Metropolitan cities were established by Italian Law no. 56/2014 (commonly known as the “Delrio Law”) as a new level of government, replacing and redefining functions previously performed by provinces in selected major urban areas. One of their three key governing bodies is the metropolitan council, a representative assembly the members of which are elected via an indirect, second-level, proportional, list-based system in which the electorate comprises all sitting mayors and councillors from metropolitan city municipalities. The election mechanism applies a differential weighting scheme that reflects the population size of the municipalities in which voters serve as mayors or councillors. Using the outcomes of the metropolitan council elections held in the years 2021 and 2022 in eight metropolitan cities, this study highlights the variety of ways (many of which appear to be largely unintended) in which demographic weighting bestows significantly greater (and, arguably, unwarranted) power to larger cities’ representatives, essentially disrupting the principles of territorial representation that the weighting scheme intended to embody. The study also focuses on how the legal framework for metropolitan council elections generates institutional instability via mandatory forfeitures and ensuing substitutions of seat vacancies. Finally, the author identifies potential adjustments to the electoral system – especially a proposal for the attenuation of disproportionate territorial representation via demographic weighting based on the so-called “square-root method”.

“Weighed, not counted”: territorial (mis)representation in Italian metropolitan council elections / G. Gasperoni. - In: QUADERNI DELL'OSSERVATORIO ELETTORALE. - ISSN 0392-6753. - STAMPA. - 87:1(2024), pp. 73-87. [10.36253/qoe-15059]

“Weighed, not counted”: territorial (mis)representation in Italian metropolitan council elections

G. Gasperoni
2024

Abstract

Metropolitan cities were established by Italian Law no. 56/2014 (commonly known as the “Delrio Law”) as a new level of government, replacing and redefining functions previously performed by provinces in selected major urban areas. One of their three key governing bodies is the metropolitan council, a representative assembly the members of which are elected via an indirect, second-level, proportional, list-based system in which the electorate comprises all sitting mayors and councillors from metropolitan city municipalities. The election mechanism applies a differential weighting scheme that reflects the population size of the municipalities in which voters serve as mayors or councillors. Using the outcomes of the metropolitan council elections held in the years 2021 and 2022 in eight metropolitan cities, this study highlights the variety of ways (many of which appear to be largely unintended) in which demographic weighting bestows significantly greater (and, arguably, unwarranted) power to larger cities’ representatives, essentially disrupting the principles of territorial representation that the weighting scheme intended to embody. The study also focuses on how the legal framework for metropolitan council elections generates institutional instability via mandatory forfeitures and ensuing substitutions of seat vacancies. Finally, the author identifies potential adjustments to the electoral system – especially a proposal for the attenuation of disproportionate territorial representation via demographic weighting based on the so-called “square-root method”.
2024
“Weighed, not counted”: territorial (mis)representation in Italian metropolitan council elections / G. Gasperoni. - In: QUADERNI DELL'OSSERVATORIO ELETTORALE. - ISSN 0392-6753. - STAMPA. - 87:1(2024), pp. 73-87. [10.36253/qoe-15059]
G. Gasperoni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/955655
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