Italian Constitutional Referendum an interview with Professor Chris Stephens

Dear fellow dual citizens,

Professor Chris Stephens at St. Louis Community College has spent some time researching the December 4th constitutional referendum. Ciao St. Louis is providing this information to help voters make an informed decision.  We also invite others with opposing to share their opinion and will post them as well.

Professor Chris Stephens Comments:

I plan to vote “No”. I have extensive thoughts on the matter, but a few of my main reasons are as follows:

1. This is a major rewriting of the Italian constitution. It is only the third proposal for change since the elimination of the monarchy. One prior attempt failed; one succeeded. While the proposed changes simplify and strengthen some aspects of the government, it alters the balance of power.

2. Provinces will be eliminated from the constitution opening the door to local legislation abolishing or radically changing them. “Metropolitan cities” are maintained in the constitution (several provinces have already been converted to “metropolitan cities” with no recognition of the differences in size/population of said cities).
3. The current symmetrical bicameral system will be tilted in favor of the chamber of deputies by reducing the power of the senate and in certain matters eliminating the need for the senate’s approval for passage of bills.

4. The ruling party will receive extra seats in the parliament at the end of any given election.

5. Proposed legislation via petition will require 150,000 signatures. Currently only 50,000 are required.

6. Overseas constituencies (Italians living abroad) will no longer have representation in the Parliament. This was a deal breaker for me. I can’t bring myself to vote for something that eliminates my voice as an Italian living abroad.

There is a thorough summary of the issues of this referendum at:,_2016


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