We got a bit of a taste of San Marino’s political system with the Rovereta Affair, but that was the system breaking down, not how it operates normally. Here’s a really good review from Anthony Votes on how San Marino’s elections work:
A couple things I learned from this – San Marino has very very strict citizenship laws (which is something shared by other European microstates). From the wording, it seems you need to be born in San Marino to Sammarinese citizens to get citizenship at birth. Does this mean that if a woman needs to go to an Italian hospital for a complicated birth, the child doesn’t have automatic San Marino citizenship?
Having two heads of state is unique, but it doesn’t seem to dramatically alter how the government functions since the Captains Regent are largely symbolic and only serve for six months at a time. The video hints that normally the Captains Regent are members from opposition parties, which makes sense, since that removes them from being able to vote in the legislature and can strengthen the government’s seat numbers.
However, the electoral system itself has been a real learning experience for me. I mean, I know Canada doesn’t use proportional representation in elections, but I work in politics for my day job and have a degree in political science, so I’m not wholly ignorant about it, and yet I still had to watch that video twice and go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole to wrap my head around the D’Hondt method. San Marino is not the only country to use this method to allocate seats, notably the Netherlands, Japan, and Israel (among a few dozen more countries) also use it.
I absolutely love the idea official criticism period for the public after the Captains Regent’s terms finish – I wonder how frequently it’s used in practice and if it needs to be directed specifically at the Captains Regent or can be used to criticize the actual decision-makers in government?