Some new faces in the Parliament for The Good PoliticsOf course the problem of ungovernability in Italy is due to the fact that the Left, although obtained the relative majority of votes, it didn't reach the lower bound of the absolute majority of Deputies/Senators in the chambers. In addition there is the apparent irreconcilability among different parties in order to join the number and reach that lower bound.
Part of the problem is due to the electoral law that allows a situation like this. It could be even worse: the relative majority of one chamber could have been different from the relative majority of the other. If that was the situation i believe (but i am not sure) that the winner Presidente del Consiglio would have been the winner candidate of the Camera. But the ability for him to produce a Govern would have been unrealistic at all.
One can think that the absolute majority into the two chambers shouldn't be a necessary precondition to give the Country a Government. And, in fact, it is not necessary. In Italy we had some cases of Governo di Minoranza (Minority Government): in 1953 with Einaudi and in 1976 with Andreotti. But such a Government is not stable, because it cannot count on a safe support of the Parliament.
So, it is pretty obvious that an electoral law like that should be changed, in order to give anyway an absolute majority in both of the chambers to the relative winner.
But i still believe that it is unfair to the citizens that the proportions were not respected. The Left had about 30% of the votes in both the chambers. If a better electoral system gave the Left 50% of the Deputies and the Senators to the Left, the preference of 20% of citizens would not be respected. Italian population is about 60 millions people. 20 percent is 12 millions people which, in that case, would have voted for somebody but elected somebody else. Unfair.
Under this point of view, a Minority Government wouldn't be so unacceptable.
A Governo di Minoranza can still work in the Parliament thanks to article 67 of the constitution, which specify that the mandate is personal. This means that, although a deputy/senator is elected thanks to the support of the party he is candidate for, he is personally responsible to make a decision, which can be different to the guide-line the party suggest. In this way a Government can have the necessary Fiducia votes although the parties that support that Government do not have numbers enough.
This makes possible to form a Government in this situation in which the relative winner (Left) does not want to compromise with criminal Clown #1, while M5S does not want to compromise with the Left.
There is still a strong feeling that this situation is a wasted opportunity for the Left that was not able to find a stable majority after 20 years of criminal Government of Berlusconi.
There is the suspicion that in these 20 years some games were played under the table to artificially create a settlement of the Country despite the will of the citizens. The actors of these games are Massimo D'Alema (background leader of the Left, although with no official charge) and, of course, Berlusconi. And, obviously, international financing and economics interests.
Also without considering this conspiracy theory, there is no doubt that the leading people of the Left (D'Alema on top) run the games so that they, or their puppets, keep their claws on the seats in the control room.
That's why a lot of citizens are disaffected to Politics. They reject Berlusconi's corruption world, but in the same time they feel that a war against corruption cannot be fought with other corruption.
This is one of the keys of the success of M5S. Beppe Grillo (Clown #2), which does not have any political quality, but is a great communicator, has the merit of being able to canalize the people's disillusion. With a simple paradigm: people is not disaffected to Politics: they are simply disaffected to this kind of system in which whatever they vote corruption is always the winner. And who can ever disagree with this point of view?
The paradox is that electors gave so many votes to M5S not for their program (indeed somehow limited and somewhere self-contradictory), but against the corrupted system of (the other) traditional Parties.
The real problem is that such a protest obtained one fourth of the valid votes, enough to invest a big number of deputies/senators. So big that their votes are determinant for any majority in both of the chambers. Enough big that it was unexpected by the M5S itself.
Of course also M5S had its blocked lists, but there was no leadership that chose the names on those lists: they were chosen among common citizens by a sort of internet voting (i don't really agree with this method, which didn't look very transparent at all, but for sure i like this much better than the nomination by the management of the party).
One of the main point of the program of M5S is the renovation of the electoral system, problem that had been faced both by the Left and the Right with no success because not convenient for their leaderships. The approach of M5S is the right one: if the leaderships cannot or do not want to do the good for the Country, they have to go home. Unfortunately M5S don't have a clear idea on what kind of electoral law they want.
