giovedì 14 marzo 2013


The elections's aftermath is better when it's brief, especially if we're talking about Italy. 
If voters clearly express their will, roles are usually quite defined, ready to be 'interpreted'. The last elections created a very unstable political overview, and in these days Italy shows a massive uncertanty that seems to reflect the spectrum of the country's society. 
Disappointed (and disappointing) lefties, Berlusconi's supporters and roaring Five Stars representatives demonstrate they really don't know what to do. 
Maybe Monty Python would change their famous catchphrase for this country. In fact, even if some journalists and political analysts tried to explain how Five Stars Movement had grown in three months, other parties acted as if their competitor wasn't able to put them in danger.
Nobody expects the Mexican standoff, then, but this time it was predictable, in spite of pollsters and electoral gurus.

In a certain way, Five Stars Movement's rapid rise reminds of Forza Italia in 1994. The way in which they embody the concept of "new", their devotion and faith in their leaders, the projection of every negativity on their competitors: 5SM and Forza Italia have a lot to share. 

Someone could argue that Beppe Grillo and his grillini needed almost five years to become the first Italian party, while it took just a few months for Forza Italia. Let's make it easier, then: Berlusconi had his own multimedia corporation on his side, Grillo has just a blog and a good PR. Berlusconi's holding company - a juggernaut in which we find banks, publishing, constructions and many other activities - has been involved in every electoral campaign since 1994. Every branch has its work to do, depending on the expertise field it covers, officially or informally.
Grillo has Gianroberto Casaleggio and his communication enterprise, but nothing compares Berlusconi's huge financial resources. What's the secret of Five Stars Movement, then? 
It's not just Internet and the power of World Wide Web: that would be reductive and wouldn't clear this electoral boom among people who don't use Internet to form their political identity. Neither it is the daily commitment of activists, who spend their spare time campaigning and finance their activities by themselves. It's not only the personal appeal of Beppe Grillo, a populist leader with a very violent language. It's not even about the things he posts everyday on his blog: some small parties made the same proposals a lot times, and many of them never reached the Parliament. 
The 5SM feat is a mixture of everything I mentioned, but most of all it's a collector of discontent. In Italy we use to say that "it speaks to bellies, not to the brains". 5SM's program is so transverse that every "old parties" ex supporter can find something he/she recognize him/herself in it: the 5SM voter identikit is a pollster's worst nightmare. 
Here come the complications. When you're an opponent, you can say you're going to realize every point of you "to do list". You don't have to keep your promises, simply because you can't, you're not in charge of anything: if and when your time will come, those promises will be forgotten, and the permanent campaign's climate of opinion is goig to help with this.
What happens when you have to govern and bind all these different political ideals together? What's up when the problematic, young amateur must find a harmony durable enough to guarantee stability for fundamental reforms? 
Politicians in Italy don't come to a decision: they stick in a ruthless Mexican standoff, a threesome in which everybody thinks he's winning, while the country is losing incessantly. 

P.S.: I know, I know. The new Pope. Tomorrow, I need some time to understand who he is and what he wants to pursue. If I was asked what I think about Francis I in a few words, I would answer he's the result of another Mexican standoff. 

8 commenti:

  1. Very good insight into the Italian status quo.
    On the other hand, I'm not sure an Argentinian would appreciate your idea that his election is in any way related to anything Mexican my dear.....

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