Politics of Veneto

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The Politics of Veneto, Italy takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democracy, whereby the President is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Regional Council.

The Statute of Veneto was promulgated in 1971 and largely rewritten in 2011. Article 2 sets forth the principle of the "self-government of the Venetian people" and that Region has to "promote the historical identity of the Venetian people and civilisation".[1]

The current president of Veneto is Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord, which is the largest party in the Regional Council too.

Political history[edit]

Prior to the rise of Fascism, most of the deputies elected in Veneto were part of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals), which governed Italy for decades, but also the main opposition parties, namely the Radical Party and the Italian Socialist Party, had a good sway among Venetian voters. In the 1919 general election, the first held with proportional representation, the Catholic-inspired Italian People's Party came first with 42.6% (gaining at least 10% more than in any other region) and the Socialists were in second place with 36.2%. In the 1924 general election, which led Italy to dictatorship, Veneto was one of the few regions, along with Lombardy and Piedmont, which did not return an absolute majority to the National Fascist Party.[2]

From World War II to 1994 Veneto was the heartland of Christian Democracy, which polled 60.5% in the 1953 general election and steadily above 50% until the late 1970s, and led the Regional Government from its establishment in 1970 to 1993. In the 1990s Veneto became a stronghold of the centre-right Pole/House of Freedoms coalition, which governed the region from 1995 to 2010 under Giancarlo Galan of Forza Italia. In 2010 Galan was replaced by Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord, who obtained a hefty and record-breaking 60.2% of the vote and whose coalition included The People of Freedom/Forza Italia and, since 2013, the New Centre-right;[3] Liga Veneta was the largest party with 35.2% of the vote. Zaia and Liga Veneta were confirmed in 2015, with a reduced but more coehsive majority, due to the split of Tosi List for Veneto and the diminishment of Forza Italia: Zaia won 50.1% of the vote, while Liga Veneta a thumping 40.9%, largely ahead of the opposition Democratic Party's 20.5%.

Veneto is home to Venetian nationalism (or Venetism), a political movement that appeared in the 1970s, demanding political and fiscal autonomy for the region (which is felt by Venetists to be a nation in its own right) and promoting Venetian culture, language and history. This was the background from which Liga Veneta emerged in 1980. In the 1990s and 2000s other Venetist parties (the Union of the Venetian People, the Veneto Autonomous Region Movement, Lega Autonomia Veneta, Liga Veneta Repubblica, North-East Project, etc.) emerged, but they never touched the popularity of Liga Veneta, which was a founding member of Lega Nord in 1991. Some Venetists have campaigned for federal reform, others (notably including Veneto State, Venetian Independence, Plebiscito.eu and We Independent Veneto) for outright independence.

Executive branch[edit]

Main article: Government of Veneto

The Regional Government is led by the President of Veneto and composed of the President and ten Ministers (Assessori), including a Vice President.

Current composition[edit]

Main article: Zaia II Government

The current regional government has been in office from 29 June 2015, under the leadership of President Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord.

Zaia II Government
Office Name Party
President Luca Zaia Liga Veneta
Vice President Gianluca Forcolin Liga Veneta
Minister of Budget and Local Government Gianluca Forcolin Liga Veneta
Minister of Health and Social Programs Luca Coletto Liga Veneta
Minister of Economic Development and Energy Roberto Marcato Liga Veneta
Minister of Public Works, Infrastructures and Transports Elisa De Berti Liga Veneta
Minister of Agriculture, Hunting and Fishing Giuseppe Pan Liga Veneta
Minister of Education and Labour Elena Donazzan Forza Italia
Minister of Social Affairs Manuela Lanzarin Liga Veneta
Minister of EU Programs, Tourism and International Trade Federico Caner Liga Veneta
Minister of Environment and Civil Protection Gianpaolo Bottacin Liga Veneta
Minister of Culture, City Planning and Security Cristiano Corazzari Liga Veneta

Source: Veneto Region – Regional Government

List of previous Governments[edit]

