2006 Italian Senate election, North and Central American division

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The 2006 Italian general election was the first in the country's history in which Italian and dual citizens living outside the country could vote by postal ballot in international electoral districts.[1] Twelve members of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and six members of the Italian Senate were elected in this way.

Italian and dual citizens in North America and Central America (including the Caribbean) elected one member of the Italian Senate. The winning candidate was Renato Turano of Romano Prodi's election coalition, The Union.

The process[edit]

All electors could vote for a political list and also cast a first preference vote for a specific candidate. The party with the highest number of list votes won the Senate seat, and the winning party's candidate with the most first preference votes was declared elected.

The parties[edit]

Seven electoral lists contested the North and Central American Senate division. The same lists also fielded candidates for the Chamber of Deputies and North and Central America.

Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing Forza Italia party ran its own slate. Two other parties aligned with Berlusconi's government ran separate lists: the moderate conservative Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and Mirko Tremaglia's right-wing For Italy in the World, which was specifically focused on diaspora issues. (Another party in Berlusconi's coalition, the Lega Nord, also appeared on the ballot, although this seems to have been due to a technical error).

The main opposition group from the previous parliament, Romano Prodi's centre-left Union party, ran a united slate. One of the Union candidates noted that the state of the party lists favoured his group's chances of election.[2]

The centrist Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad also fielded a list, as did the far-right Tricolour Flame party.

Each of the party lists comprised two candidates, except for the Northern League and Tricolour Flame which fielded one apiece.

The candidates[edit]

The Union[edit]

  • Renato Turano is a Chicago baking executive who was active in the Italian expatriate community for several years before his election. He served in the Italian Senate from 2006 to 2008.
  • Rocco di Trolio was born in Calabritto, Italy. He moved to the United Kingdom at age seventeen and became active with the British Labour Party, also serving as secretary of the Italian Socialist Party in England. He joined the Italian overseas social services agency in 1981 and moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 1990, where he oversaw the city's Italian-Canadian social services bureau. Di Trolio became a dual Italian-Canadian citizen in 1994.[3] He sought the New Democratic Party nomination for Vancouver East in the 1997 Canadian federal election, narrowly losing to veteran municipal politician Libby Davies.[4] In 2004, he topped the polls in an election for Canada's Committee of Italians Abroad, a fifteen-member board whose purpose is to promote Italian culture.[5]

Forza Italia[edit]

For Italy in the World with Tremaglia[edit]

  • Carlo Consiglio was fifty-four years old in 2006. Originally from the Naples area, he moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1989. He has been active in the Italian expatriate community and has served with the General Council of Italians Abroad.[6] In the 2006 campaign, he spoke against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.[7]
  • Vincenzo Centofanti was born in Abruzzo and spent some of his youth in Ethiopia during the Italian occupation of that country. He was still in Ethiopia when it was liberated by the British in 1941, and he was held in British surveillance camps in Kenya and Tanganyika for the next six years. Repatriated to Italy in 1947, he received a law degree in 1954 and moved to Philadelphia three years later to rejoin his family. He worked as a banker and an Alitalia executive, and was retired by the time of the 2006 campaign.[8] He has been active with the General Council of Italians Abroad and has served as president of the Federazione delle Associazioni Abruzzesi della Valle del Delaware.[9]

Union of Christian and Centre Democrats[edit]

Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad[edit]

  • Dom (Domenico) Serafini was born in Giulianova, Abruzzo. He moved to the United States of America in 1968, at age eighteen, to attend Empire State College. He is a journalist and publisher based in New York City and is best known for publishing the television trade journal Video Age International. Serafini was one of the first declared candidates for the 2006 Senate election in North and Central America, and was described in an August 2005 New York Times article as an early front-runner.[11] In January 2006, he was quoted as saying, ""My ideology is pragmatism. I'm not an idealogue. My job is to represent Italians overseas, not play politics."[12] He later said that his primary mission if elected would be "squeez[ing] whatever is possible from Italian state and government funds for Italians overseas."[13]
  • Sonia Marcella Spadoni-Alioto was born in Ferrara and later moved to San Francisco. Forty-one years old in 2006, she has a background in law and accountancy and has provided assistance for Italians living overseas in accessing Italian state services.[14]

Lega Nord[edit]

Tricolour Flame[edit]

The results[edit]

Romano Prodi's Union received the most votes. Renato Turano received the most first preference votes from this list and was declared elected.

