What is at stake?
Italians are set to vote on a reform of the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on December 4th. This reform (already passed by both houses in two rounds, as required for constitutional changes) would abolish the “perfect bicameralism” that has rendered governing Italy so difficult in the post-war period. The Senate would be reduced to a (much smaller) chamber of regional representation with very limited law-making competences. Future governments would solely depend on parliamentary support in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house. The constitutional changes are much more wide-ranging, including a clarification of competences between the regions and the central government. Since the abolition of the second chamber in its current form is the most consequential of the proposed changes, we refer to the bundle of constitutional changes as the Senate reform.