Main article: Governments of Veneto
Governments of Veneto
Government President Party Coalition Vice President Party Term Legislature
Tomelleri I Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1970–1971 I Legislature
Tomelleri II Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1971–1972
Feltrin I Piero Feltrin DC DC Paolo Tartari DC 1972–1973
Tomelleri III Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Marino Cortese DC 1973–1975
Tomelleri IV Angelo Tomelleri DC DC, PRI Giancarlo Gambaro DC 1975–1977 II Legislature
Tomelleri V Angelo Tomelleri DC DC Marino Cortese DC 1977–1980
Bernini I Carlo Bernini DC DC, PSDI (since 1981) Marino Cortese DC 1980–1985 III Legislature
Bernini II Carlo Bernini DC DC, PSI, PSDI, PLI Umberto Carraro PSI 1985–1989 IV Legislature
Cremonese I Gianfranco Cremonese DC DC, PSI, PSDI, PLI Umberto Carraro PSI 1989–1990
Cremonese II Gianfranco Cremonese DC DC, PSI, PRI, PSDI Amalia Sartori PSI 1990–1992 V Legislature
Frigo I Franco Frigo DC DC, PSI, Greens Renzo Burro PSI 1992–1993
Pupillo I Giuseppe Pupillo PDS DC, PDS, PSI, Greens, UPV Carlo Alberto Tesserin DC 1993–1994
Bottin I Aldo Bottin PPI PPI, LV, FI, PLI, UPV, CPA, Rad Gian Paolo Gobbo LV 1994–1995
Galan I Giancarlo Galan FI FI, AN, CDU, CCD Bruno Canella AN 1995–2000 VI Legislature
Galan II Giancarlo Galan FI FI, LV, AN, UDC Fabio Gava FI 2000–2005 VII Legislature
Galan III Giancarlo Galan FI FI, LV, AN, UDC, NPSI Luca Zaia / Franco Manzato LV 2005–2010 VIII Legislature
Zaia I Luca Zaia LV LV, PdL* Marino Zorzato** PdL 2010–2015 IX Legislature
Zaia II Luca Zaia LV LV, FI Gianluca Forcolin FI 2015–present X Legislature

Source: Veneto Region
* = Party disbanded in 2013; its members joined either FI or NCD. Vice President Marino Zorzato joined the NCD.

Legislative branch[edit]

The Regional Council of Veneto (Consiglio Regionale del Veneto) is composed of 51 members. 49 councillors are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while the remaining two are the elected President and the candidate for President who comes second. The winning coalition wins a bonus of seats in order to make sure the elected President has a majority in the Council.[4][5][6]

The Council is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent (literally: they will stand together or they will fall together) clause introduced in 1999, also the Council is dissolved and a snap election is called.[7]

Current composition[edit]

Distribution of Seats in the Regional Council
Political Group Leader 2015 Now
Liga VenetaLega Nord Nicola Finco 11 12
Zaia President Silvia Rizzotto 13 12
Democratic Party Alessandra Moretti 9 9
Five Star Movement Jacopo Berti 5 5
Forza Italia Massimiliano Barison 3 3
Tosi List for Veneto Stefano Casali 3 3
Moretti President Franco Ferrari 2 2
NCDUdCPopular Area Marino Zorzato 1 1
Independence We Veneto /
We Are Veneto
Antonio Guadagnini 1 1
Brothers of Italy Sergio Berlato 1 1
Civic Veneto Pietro Dalla Libera 1 1
Il Veneto del Fare Giovanna Negro 1 1

Sources: Regional Council of Veneto – Groups and Regional Council of Veneto – Members

Local government[edit]

Provinces[edit]

Veneto is subdivided into seven provinces, including Venice which has functioned as a metropolitan city since 2015.

All the seven provinces, but especially Vicenza, Verona and Padua, were long Christian Democratic heartlands. In the early 1990s, when the Venetian and Italian party systems experienced huge realignments, Treviso, Vicenza and Verona became strongholds of Liga VenetaLega Nord, while in Padua, the region's most populated, Forza Italia/The People of Freedom/Forza Italia was the dominant political force; only two provinces, Venice and Rovigo, have traditionally been the powerbases of the centre-left and, more recently, the Democratic Party, while Belluno is a swing province. In the 2015 regional election Liga Veneta came largely first in each and every province.

