Friday, September 11, 2009

Why to vote for Ignazio Marino at the primary elections of Partito Democratico

I consider myself "leftish" from since when i was old enough to understand, but i am also very critical towards the Partito Democratico since its foundation a few years ago.
My aversion to PD is in its roots. Its founding fathers, through Veltroni's "Corro da solo" ["i run by myself" - a tactic in which he refused any alliance with other minor parties], have managed to build a big party plundering the votes of the Left. They did it riding an electoral system considered by everyone a terribly unjust thing (so much that its creator Roberto Calderoli himself named it "Porcellum" ["pig thing"]). And they took advantage of the "voto utile" ["useful vote"], that is, the leftists realization of the need to stem the fascist tendency towards which the country was already going. The leftists, therefore, preferred to address the strength of their votes to PD instead of wasting them on a minor party. In fact, votes to parties that obtained less than 4%, for the perverse mechanism of the "Porcellum", ended up enforcing the most voted party (the Berlusconi's and his fascist mates' one).
To tell the truth, for PD, the use of this perverted mechanism would neither be such a bad thing if, other than taking advantage of the votes of those electors, it would also take in charge the task to represent their values.
But no. PD did never assume the responsability to give a voice to the values of the Left. To most people, like me, PD became more like a big set of seats that allowed a soft support to the fat butts of who was already well seated in the parties that originated it. PD has never taken any firm position against Berlusconi's extra-power, just when the Country really needed it and waited till now, in the guilty incapability of giving any alternative to Berlusconi's fascism.

So, it's clear for everyone that the old leadership doesn't represent the Left anymore, and for this reason, even without considering the reasonable suspicion of collusion with the "enemy", it should resign allowing new entries to take their place. But it looks like for those old leaders it is more important to preserve their warm ass on the soft throne than the good for Italians.

Ignazio Marino
In the beloved American democracy, anyway, they do exactly that: respectful goodbyes to the losers. Personally, i liked Al Gore a lot. He lost by a few votes in some elections which results were suspicious. But if he didnt give up America wouldn't ever had Obama - and i doubt that Gore, in his pants, running as a loser, would ever been able to win against McCain.

Ignazio Marino is running for the leadership of PD. I'm not comparing him to Barack Obama here, but it is clear that, while Franceschini and Bersani [the other candidates of PD leadership] have already clearly lost against Berlusconi (which suggests that they will loose again), Marino is the New Way. And this statement is valid without even giving a look to his program.
Reading the program one will be astonished by the strength of his positions, an absolute novelty in the context of PD, even before evaluating the contents, which, incidentally, looks to me reasonable and agreeable for anyone naming himself "leftist".

In fact, the Italian media, totally subservient to Berlusconi, publicizes the PD primary elections as a duel between Franceschini and Bersani, giving no visibility to Marino. Obviously because Berlusconi would prefer an opponent who agrees not to contradict him, in exchange for a peaceful coexistence in the puppet theater.

In short, I believe that the staunch Democrats should support Marino, hoping that upon winning the primary elections, he will be able to defeat Berlusconi at the Political Elections, where the rest of the leadership of PD always failed in the past.
Those like me who flow into PD for the "useful vote", should prefer Marino in the hope that finally some conditions will be created to reconcile the values of the whole Left in one only political force. In this way PD could represent their values, the very same values that the old leadership had failed.
I would also say that the supporters of Italia del Valori [another political party, allied to PD] should like Marino leading PD. This party, in fact, can hardly aspire to govern Italy alone or to find allies other than PD. And it is certainly better to relate to a force that has clear goals rather than a rabble of selfish people like Berlusconi's flunkies.

Dario Franceschini and
Pier Luigi Bersani
Obviously, the leadership of the Right would prefer a "subservient" opposition as the one leaded by Franceschini or Bersani: the weakness of the opposition goes hand in hand with the strength of the majority.
But if I were an elector of the Right, I think i would prefer a minority but viable opposition, which tends to make the Good for the citizens, although with different methods. And pressing the Right to always do the best for the Italians (after all this is the proper task of the opposition, isn't it?).

In short, shouldn't it be in the interest of any voter to have loyal and honest opponents?
At the end I think that Marino, as leader of the new PD, would be good for all Italians, except for some politicians and any kind of corrupted persons.

My contribution to this will be to vote for him at the primary elections October the 25th. Also non-members are allowed to vote, at a cost of 2 euros as a contribution for the expenses.
The mechanism for the election of the Secretary, however, is rather complicated. Here are the rules.
What I understand is that voting is permitted to any Italian citizen, EU or with a valid residence permit. But it looks like these elections are decisive only if one candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes, a result that is not realistic for Marino. Otherwise, the secretary shall be chosen among most voted via secret ballot restricted to the National Assembly. So Marino will likely lose, in which case I think PD will have to manage without my vote.

