Italy’s Unelected Government

Italy's new government is comprised exclusively of un-elected experts.

Italy’s new government is comprised exclusively of un-elected experts.

FT (“Italy forms cabinet of technocrats“):

Mario Monti will serve as both prime minister and finance minister in Italy’s caretaker government of technocrats that was sworn in on Wednesday.

The new cabinet also includes Corrado Passera, head of bank Intesa SanPaolo, in the key post of minister for economic development and infrastructure.


Mr Monti, appointed last week as senator for life, unveiled a cabinet list made up exclusively of un-elected technocrats after the main political parties refused to take up cabinet posts on offer. The new slimmed-down team includes three women and is dominated by academics and civil servants.

Mr Monti said the main political parties had expressed a clear preference to support the government without taking part in it. He said he reached the conclusion after two days of talks with party leaders that the absence of politicians in the cabinet would “ease” the work of government rather than present an obstacle.
“The strength of a government depends on the capacity to act incisively and explaining to citizens and parliament the meaning and scope of its actions,” Mr Monti said.

Now, these are unusual times. And Monti is by all accounts a man of extraordinary talents and ability to inspire confidence. Still, there’s something not quite right about trying to save the Eurozone by entirely bypassing the democratic process.

Reuters photo

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PD Shaw says:

    As Il Duce once said: “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.”

  2. grumpy realist says:

    Given the hoorah’s nest the elected government has managed to make of Italy’s economy, how can the unelected technocrats be any worse?

    The fallacy of democracy is that it assumes the average opinion of 10 bozos from off the street would be better at dealing with appendicitis than one doctor.

  3. Ben Wolf says:

    @grumpy realist: Unfortunately for your analogy, the technocrats leading Italy’s government have no greater understanding of its economic problems than the average person. They are preceding on the same stone-dumb course of austerity which has crippled every economy it has been foisted on.

  4. PJ says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Iceland let their banks fail, and now there’s reports that they will have a budget surplus in two years.
    I highly doubt that Greece or Italy will have that.

  5. Balqis De Cesare says:

    Without the reform on electoral law, it wouldn’t have made sense to go straight to elections .
    So it was the right thing to do for our president .
    I wouldn’t call that bypassing the democratic process .
    But it would be interesting to know which role had Merkel and Sarkozy in all this .

  6. Jeremy says:

    @Ben Wolf: I disagree on the austerity part, but I do agree with the “experts don’t really know that much better” part.

    Still, I think the idea is very interesting. I really want to see where this all goes, just to see if it creates a precedent in parliamentary nations.