Chamber and Senate, let's get used to seeing them always "deserted"

Chamber and Senate, let's get used to seeing them always deserted

Chamber and Senate

The glance of the parliamentary halls on the occasion of the election of the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber was almost bleak, considering that these are two of the most attended sessions of each legislature. And no, the deputies and senators did not seem so few because many had already been absent on the first day of school, but because of the cut of the parliamentarians that decimated them in both branches of parliament. For obvious reasons, the classrooms could not be changed, but they adapted to accommodate a smaller number of elected officials. So let's get used to seeing semi-deserted classrooms, even on the occasion of important and participatory votes:

The new provision in the Chamber of Deputies The new provision in the Senate of the Republic Some curiosities What doesn't work in the new Parliament 5 Star Movement risks making parliamentary committees less efficient and slower, further slowing down the process of laws

The new provision in the Chamber of Deputies

In Montecitorio the honorable members have gone from 630 to 400. A full-bodied cut that led to a new organization of the classroom designed by the Palermo architect Ernesto Basile and inaugurated on December 20, 1918. The benches equipped with a microphone and voting station have been reduced, eliminating the positions in the last two rows and in the first, on which only the sessions were held. Perhaps a questionable choice, given that the eliminated instruments could be useful in the joint sessions of the two branches of Parliament for the election of the President of the Republic. The changes were made almost simultaneously with the installation of the new digital scoreboards, which replaced the historic analogue scoreboards with light bulbs. A modern LED screen now shows the images of the deputies during their speeches and illustrates the indications on the voting in progress.

The new provision in the Senate of the Republic

The speeches in the hall of Palazzo Madama, where the Senate of the Republic meets. The senators, who have gone from 315 to 200, have been merged into the center of the hemicycle, freeing up the last rows of benches.

A few curiosities

The current Montecitorio hall replaced the provisional created by the engineer Paolo Comotto, inaugurated on November 27, 1871 to house the Parliament which, by virtue of the capture of Rome, would have had to move to the new capital. The old classroom, which was located in what is now the internal courtyard which can be accessed from the side corridors and from the ocean liner, however, presented a series of problems: in addition to having bad acoustics, it did not have heating or fans and this it made it very cold in the winter months and very hot in the summer. On 6 July 1883, during a session, the parliamentary press gave a fan to the then president, Giuseppe Zanardelli, to help him preside despite adverse weather conditions. Since then, the “Ceremony of the Fan” has been held every year, in which the journalists who work in the Chamber donate a fan to the president on duty.

“I could have made this deaf and gray hall a bivouac of handpieces: I could have bolted the Parliament and set up a government exclusively of fascists. I could: but I didn't want to, at least in this first half ”. The most well-known passage of the infamous "bivouac speech" is the first delivered by Benito Mussolini in the hall of Parliament, on November 16, 1922. What he had proposed in that delusional monologue he put into practice in 1929, when he cut the number of 400 parliamentarians (until then there were 553 deputies) making them all expressions of the Fascist Party. Mussolini himself, ten years later, changed the name of the Chamber of Deputies into the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations, raising the number of members to 949. With the entry into force of the Constitution, the elected deputies became 613 (21 for every million voters) and reached 630 after an approved change in 1963.

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