The procedural question

photo by Caroline Peacock

Fausto Bertinotti has responded to my post about the abusive presence of Previti in Parliament. To understand his letter I’ve asked my lawyers for help. After a long consultation they have explained that Bertinotti cannot do anything and that we have to keep and pay Previti as a deputy for a long time yet.
I note that the moral issue has become the procedural issue. Nothing can be done against the procedures. If they exist there’ll be a reason.
If no authority can prevent a convict like Previti to be a deputy or prevent parliamentarians like Vito and Pomicino to be elected to the Antimafia commission, dear Fausto, then the institutions have failed. This has to be recognised.

Dear Grillo,
I read the post on your blog talking about me on 29 June. For my part, I would like to try to respond to the issues that you have raised that relate to my responsibility.
I don’t expect to convince anyone to have a different take on politics, I would just like to call to mind that the Chamber of Deputies, luckily, is not organised like an absolute monarchy but according to the model of a State based on the rule of law.
Here there is the principle of the division of powers and of the subdivision of responsibility and every power, starting from the President, is subject to the discipline of rules, norms and the interpretation of these, according to a doctrine that is based on precedent so as to produce a consolidated tradition that inspires the behaviour.
The logic is clear: abuses are to be avoided, as are unlawful actions, discretion in exercising power and together the dictatorship of the majority.
The question of ineligibility, and of the forfeiture of the position is regulated by law.
This says that, if the conditions are to be met, there must be a criminal conviction followed by the imposition of the sanctions that are secondary to the prevention from holding public office and the consequent loss of the right to be one of the electorate, with the cancellation from the list of voters in the place of residence.
None of the current parliamentarians is in this situation, except for deputy Previti for whom the procedure has been started. The proclamation of the removal of a parliamentarian is in turn regulated by regulations internal to the institution.
This gives the Election Committee the instruction to proceed so as to get a proposal, with unanimity or with a majority, to be put to the Assembly. The decision is put to the Assembly who vote on the proposal of the committee.
It can also happen, as it has recently happened in relation to a proposal put forward with unanimity by the Committee relating to the stripping of their seats of two parliamentarians for incompatibility with other roles, that the Assembly threw out. What cannot happen however is that the President of the Chamber decides or is responsible for the decision. The proposal comes from the Election Committee, the Assembly decides.
In the case of deputy Previti, after a long procedure, the Election Committee ascertained in a meeting on 29 May 2007, a situation of ineligibility, and decided to contest his election.
On 9 July, in applying the rules of the Committee that fix the time frames, a public sitting has been called to examine the contestation so that the parts may have a cross-examination of the witnesses, the Committee goes back to have another meeting, uninterruptedly, to discuss the proposals to put before the Assembly.
I ask, in turn, with current laws and rules, what is the critical point that is raised? What else should be done?
It’s possible to criticise the length of time of the procedures, but because judicial proceedings go on for a long time, are there those who blame the President of the Republic as he is President of the CSM {magistrates' governing body}?
Certainly, there is a problem, but I believe, it is before the entry into parliament as elected deputies. If I can express a personal opinion, not connected to my current function, I confirm in what I have had occasion to say in past elections, when I have faced them as director of a party.
The parties should come together to decide to exclude from their lists according to a principle of political and not judicial responsibility those who are convicted or even on trial for crimes that are socially dangerous.
What I think is a mistake would be the substitution of a political moralising will, that can be shown in the chosen behaviour like the production of adequate laws, with authoritative interventions, that are anyway not permitted by the laws and the regulations.
I wanted to give an answer to your considerations and perhaps I have gone on too long, thus taking advantage of your attention and that of the readers of the blog. However I would like to add at least one thing. We are faced with big and difficult problems. According to me, there is a serious political crisis and a separateness of the Institutions from the real country.
There is a creeping crisis with democracy in the whole of Europe and in Italy, with specific characteristics. I think that only with a renaissance of politics as a project of society and as organisation of participation can be an adequate response.
But anyway, each person must do their bit and be subject to the judgement of the population. Even on the matter of the costs of politics, to which you also refer.
On this topic, the Presidency of the Senate and of the Chamber is at work, in collaboration with the Colleges of Quaestors, to rapidly define common proposals.
All interested parties will be involved. Then there will be a proposal of an intervention to correct distortions and make the institutions more convincing.
There shouldn’t be a long to wait.
Coming up on 9 July, in agreement with the Presidency of the Senate, the respective offices of the Presidents will be called to come up with proposals for reducing the spending connected to the exercise of the parliamentary mandate. The merit of the proposals can be evaluated and criticised. But it’s not possible to denounce immobility.
Going beyond every individual question, more generally - and as far as I am concerned – I just want to continue to be able to respond for my actions and my responsibilities with complete awareness, as always.”

Fausto Bertinotti

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:18 PM in | Comments (6)
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I'm not communist but I want only to say that if Berlinguer would hear and read all the bullshit that Bertinotti is pouring over everybody, he would pray God to make him go back to the Earth for one day, just to kick Fausto on his mouth, smack his hands with a hammer and shoot him in his balls to make sure he will never have children of his own.


Posted by: Giovanni Principe | July 6, 2007 06:38 PM

Actually mafia still exists worldwide

Posted by: Auro Walder | July 6, 2007 02:08 PM

Is it true that in italy still exists real mafia? I can't believe in it.

Posted by: ED Malkovich | July 6, 2007 11:16 AM

I could not finish to read it, but a passage impressed me: "There is a creeping crisis with democracy in the whole of Europe and in Italy, with specific characteristics."
Seeeeee, do you want us to believe that? Why when Italy has very very serious problems politicians start to say that there is the same kind of crisis in the whole Europe (and could you explain the 'specific characteristics'?!) or to bring as example countries where the situation is worse (only FEW countries among the third world's ones).
I traveled and lived in many places of Europe and I can assure you, life in each of them is much much better than Italy, especially on the political point of view.
Only where there are strong dictatorships (North Corea for instance) people are induced to believe that the outside world is worse than the one they live in. But God bless we Italians still have a passaport and travel! So we know, we know, there is no excuse, the problem is not Europe, there are not 'specific characteristics', the problem is solely ITALIAN GOVERNMENT.

Posted by: Layla | July 5, 2007 07:33 AM

We have a leader of the government in charge justifying the fact that in the Italian Parliament there are a certain number of convicted (criminals) members.

Some of them were convicted of having links with the Mafia (Marcello Dell'Utri; he also worked for BERLUSCONI! cf.wikipedia: )

This is not something normal, this is disgraceful!

Posted by: CICCIO C | July 4, 2007 06:04 PM

As usual the dog wags his tail when it comes to his dinner!
The problem is very simple, the constitution of Italy is old, Politicians are old, and Italian Society instead has to keep up with today’s pace and demands.
When it comes to increase Politicians Salaries and Perks all of You are quick and stealthy, even when Tax Law need to be implemented?
Only when it comes to reprimand and held Politicians to their Constitutional Responsibilities, well then the Rule of Law and Constitution Flag is raised?
The only true statement in your comment is: “You are disconnected from Real Society” which makes all of You irrelevant, un-necessary and obsolete.
Go to hell without the return ticket.
Cheers, long live The Italian Institutions

Posted by: Gothlingun Y. | July 4, 2007 04:14 PM

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