Italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. ^ There are four vice presidents who lead the debate when there is not the President of the chamber.
  3. ^ "Il 20 e 21 settembre ci sarà il referendum sul taglio del numero dei parlamentari" (in Italian). Il Post. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2022.

External links

  • Obelisk of Montecitorio. In the background is the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

    Obelisk of Montecitorio. In the background is the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

  • Back side of Palazzo Montecitorio, designed by architect Ernesto Basile

    Back side of Palazzo Montecitorio, designed by architect Ernesto Basile

  • Front side of Palazzo Montecitorio.

    Front side of Palazzo Montecitorio.

  • Another photo of the main entrance of Montecitorio with the Montecitorio column.

    Another photo of the main entrance of Montecitorio with the Montecitorio column.

Coordinates: 41°54′5″N 12°28′43″E / 41.90139°N 12.47861°E / 41.90139; 12.47861