What we propose
To implement Article 49 of the Constitution on the democratic nature of parties, something has been done in recent years, with Decree Law No. 149 of December 28, 2013, converted into Law No. 13 of February 21, 2014, containing the “Abolition of funding direct public, provisions for the transparency and democratic nature of the parties and the regulation of voluntary contribution and indirect contributions in their favor ”.
The rule definitely marks a step forward, but focuses mainly on the abolition of electoral reimbursements, loudly demanded by the public as a scalp for the anti-political upright. But the true power of the parties is elsewhere, first of all in the power of nomination, which has not been regulated in any way. As for the obligations of internal democracy, law 13 stops too much on the surface, imposing merely formal constraints in terms of decision-making democracy.
More needs to be done:
our proposal is contained in a publication (here the text) and takes up the European recommendations in this regard, in particular those of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).
Some of our ideas have been accepted in a bill (here the text), but more must be done, if we really want to reform the parties and make it the premise of an anti-corruption policy based on prevention, as well as a democracy functioning.
The enactment of a law implementing the art. 49 can also be an opportunity to encourage the renewal of the ruling class. Starting from the evident incapacity of self-amendment of the parties, the legislator could foresee, for example, that in the Statute of the parties the maximum number of electoral mandates for the same person is fixed: for example, no more than three mandates, even non-consecutive ones , of stay in an elective office. This does not simply mean the renewal of the ruling class: there would also be positive effects on the so-called “moral question” since the replacement, especially at the top level, would make the formation of clientelesses less probable.
The disincentives, of course, will be fundamental: those parties that grant exceptions to the limit of the mandates should be excluded from electoral reimbursements. This implies that the law is followed by control, to be delegated to autonomous bodies. If, then, the results of the check were periodically made public, on the web, another disincentive would automatically be created for the non-compliance with the Statute: the loss of consensus with the voters.