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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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List of Abbreviations ix


viii serve special mention for their perseverance and professionalism in guiding us through the publication process. Our heartfelt thanks go to Professor Roberto D’Alimonte, a distinguished scholar in the area of elections studies, government and electoral systems from the School of Government at the LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome. We are most grateful to him for his constructive and effective review of our work. His review ultimately convinced the publisher that the book provided an important contribution to the scholarly community in the area of expatriate voting and electoral studies. We also thank the col- leagues within the Faculty of Business and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology who have provided encouragement and as- sistance much of which is considered to be normal practice and in the realm of academic collegiality. We are greatly indebted to the participants of this project. Hon. Marco Fedi, the elected Member of Parliament for the Italian electoral college of Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica shared with us valuable in- sights into the Italian expatriate voting phenomenon and provided an important addition to the focus group findings, balancing the debate and understanding in this area. Fedi took the opportunity to respond and clarify many questions raised by the focus groups in the course of the data collection. It should also be noted that Fedi was confirmed for the third time as the Democratic Party (PD) MP for the Italian Cham- ber of Deputies in the recent 2013 Italian elections. We are also thank- ful to former candidates on both...

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