In this article, co-authored with my friends Filippo Tronconi and Luca Verzichelli, we analyze the Italian Parliament as it emerged from the 2013 elections.
The elections of February 2013 have brought significant changes to the landscape of Italian politics and to the Italian parliament, both in the format of the party system and in the characters of individual representatives. The raise of a new and innovative political force (the Movimento 5 Stelle) and an exceptional parliamentary turnover (two out of three Members of parliament have been elected for the first time) are the most evident signs of the magnitude of this political earthquake. This article aims, in first place, to depict the main elements of discontinuity of the representative process after the last elections. After that, the consequences of such change are explored in four domains of legislative behaviour: the election of the three highest officials of the republican institutions (the President of the Republic and the Presidents of the two chambers), the fluidity of partisan organizations in parliament, the degree of party unity in legislative voting, and cross-party cooperation in legislative drafting. We conclude presenting some (pessimistic) reflections on the prospects for a consolidation of the present political scenario and the institutionalization of an efficient representative process in the near future.