Since 2014 provinces have lost many powers to the region and the municipalities, and, contextually, provincial presidents have been elected by mayors and municipal councillors, whose votes are weighted according to the population of their municipalities. In some cases, elected Presidents represent bipartisan or trans-party coalitions. For instance, Enoch Soranzo was elected in Padua thanks to the decisive support of the Democratic Party, while the majority of his party, Liga Veneta, had endorsed another candidate,[8] and Achille Variati was endorsed both by the Democrats and Forza Italia in Vicenza.[9] In 2015 the Province of Venice was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Venice and the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, was sworn in as metropolitan mayor too. As of 2015, as a result of the aforementioned institutional changes dictated by the national government and the split of the Tosi List for Veneto, no province is governed by Liga Veneta, the region's largest party.

Province Inhabitants President Party Election
Province of Padua 936,887 Enoch Soranzo Tosi List for Veneto 2014
Province of Verona 922,383 Antonio Pastorello Forza Italia 2014
Province of Treviso 885,447 Leonardo Muraro Tosi List for Veneto 2011
Province of Vicenza 867,314 Achille Variati Democratic Party 2014
Province of Venice
Metropolitan City of Venice
855,696 Luigi Brugnaro
(metropolitan mayor)
Independent
(endorsed by FI, LV, etc.)
2015
Province of Rovigo 240,540 Marco Trombini Forza Italia 2014
Province of Belluno 206,856 Daniela Larese Italian Socialist Party 2014

Municipalities[edit]

Twenty-seven comuni of Veneto have more than 25,000 inhabitants. Ten are controlled by the Democratic Party (including Vicenza and Treviso), seven by Liga Veneta (including Padua), four by Forza Italia, two by the Five Star Movement (including Chioggia), four by independents (including Venice) or minor parties (including Verona).

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Venice 263,352 Luigi Brugnaro Independent (endorsed by FI, LV, etc.) 2015
Verona 258,765 Flavio Tosi Tosi List for Veneto 2012
Padua 210,401 Massimo Bitonci Liga Veneta 2014
Vicenza 112,953 Achille Variati Democratic Party 2013
Treviso 83,731 Giovanni Manildo Democratic Party 2013
Rovigo 51,867 Massimo Bergamin Liga Veneta 2015
Chioggia 49,706 Alessandro Ferro Five Star Movement 2016
Bassano del Grappa 43,372 Riccardo Poletto Democratic Party 2014
San Donà di Piave 41,778 Andrea Cereser Democratic Party 2013
Schio 39,355 Valter Orsi Independent (ex-Liga Veneta) 2014
Mira 38,575 Alvise Maniero Five Star Movement 2012
Belluno 35,870 Jacopo Massaro Independent (ex-Democratic Party) 2012
Conegliano 34,891 Floriano Zambon Forza Italia 2012
Villafranca di Verona 33,246 Mario Faccioli Liga Veneta 2013
Castelfranco Veneto 33,234 Stefano Marcon Liga Veneta 2015
Montebelluna 33,194 Marzio Favero Liga Veneta 2016
Vittorio Veneto 28,232 Roberto Tonon Democratic Party 2014
Spinea 27,927 Silvano Checchin Democratic Party 2014
Mogliano Veneto 27,659 Carola Arena Democratic Party 2014
Mirano 27,045 Maria Rosa Pavanello Democratic Party 2012
Valdagno 26,234 Giancarlo Acerbi Democratic Party 2014
Jesolo 26,122 Valerio Zoggia Forza Italia 2012
Arzignano 25,844 Giorgio Gentilin Forza Italia 2014
Albignasego 25,577 Massimiliano Barison Forza Italia 2013
Legnago 25,351 Clara Scapin Democratic Party 2014
Portogruaro 25,142 Maria Teresa Senatore Liga Veneta 2015
San Giovanni Lupatoto 25,066 Attilio Gastaldello Liga Veneta 2016

Political parties and elections[edit]

Latest regional election[edit]

The latest regional election took place on 31 May 2015.

Luca Zaia of Liga VenetaLega Nord was re-elected President by a landslide 50.1% of the vote. Liga Veneta, which ran an official party list and a list named after Zaia, was confirmed the largest in the region with 40.9%. The Democratic Party came second with 20.5% (combined result of official party list and Alessandra Moretti's personal list) and the Five Star Movement third with 10.4%. The total score of Venetist parties was 54.3%, the highest ever.