Detailed results by country[edit]

More than ninety-five per cent of votes cast in this election were from the United States of America or Canada. The American result was a virtual tie between Berlusconi's list and Prodi's list. In Canada, Prodi's list won a significant victory. Renato Turano credited the Canadian turnout as vital for his election.[17]

Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

Party Votes %
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 0 0.00
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 0 0.00
   Forza Italia 0 0.00
   The Union 0 0.00
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 0 0.00
   Lega Nord 0 0.00
Total valid votes 0 0.00

Bahamas[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 24 60.00
   The Union 10 25.00
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 2 5.00
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 2 5.00
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 1 2.50
   Lega Nord 1 2.50
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
Total valid votes 40 0.05

Barbados[edit]

Party Votes %
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 0 0.00
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 0 0.00
   Forza Italia 0 0.00
   The Union 0 0.00
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 0 0.00
   Lega Nord 0 0.00
Total valid votes 0 0.00

Belize[edit]

Party Votes %
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 0 0.00
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 0 0.00
   Forza Italia 0 0.00
   The Union 0 0.00
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 0 0.00
   Lega Nord 0 0.00
Total valid votes 0 0.00

Canada[edit]

Party Votes %
   The Union 15,409 44.36
   Forza Italia 8,504 24.48
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 4,786 13.78
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 4,454 12.82
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 852 2.45
   Lega Nord 495 1.42
   Tricolour Flame 240 0.69
Total valid votes 34,740 41.23

Costa Rica[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 288 38.50
   The Union 211 28.21
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 81 10.83
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 67 8.96
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 44 5.88
   Tricolour Flame 42 5.61
   Lega Nord 15 2.01
Total valid votes 748 0.89

Dominican Republic[edit]

Party Votes %
   The Union 47 45.63
   Forza Italia 24 23.30
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 14 13.59
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 12 11.65
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 4 3.88
   Tricolour Flame 1 0.97
   Lega Nord 1 0.97
Total valid votes 103 0.12

El Salvador[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 138 46.00
   The Union 85 28.33
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 28 9.33
   Tricolour Flame 22 7.33
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 14 4.67
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 10 3.33
   Lega Nord 3 1.00
Total valid votes 300 0.36

Grenada[edit]

Party Votes %
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 0 0.00
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 0 0.00
   Forza Italia 0 0.00
   The Union 0 0.00
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 0 0.00
   Lega Nord 0 0.00
Total valid votes 0 0.00

Guatemala[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 322 47.35
   The Union 161 23.68
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 59 8.68
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 59 8.68
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 40 5.88
   Lega Nord 22 3.24
   Tricolour Flame 17 2.50
Total valid votes 680 0.81

Haiti[edit]

Party Votes %
   The Union 11 52.38
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 7 33.33
   Forza Italia 2 9.52
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 1 4.76
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 0 0.00
   Tricolour Flame 0 0.00
   Lega Nord 0 0.00
Total valid votes 21 0.02

Honduras[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 53 49.07
   The Union 24 22.22
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 9 8.33
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 8 7.41
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 7 6.48
   Tricolour Flame 4 3.70
   Lega Nord 3 2.78
Total valid votes 108 0.13

Mexico[edit]

Party Votes %
   The Union 671 37.80
   Forza Italia 502 28.28
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 180 10.14
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 172 9.69
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 155 8.73
   Tricolour Flame 50 2.82
   Lega Nord 45 2.54
Total valid votes 1,775 2.11

Nicaragua[edit]

Party Votes %
   The Union 78 46.43
   Forza Italia 52 30.95
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 18 10.71
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 13 7.74
   Tricolour Flame 4 2.38
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 2 1.19
   Lega Nord 1 0.60
Total valid votes 168 0.20

Panama[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 88 44.22
   The Union 62 31.16
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 33 16.58
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 6 3.02
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 4 2.01
   Tricolour Flame 3 1.51
   Lega Nord 3 1.51
Total valid votes 199 0.24

United States of America[edit]

