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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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6. Interviews with Former Candidates Joe Caputo, Luigi Casagrande, Joe Cossari, and Teresa Todaro Restifa 109

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CHAPTER 6 Interviews with Former Candidates Joe Caputo, Luigi Casagrande, Joe Cossari, and Teresa Todaro Restifa This chapter offers insights from a selected group of former candi- dates who stood in the general Italian election of 2008 in the electoral college of Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica (AAOA). Invitations to participate to this study were forwarded to all former candidates (ex- cluding the two elected) who stood in the general Italian elections of 2008. Four former candidates accepted to be part of this study and in- clude: Joe Caputo from the Socialist Party, Luigi Casagrande, Joe Cossari, and Teresa Todaro Restifa from The People of Freedom Party. Although not successful in their bid for either the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate seat of the AAOA electoral college, their views and insights into the running of the Diaspora seats are rich and worthy of inclusion in this study. While they cannot testify to the life of a parliamentarian they were certainly close enough to understand its workings and therefore offer more informed views while at the same time not bearing the re- sponsibility of being a parliamentarian. They sit in a third category – not quite a voter – not yet a parliamentarian. Interestingly though their narrative remains highly partisan and politically caustic as they worked the hustings but failed in their bid to achieve success. 110 6.1 Questions and answers The nineteen questions similar to questions answered by both Marco Fedi and the focus groups are listed in sequential order with answers from the four...

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