Poor thing, the kangaroo. This time, he has come to a sticky end. Worse than in Australia, where it is allowed to hunt them because of the overcrowding of marsupials close to urban areas. In Italy, the kangaroo died on slow fire, on the grill of the Senate. To be more precise, on the stepchild adoption, which, in its turn, holds on the grill the entire government majority.
At the root, there is a typical Italian problem: last years, the most important laws are no longer discussed in the Parliament, as it should happen according to the Constitution, but are rated asking for confidence. Senators and deputies can only accept or reject. Usually they accept.
This time, in the case of the bill on civil unions, the vote of confidence was not applied: simply because government forces are totally divided on the question of the rights of homosexual couples. Yet, an attempt to a parliamentary trick which tries to imitate its effects was made. A kangaroo jump, as it were: a monstrous amendment whose aim is to skip all the proposals for amendment of this law and go directly to approval. According to many lawyers, it goes both against democracy and against the Constitution. Yet, it has remarkably consolidated over the last years, to resist characters such as Calderoli who boast on blocking the parliament’s work with millions of amendments created with a computer. With a kangaroo jump, that is, with an insult to democracy, were approved constitutional reforms such as the one of the Senate or other fundamental reforms, such as that of the electoral system, the Italicum. Surprisingly, these two laws limit the power of the electorate vote.
This time, the votes of all the senators who have changed teams were not enough to skip parliamentary confrontation. The Democratic Party was hoping for the help of M5S, which has finally supported a law desired by Renzi. Yet, former Grillo supporters have not made it to vote a for a kangaroo jump after having suffered because of them in the past: yes to the law, no to the kangaroo jump.
The scenario we are now witnessing is something we have not seen in a long time: a true parliamentary debate. On great ethical questions, as it happened in the 70s with the questions of divorce and abortion. It is not the end of the world, quite the contrary. We will see how many members of the Democratic Party are actually favorable to civil unions in PD and in the majority and how many not. Because when it comes to such an important issue – we are lagging behind other European countries, no matter what our opinion is on this question – it is not honest to pretend we do not see anything.
It will not take much. To vote the dreaded 500 amendments a week will be enough. Or better, six working days, but for the Italian parliamentarians used to working from Tuesday to Thursday, they will become two weeks.
Sure, if the army of the primary vote reached the Senate, the problem would not have arisen. But we will be eating kangaroo roast, at least for a while.