House of Freedoms
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|House of Freedoms
Casa delle Libertà
|Preceded by||Pole for Freedoms|
|Succeeded by||The People of Freedom (Political party formed by the merger of FI and AN)|
|Politics of Italy
The House of Freedoms (Italian: Casa delle Libertà, CdL), was a major centre-right political and electoral alliance in Italy, led by Silvio Berlusconi. It was initially composed of several Italian political parties:
- Forza Italia (FI, Liberal-conservative)
- National Alliance (AN, National-conservative)
- Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC, Christian democratic) (until 2006)
- Lega Nord (LN, Padanian nationalist)
- Movement for Autonomy (MpA, regionalist)
- Christian Democracy for Autonomies (DCA, Christian democratic)
- New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI, social-democratic)
- Italian Republican Party (PRI, liberal)
- Liberal Reformers (RI, libertarian)
The alliance won the 1994 Italian general election under the name Pole of Freedoms, but the resulting government was short-lived, as Lega Nord withdrew their support and went to opposition. Particularly unstable had been the relationship within the federalist Lega Nord movement and the conservative, pro-central government National Alliance. As such, the first Berlusconi government lasted only nine months.
After a five-year centre-left government, Berlusconi managed to keep at bay some of the most uncompromising Lega Nord proposals and won the 2001 general election, this time with a view to create a stable government. It sought to undermine the proportionality rules of the Italian Additional Member System of elections by running many of its constituency candidates under a decoy list called Abolizione Scorporo, a title which explicitly stated its opposition to the counting rules; its tactic largely worked because it had more support than the centre-left alliance United in the Olive Tree.
In 2003 House of Freedoms was routed in local elections by the Olive Tree alliance, and the League threatened to pull out of the House of Freedoms. In 2005, once again, House of Freedoms was severely routed in regional elections, losing six of eight Italian regions. This led to a crisis of the government, particularly after the UDC pulled its four ministers out. A few weeks later, a new government was formed on the 23 April 2005 with the same six parties (FI, AN, LN, UDC, NPSI, PRI) and a minor Cabinet reshuffle, creating the Berlusconi III Cabinet.
Inclusion of neo-fascist movements
In February 2006, two months ahead of the general elections of 2006, UDC secretary Lorenzo Cesa and others protested against the inclusion of neo-fascists such as Adriano Tilgher, Roberto Fiore, Alessandra Mussolini, Gaetano Saya and Pino Rauti in the alliance, branding them impresentabili (unsuitable).
It appeared for some time that these neo-fascist leading figures were going to receive a few almost-guaranteed seats in the Parliament on Forza Italia's ticket, as claimed by political opposers, while Berlusconi definitely ruled out this possibility.
Berlusconi confirmed negotiating with Alessandra Mussolini, but claimed he would request her not to include people like Tilgher and Fiore. Mussolini had previously contended she would not accept any veto. Berlusconi had been photographed with Gaetano Saya's wife, who is also secretary of an extremist neo-fascist party that claims to have such an agreement with the House of Freedoms.
Transformation into The People of Freedom party
In December 2007, Berlusconi announced a plan for the creation of a successor to the House of Freedoms, the People of Freedom, hoping to unify much of the Italian centre-right into a single party. With the unexpected fall of the second Prodi government in January 2008, the organisation of the People of Freedom was completed, but only two parties formally joined, Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the National Alliance. For the 2008 general elections, the People of Freedom ran as an unnamed coalition with the Lega Nord and its ally the Movement for Autonomy. Christian democrats from the House of Freedoms refused to join either the People of Freedom or its coalition, and stood independently as the Union of the Centre.
Results in the 2006 Senate election
|House of Freedoms
(Casa delle Libertà)
|Union of Christian and Centre Democrats||2,311,448||57,200||6.64||6.50||?||21||0|
|Lega Nord - Movement for Autonomy||1,531,939||18,455||4.40||2.10||?||13||0|
|Christian Democracy-New PSI||190,724||0.55||?||0|
|Italian Republican Party||45,133||0.13||?||0|
|Environmental List-Ecological Democrats||37,656||0.11||?||0|
|No Euro Movement||30,515||0.09||?||0|
|Pact for Sicily||20,833||0.06||?||0|
|Italian Liberal Party||15,762||0.05||?||0|
|Forza Italia-National Alliance||11,505||0.03||?||0|
|Christian Extended Pact||9,730||0.03||?||0|
|For Italy in the World||63.474||7.11||7.11||0|
|House of Freedoms||175,137||0.50||?||2|
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