But a relative majority or even a good success of Marino may be a sign of change and an indication of the will of the electorate - that this time, the usual dinosaurs can not ignore.

I believe that the corrupt and fascist regime in which Italy is falling into is primarily a serious responsibility of the Left, which was unable or unwilling to offer a decent alternative. I think Ignazio Marino is an opportunity to fix the problem.


tychecat said...

As I understand Italian politics, your government is still primarily focused on parliamentary rule rather than the divided rule we in the US have, with your president's power mostly focused through the parliament which must approve all executive actions.
This, given Italy's recent political history, encourages coalitions of more locally based political parties.
Attempts by one party to go it alone will probably always end up with some kind of dictatorial rule (at least as the other parties see it ).
The US political primary elections to choose the party candidates have, within my lifetime, shifted from elected party delegates choosing a candidate in a party convention, with all the back-room deal making to a system where committed delegates are chosen in state primary elections and just use the party convention to whip up support for the party's candidate, whose identity is already confirmed and well known.
Is this more or less the way PD is trying to do things, or are they still in the secret deal-making stage?

dario said...

In italy the rules are slowly changing towards an electoral system that i don't like.
The goal is to reduce the number of parties so that there would be more stability in the parliament, and, at the end, the executive power of the Consiglio dei Ministri (and the prime minister) would be much better supported by the parliament.
The Porcellum is an attempt to obtain such a goal. There are a lot of reasons not to like this system, but the main one, for which everybody dislike it, is that it looked like under some conditions it obtains the opposite: a proliferation of small parties not exactly distinguishable each other.
About political parties i am still on the same opinion i described in this post.

What do you mean with "locally based". I don't think there is any party in Italy that obtain more consent under a geographical distribution. Apart maybe from Lega which obtains much more votes in the north (that is justified because it proposes a management of money by the regions, and in the north regions have more money than the south.

No, the attempt of the parties to go alone is right the same of what happens in America where nor the Democrats nor the Republicans want ever to be allied with Nader, or the communists or others.
I believe that if a party enlarges its electorate, there is one pro and one con.
The pro is that it can run for the government alone, ensuring so the stability of the consent. Infact in the extreme case of USA where there are actually only two parties (excluding minor parties), there is always one of the two that wins and the other lose. While in Italy, being that the approvation of the parliament is needed, the consent of the half of the deputee is mandatory, which cause the formation of the alliances (so alliances of parties, being that the seats on the parliament are distributed somehow proportionally to the number of votes of the parties).
The con is that one party becomes big when it obtains a lot of votes, and that happens when the values of the party (or in other words its program) represent, atleast in part, the ones of the voters. So, building a program of a big party is somehow more difficult than a little one, because it must make happy all the voters and not only one small category.

What happened with PD is that, thanks to Porcellum and Voto Utile (the need of everybody with a brain to fight against Berlusconi) it became very large (although not enough to defeat Berlusconi) without representing the values of the voters. Me, for example. Just to make an example, i want PD to take a clear decision on what to do with public schools, with Bioethics, with the economic crisis, to the welcome to immigrants... But PD didn't have any clear position. Because it didn't want to lose voters against that position.

That has nothing to do with dictature. On the opposite, i believe that there is more risk of dictature in a system similar to US one. Because the powers are centered in one single person: the president. The bad bad thing of that system, in my opinion, is that the President is the chief of executive and legislative power. Plus he controls also the army. And somehow also the judical (i am thinking... i quote how i remember... when Nixon said something like "if it is the president saying it, it cannot be illegal". In italy only Mafia and Berlusconi (which actually it's about the same) can say something like that.

Infact, how would you definde George W. Bush mandate other than dictature?

dario said...

Ah... about the primaries...
Yes, in Italy they are a new thing, that PD, in a very democratic way, believed it might be the right way to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister.
The right doesn't do any primaries elections, and for the left there is a too obscure mechanism. Plus yes, my wife also was surprised that you have to pay if you want to vote!

The thing is that just few years ago (before the Porcellum) the Prime Minister was nominated by the Presidente della Repubblica AFTER the political elections, choosing the one person that in his opinion could obtain more stability among the deputees in the Parliament. So that it couldn't make any sense to make the primary election before the political, while it obviously doesn't make any sense to do it after.

I am proud to say that in Italy (atleast before Porcellum) voters didn't vote for any President (or Prime minister), but for the Parliament, because the Parliament is the sovereign of the Country, not the Prime Minister. There is no more absolute kingdom nor dictature in Italy since a lot of time!