ITALY: Double Election

Italy's Senate is almost unique among Europe's upper houses. It is not a society of deliberative gentlemen remote from the legislative process, but has the same veto over proposed laws as the lower Chamber, and the same power to turn out a government by an 'adverse vote of confidence.

Strangest of all was the method of choosing the Senators for the first postwar term. Of the 344 Senators, 107 were Senators "by right," which means that they got their seats automatically: five appointed by the President for bringing renown to Italy; one for being...

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