February 26, 2013
Finally the Italian farce of political elections is over and it is now time to make some analysis. Yesterday I had the guts to spend my evening watching some political talk shows. Not an easy task, but it has been a good exercise to understand the final status of Italian politics and politicians. I have listened many different versions of the outcome of the elections and no one of them was satisfying in providing a clear definition of the poor status of the Italian State.
Let’s start with PD (Democratic Party). Apparently, or at least with what they expected, they were supposed to win the elections and it was not the first time they expected such a result which did not occur. There are a set of reasons which are important to analyze. First of all they have not understood the difference between primary elections and the real ones. This is an important element because, despite the participation at the primary elections, voters do have a preference to make their final considerations when the real elections occurs. Hence, a political party like PD has to consider how to maximize this situation in order to attract a higher number of voters instead of nominate a candidate which represents the old establishment of the former Communist Party and its successors. In this case primary elections have been a tool to lose. At the end of the day, PD has not the ability to renovate itself. On these basis, it will keep on losing.
What about PDL and Berlusconi? Too many politicians from other parties were too sure about its defeat. Instead this defeat did not occur; it is also true the opposite, they PDL has not won the elections. But they are still there, representing 30% of the voters. Berlusconi however did not understood when it was the right time to leave the party, causing a drain of votes which, despite being right oriented, would have not voted for Berlusconi anymore. PDL result, with its 30% of votes, shows us the poor credibility of polls and political predictions because most of the PDL voters prefer not to clearly express their preference in public. It is now really urgent to put Berlusconi aside and to start building again the party on new basis, getting rid of the old establishment made of people from Alleanza Nazionale (AN), PSI (socialist party) etc.
There are also a good amount of new kids on the block, i.e. those from the M5S (5 stars movement). Is this an anomaly within the Italian system? I have to be honest: I do abhor this movement because of its populism, because of its lack of a clear hierarchy and structure, because of the impossibility to dissent from what its leader says, because I do not believe that people elected from this movement have the skills to act in a proper political way, especially when it comes to the international arena. Anyway they have been clever enough to grasp the dissatisfaction of different kind of voters: young voters, easily gullible from the perspective of change a system; dissatisfied people left oriented, which did not support Bersani (the PD candidate), people who do not usually exercise their right to vote and which have decided to show how the current system disgusts them. However, when I has the chance to speak to some of them they have relay poor arguments when it comes to their position towards the EU, about the measures to implement to improve Italian economy and so on and so forth. M5S really needs to rethink its way to act, becoming more proactive and not basing its actions only on the adversary basis.
Last but not least Mario Monti. He has made several mistakes: first of all to make a political alliance with Pierferdinando Casini (UDC) and Gianfranco Fini (Futuro e Libertà). It has been a mistake because for two reasons: the first one is that Casini likes to act as the indicator needle, making a different for different coalitions. In The long run this attitude does not pay. Fini, on the contrary, has changed his views and political orientation too many times, starting from extreme right oriented positions to become a moderate. Monti should have preferred not to make a coalition with this kind of people. Second mistake, the lack of a clear position since the beginning on his willing to take part at the political elections. Third mistake, the lack of a clear communication strategy with the electors, which have not understood the importance of keep on going with the recovery of the Italian state from a financial point of view.
Hell: now we have to face a really unclear political scenario because of the impossibility to create a government. Moreover it is not possible to vote again because we are within the “with semester” (i.e. the last six months of presidency of Giorgio Napolitano, where it is not possible to announce new elections. This means that for the next few months we will have to face a high level of speculation on the financial markets, the impossibility to act on the real economy with the right laws and tools, with the lack of a strong representation on the international arena.
Hallelujah: Hopefully political parties like PD and PDL will understand the necessity to change their structure and to get rid of the old establishment. Electors should also understand the importance to maximize the votes, and to avoid a polarization and fragmentation of the political scenario, combined with a higher degree of participation, remembering that populism leads to authoritarianism.