Very useful article outlines the shape of Prodi's coalition. Here are some first thoughts:
First, it augurs well for the cabinet stability that all parties - including Rif. Communista, Udeur, and the Comunisti Italiani - are represented in the coalition. By participating, those parties signal commitment to the coalition, and a willingness to accept a minimal degree of cabinet cohesion.
Second, the ministries have been split almost exactly in proportion to the share of the vote of each party. Assume that the DS / Margherita share of the combined Unione vote is approximately 55:45. In this case, each party contributed the following percentage to the Unione's overall vote:
|Rosa nel Pugno||5%|
The percentage of the total 25 ministries obtained by each party:
|Rosa nel Pugno||1||4%|
The shares match pretty well, with the exception of Rifondazione Comunista. I wonder whether this signals unwillingness on the part of Prodi to give too many ministries to the most awkward member of the coalition, or whether Rif. Comm. is quite happy taking only one portfolio.
Third, compensation for disproportionality in the share of ministries, and for certain parties - Udeur, Rosa nel Pugno - not getting their preferred ministies, will arrive when the under-secretary posts are doled out.
Fourth, if the second and third points are valid, this cabinet distribution suggests that ministries - with the exception of Finance - are distributed in a policy-blind fashion; or, if the distribution is policy-sensitive, it is subject to a fairly demanding proportional distribution criteria.