House of Freedoms

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House of Freedoms
Casa delle Libertà
Leader Silvio Berlusconi
Other leaders Gianfranco Fini
Pierferdinando Casini
Umberto Bossi
Founded 2000
Dissolved 2008
Preceded by Pole for Freedoms
Succeeded by The People of Freedom (Merger of Forza Italia and AN)
Centre-right coalition
Political position Centre-right[1]
Politics of Italy
Political parties

The House of Freedoms (Italian: Casa delle Libertà, CdL), was a major centre-right[1][2] political and electoral alliance in Italy, led by Silvio Berlusconi. It was initially composed of several Italian political parties:

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 voting 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[edit]

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,[3] as claimed by political opposers, while Berlusconi definitely ruled out this possibility.[4]

Berlusconi confirmed negotiating with Alessandra Mussolini, but claimed he would request her not to include people like Tilgher and Fiore.[5] 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.[6]

Eventually, Mussolini declared that neither she nor other neo-fascists would be candidates, but her alliance of neo-fascist movements, Social Alternative, would support the House of Freedoms.[7]

Transformation into The People of Freedom party[edit]

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 centre-right coalition with the Lega Nord and its southern ally the Movement for Autonomy. The Union of Christian and Centre Democrats refused to join either The People of Freedom or its coalition, and stood independently as the Union of the Centre (UdC).

Election results[edit]

Italian Parliament[edit]

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2001 16,915,513 (#1) 45.4
368 / 630
Silvio Berlusconi
2006 18,995,697 (#2) 49.7
281 / 630
Decrease 87
Silvio Berlusconi
Senate of the Republic
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2001 14,406,519 (#1) 42.5
176 / 315
Silvio Berlusconi
2006 17,359,754 (#1) 49.8
156 / 315
Decrease 20
Silvio Berlusconi


Results in the 2006 Senate election[edit]

House of Freedoms
(Casa delle Libertà)
Party Votes % Seats Areas contested
Italy: Abroad: Italy: Abroad: Areas
Italy: Abroad: Italy: Abroad:
Forza Italia 8,201,688 185,438 23.56 21.07  ? 78 1
National Alliance 4,234,693 12.17  ? 41 It-demosinist.PNG
Union of Christian and Centre Democrats 2,311,448 57,200 6.64 6.50  ? 21 0 It-demosinist.PNG Est-udc.PNG
Lega Nord - Movement for Autonomy 1,531,939 18,455 4.40 2.10  ? 13 0 It-leganord.PNG
Tricolour Flame 8,433 0.63 0.96  ? 0 0 It-fiammatricolore.PNG Est-fiamma.PNG
Social Alternative 215,668 0.62  ? 0 It-mussolini.PNG
Christian Democracy-Socialist Party 190,724 0.55  ? 0 It-dc-npsi.PNG
United Pensioners 61,824 0.18  ? 0 It-pensionatiuniti.PNG
Italian Republican Party 45,133 0.13  ? 0 It-pri.PNG
Environmenta-list - Ecological Democrats 37,656 0.11  ? 0 It-ambienta.PNG
New Sicily 33,437 0.10  ? 0 It-nuovasicilia.PNG
No Euro 30,515 0.09  ? 0 It-noeuro.PNG
Pact for Sicily 20,833 0.06  ? 0 It-nuovasicilia.PNG
Italian Liberal Party 15,762 0.05  ? 0 It-pli.PNG
Forza Italia-National Alliance 11,505 0.03  ? 0
Extended Christian Pact 9,730 0.03  ? 0 It-pattocristiano.PNG
Liberal Reformers 7,668 0.02  ? 0 It-riformatori liber.PNG
S.O.S. Italy 4,963 0.01  ? 0 It-sositalia.PNG
For Italy in the World 63.474 7.11 7.11 0
House of Freedoms 175,137 0.50  ? 2 It-cdl.PNG
Total: 17,359,754 333,000 49.87 37.84  ? 155 1