Party Votes %
   Forza Italia 15,559 34.30
   The Union 15,267 33.65
   For Italy in the World with Tremaglia 6,433 14.18
   Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 4,628 10.20
   Independent Alternative for Italians Abroad 2,002 4.41
   Lega Nord 800 1.76
   Tricolour Flame 678 1.49
Total valid votes 45,367 53.85

Source: ARCHIVIO STORICO DELLE ELEZIONI - Consultazione dati: Senato 09/04/2006, Area ESTERO, Ripartizione AMERICA SETTENTRIONALE E CENTRALE, Ministerio dell'Interno, Government of Italy, accessed 27 July 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chicago-Area Businessman Runs For Italian Senate," Italian Voice, 23 February 2006, p. 5; Mike Roberts, "Rocco's Roman empire," CanWest News, 28 February 2006, p. 1.
  2. ^ Mike Roberts, "Rocco's Roman empire," CanWest News, 28 February 2006, p. 1.
  3. ^ Mike Roberts, "Rocco's Roman empire," The Province, 26 February 2006, B3; "Newsmakers," Maclean's Magazine, 20 March 2006, p. 42.
  4. ^ Petti Fong, "NDP's Davies to battle Liberal's Terranna in Vancouver East," Vancouver Sun, 14 March 1997, B6. Davies won by 454 votes to 428.
  5. ^ "Their job? Boosting Italian-ness," The Province, 28 March 2004, A36.
  6. ^ Christian Cotroneo, "Viva la politica Candidates vie for Italy's expat vote," Toronto Star, 25 February 2006, B05; Pam DeFiglio, "Candidates with suburban ties seek political office in two different countries," Chicago Daily Herald, 23 March 2006, p. 1; "Carlo Consiglio (Lista Tremaglia): al Senato per i diritti degli Italiani del Nordamerica", Italia Estera, 26 February 2006, accessed 2 August 2011; Letizia Tesi, "Fight against funding cuts to Italian language and culture: CGIE protest in Rome: drastic reductions that have very serious repercussions in Canada too", Corriere Canadese Weekend (Tandem), 28 November 2010, accessed 2 August 2011.
  7. ^ Luigi De Biase, "Fair play among the candidates: Italian election debate showcases Italian-Canadians", Corriere Canadese Weekend (Tandem), 2 April 2006, accessed 2 August 2011.
  8. ^ Candidato al Senato: Vincenzo Centofanti, i-Italy, accessed 2 August 2011.
  9. ^ PRINCIPALI ASSOCIAZIONI ITALIANE, Consolato Generale d'Italia a Filadelfia, accessed 2 August 2011.
  10. ^ Pam DeFiglio, "Foreign service Candidates with suburban ties seek political office in two different countries," Chicago Daily Herald, 23 March 2006, p. 1; Francesca Crozier-Fitzgerald, "Thanks to Lidia Bastianich Elementary Students in Harlem Learn Italian", i-Italy, 4 March 2011, accessed 3 August 2011. The former article misspells Paradiso's first name as "Berardo."
  11. ^ Ann Farmer, "Kissing Bambinos Instead of Babies," New York Times, 21 August 2005, p. 6; Rachel Rivera, "New York candidate seeks Italy Senate seat to represent Italians abroad," Associated Press Newswires, 8 January 2006, 11:33.
  12. ^ Derek Rose, "A Yankee in Berlusconi's court?", New York Daily News, 15 January 2006, p. 27.
  13. ^ Desmond O'Grady, "Italy votes - from Leichhardt to Lima," Sydney Morning Herald, 29 March 2006, p. 14.
  14. ^ Candidato al Senato: Sonia Spadoni Alioto, i-Italy, accessed 3 August 2011; "La lista Indipendente AIIE chiude in bellezza con Sonia Alioto", Italia Estera, 12 February 2006, accessed 3 August 2011.
  15. ^ Stefano Vaccara, "Lo sprint finale dei nostri candidati", i-Italy, accessed 3 August 2011.
  16. ^ Pam DeFiglio, "Candidates with suburban ties seek political office in two different countries," Chicago Daily Herald, 23 March 2006, p. 1.
  17. ^ Paul Basile, "Next Stop, Rome!", Italian Voice, 20 April 2006, p. 1.