e • d 
Candidates Regional lists Provincial lists Total
votes % seats Parties votes % swing seats party group
Luca Zaia 1,108,065 50.1 1 Zaia President 427,363 23.1 new 13 13 29
Liga VenetaLega Nord 329,966 17.8 -17.4 10 11
Forza Italia 110,573 6.0 -18.7 3 3
Independence We Veneto 49,929 2.7 +2.3 1 1
Brothers of Italy 48,163 2.6 new 1 1
Alessandra Moretti 503,147 22.7 1 Democratic Party 308,438 16.7 -3.6 8 9 12
Moretti President 70,764 3.8 new 2 2
Civic Veneto (incl. PSI, SC and IdV) 26,903 1.5 new 1 1
New Veneto (incl. SEL, FdV and SV) 20,282 1.1 new - -
Autonomous Veneto Project 6,242 0.3 +0.1 - -
Jacopo Berti 262,749 11.9 - Five Star Movement 192,630 10.4 +7.8 5 5 5
Flavio Tosi 262,569 11.9 - Tosi List for Veneto 105,836 5.7 new 3 3 5
Popular Area (incl. NCD and UdC) 37,937 2.0 -2.9 1 1
Il Veneto del Fare (Tosi List) 26,119 1.4 new 1 1
Pensioners' Party 14,625 0.8 new - -
North-East Union 11,173 0.6 -1.0 - -
Veneto Confederal State 3,487 0.2 new - -
Alessio Morosin 55,760 2.5 - Venetian Independence 46,578 2.5 +2.2 - - -
Laura Coletti 19,914 0.9 - The Other Veneto (incl. PRC) 13,997 0.8 -0.8 - - -
Total candidates 2,212,204 100.00 2 Total parties 1,851,005 100.00 = 49 51 51

Source: Regional Council of Veneto

Latest general election in Veneto[edit]

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

e • d 
Coalition leaders votes votes (%) seats Parties votes votes (%) seats
Silvio Berlusconi 935,404 31.8 12 The People of Freedom 549,692 18.7 7
Lega Nord 310,173 10.5 5
Brothers of Italy 44,383 1.5 -
Pensioners' Party 14,474 0.5 -
Others 16,682 0.5 -
Beppe Grillo 775,862 26.3 10 Five Star Movement 775,862 26.3 10
Pier Luigi Bersani 686,970 23.3 24 Democratic Party 628,384 21.3 22
Left Ecology Freedom 53,043 1.8 2
Others 5,543 0.2 -
Mario Monti 349,353 11.9 5 Civic Choice 296,920 10.1 4
Union of the Centre 44,622 1.5 1
Others 7,811 0.3 -
Oscar Giannino 67,082 2.3 - Act to Stop the Decline 67,082 2.3 -
Antonio Ingroia 39,608 1.3 - Civil Revolution 39,608 1.3 -
Lodovico Pizzati 33,274 1.1 - Venetian Independence 33,274 1.1 -
Fabrizio Comencini 15,838 0.5 - Liga Veneta Repubblica 15,838 0.5 -
Others 41,318 1.4 - Others 41,318 1.4 -
Total coalitions 2,944,710 100.0 51 Total parties 2,944,710 100.0 51

Source: Regional Council of Veneto

Senate[edit]

e • d 
Coalition leaders votes votes (%) seats Parties votes votes (%) seats
Silvio Berlusconi 895,425 32.8 14 The People of Freedom 523,029 19.2 9
Lega Nord 298,412 11.0 5
Brothers of Italy 38,511 1.4 -
Pensioners' Party 20,631 0.8 -
Others 14,842 0.5 -
Pier Luigi Bersani 681,501 25.0 4 Democratic Party 633,311 23.2 4
Left Ecology Freedom 42,635 1.6 -
Others 5,555 0.2 -
Beppe Grillo 670,089 24.6 4 Five Star Movement 670,089 24.6 4
Mario Monti 299,906 11.0 2 With Monti for Italy 299,906 11.0 2
Oscar Giannino 50,497 1.9 - Act to Stop the Decline 50,497 1.9 -
Lodovico Pizzati 29,696 1.1 - Venetian Independence 29,696 1.1 -
Antonio Ingroia 27,576 1.0 - Civil Revolution 27,576 1.0 -
Fabrizio Comencini 20,381 0.7 - Liga Veneta Repubblica 20,381 0.7 -
Others 48,953 1.8 - Others 48,953 1.8 -
Total coalitions 2,724,024 100.0 24 Total parties 2,724,024 100.0 24

Source: Regional Council of Veneto

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]