giovedì 4 ottobre 2012


Previously on "Italy's got government" 
Some years ago, the Italian politicians started telling the people that parliamentary majorities based on feeble coalitions were not fit to govern a country like theirs. What Italy needs, they said, is a steady system, with two prevailing parties competing to govern. 
From that moment on, they kept changing rules and confusing voters. 

Matteo Renzi, mayor of Florence and candidate for the 2012 primary elections of Italian Democratic Party, was in the USA just a month ago, at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. I bet he would have never been invited if his party had kept his original name, Italian Communist Party. 
Obviously, the current Democratic Party has really little to do with his massive, monolithic ancestor, which was the greatest communist party of the Western world. The PD, this is how it's commonly called, has collected also many ex christian democrats, ex radicals, moderates, unsettled and whatsoever. There are more trends in the PD than on Paris catwalks. 
Only one thing hasn't changed over the years: the decision-making process is still in the hands of a small group of party notables. 
Pierluigi Bersani, Massimo D'Alema, Rosy Bindi, Walter Veltroni and others have spent a long time at the Parliament as representatives and they don't want to stop at all. They're professional politicians: many of them started as teenagers and never had another job. 
Renzi, on the other hand, has got a precise nickname, the wrecker, because he'd like to change his party from the very basis. He claims that politicians should be more like civil servants with defined programs, mandates and terms, quitting the roles of untouchable men of the establishment. 
Here the disputes come. Renzi is a liberal democrat, and perhaps his program sounds too liberal for the whole coalition itself, but it is the only one available on line so far. Indeed, no news as yet from his principal competitors, Bersani and Nichi Vendola. 
Leaving aside ideas and ideals, Renzi has got a communicative style that reminds people of Silvio Berlusconi. The former Italian prime minister has been the very first to use a contemporary and - why not? - American approach to electoral campaigns in his country. Renzi is on this path himself, but he doesn't own a multimedial corporation and, most of all, he is not as wealthy as Berlusconi. He's not one of the richest man in Europe, there's not conflict between his interest and nation's. For what we know, there aren't prostitutes, corruption or trials round the corner. Bersani speaks to people's commons sense; Vendola addresses straight to their brains. Renzi is different: he reconciles hope and dreams of a possible, better future, with practical purposes, likewise Berlusconi in 1994. 
Maybe Renzi will prove to be nothing more than a wrecker, but he could also be the opportunity for Italy to answer an old question: despite Berlusconi's disaster, could there be a liberal Italy?