A view from the Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica college
7. Conclusion 125
CHAPTER 7 Conclusion This study has sought to undertake a detached and reflective view of the more than ten years in which Italians abroad have benefited from an extension of their constitutional right to participate in Italian elec- tions. In this period they have voted in their expatriate constituencies and elected representatives from among their expatriate residents in country. These representatives, twelve Deputies and six Senators, have been able to sit in the Italian parliament alongside the other members of parliament elected in Italian constituencies. The democ- ratic right extended to Italians abroad was from the outset widely rec- ognized as not only generous but also both ambitious and radical. By this electoral privilege and beyond all expectations the Italian Dias- pora was provided with a remarkable chance to engage politically with their homeland. In the more than ten years following the passage of Law 459 in 2001 Italians overseas have been able to participate in national elec- tions (in 2006, 2008 and 2013) and in referendums (in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011). This participation allows a full opportunity to assess both its effectiveness on the one hand, and on the other whether or not this reform was worth doing in the first place. While the long journey of introducing the expatriate vote began in 1955, the major tasks involved in changing the Italian Constitution and pulling to- gether bipartisan groups to draft legislation acceptable to all in the Italian parliament did not occur until the 1990s. The final...
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