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The 2001 Italian expatriate vote: Was it worth it?

A view from the Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica college

Bruno Mascitelli, Rory Steele and Simone Battiston

This book examines the implementation and consequences of the Italian expatriate vote and representation introduced in 2001 in the external electoral colleges with special attention to the Electoral College known as Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica. The Italian elections of 2006, 2008 and 2013 were important moments where the expatriate vote was expressed providing results which Italian lawmakers may have not anticipated. Moreover, the electoral expressions of the external colleges were not always in accord with Italians ones. This study examines how the stakeholders in the Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica college understood and perceived this voting and representation facility after its implementation. What they thought in 2001 and what they think now. The study seeks the views of focus groups across numerous cities in Australia, interviews the protagonists and provides critical commentary on the future of this «right» and whether all this effort «was worth it» in providing Italians abroad with external voting and representation in elections and referendums.

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Acknowledgements vii

Extract

Acknowledgments To those readers who have followed the sequence of publications on this matter by the authors, this is the third book published in English on the Italian expatriate vote and representation. Each of our three studies has had a focus on Italian-Australians within the Africa-Asia- Oceania-Antarctica (AAOA) electoral college for expatriate voters, and on the implementation of the Italian expatriate vote. This study is analyzing the more than ten years experience in which this Italian leg- islation has been introduced and implemented (since 2001), in particu- lar for the 2006, 2008 and 2013 Italian elections, along with five ref- erendums over these years. This book also provides a number of per- spectives, including those of one of the two elected MPs from the AAOA electoral college, those of some candidates who stood in the 2008 elections and, last but not least, those of the voters. Views and opinions among voters were collected through focus groups in the cit- ies of Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney. They provided excellent data for a thorough analysis of the phenomenon. Like the other studies we have published, this book was greatly assisted by numerous individuals and organizations which deserve recognition. The preface to this book was generously prepared by Franca Arena. Franca, a former Labor State MP from New South Wales, shares her own experience and views on this controversial piece of legislation which she opposed from the outset. She is also an outspoken commentator on expatriate communities and expatriate vot- ing. We have...

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