In my opinion, Article 67 that preserve the individuality of judgement of the deputies/senators, is a great thing, because it puts the power on the shoulders of concrete people that are supposed to be there for the good of the Country, and not on the Parties, whose aim is to collect consent among electors. Nevertheless the same Article allow any elected one to change idea, which one of the main reason of corruption in the Parliament.
As soon as they had to take their first decision, the elected candidates of M5S had to face the problem to decide if to vote upon their own conscience for the good of the Country or follow the lines of the Party in accordance with the declared intentions they were elected for.
The problem was if to vote for Laura Boldrini as Presidente della Camera and Pietro Grasso as Presidente del Senato (both elected for the Left, both newbies in the Parliament).
Pietro Grasso was a judge that played a big role in investigating and arresting some of the main Mafia bosses in the last decade. He worked with the more famous judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed by Mafia in the early 90s. So, undoubtly an upright person. Of course criticized by the Right (being that their leader Berlusconi is a criminal, they don't like judges!!!)
I also like Laura Boldrini a lot. She worked for FAO in the UN, she had been Italian representative in WFP, she was into UNHCR. She spent a big part of her life for the poors and the marginalized ones. Significant, in my opinion was her settlement speech when she was elected:
Article 67 gives the deputies/senators freedom to vote for whatever also against the directives of the party they belong to. For that reason it also allows a criminal commerce of deputies/senators, favoring corruption (especially if the majority in the chambers is not wide). That's why the internal guideline of M5S, in order to fight corruption, is to find an agreement each other before voting a measure in Parliament and give all the same vote. This indeed eliminates the risk that somebody vote for a personal interest (in this way they nullify de facto the effect of Article 67).
While Boldrini (Camera) won with the votes of the Left (thanks to Porcellum the Left has the majority of deputies in the Camera), for Grasso the things were different. Being that the number of senators of the Left were not enough, he was elected thanks to some votes of M5S also.
Also considering the level of the other candidate (Renato Schifani of the Right), it would have been really a shame if the senators of M5S wouldn't vote for Grasso.
This shows the importance of Article 67, also for the deputies/senators of M5S, who despise that article so much.
Of course Clown #2 (which is not a deputy nor a senator - he's just a front man of M5S) was pissed for the fact that the vote of "his" senators were divided (most of them abstained and few voted for Grasso). But that is another political game: Grillo wishes that Bersani fails in forming a Government, or, even better, that Bersani finds an agreement with Berlusconi in order to form a wide-coalition Government (as it is in Germany with the "Grosse Koalition", or as it happened last year with Monti as an extreme measure). Such a Government would be based on an unstable majority, so it would probably fall after something like one year. The citizens would be called to elections again, and after another disaster the traditional parties (Left and Right), that will appear incapable to give a government to the Nation, would loose consent. This way M5S will have more and more popularity. Too bad, in the mean time, Italy will suffer a period in which important decisions to recover from such a social and economical dramatic situation cannot be taken.
Anyway, if the situation is like that due to a bad electoral system, going to vote with the same electoral system would appear a nonsense. And to change the electoral law we need a Government.
The election of Grasso and Boldrini is a wonderful thing. They both come from the Left coalition (this is why M5S deputies/senators initially didn't want to vote for them).
But in the intention of the Left, the candidates for the Left for those offices should have been Anna Finocchiaro and Dario Franceschini. I don't like them both, and anyway, whatever judgement one can give them, there is no doubts that they both belong to that kind of Politics i described in the previous posts, which created disaffection to the citizens because the parties completely ignore the real needs of the citizens, and they work much strongly for sharing the powers instead of solving the problems. Not to mention any case of corruption here.
Both Finocchiaro and Franceschini belong to the "D'Alema way".
It is clear enough that nor Finocchiaro nor Franceschini could ever have any vote from M5S. Which thing would have made even more difficult the task to form a Government.
In other words, although i somehow don't share the principles and the programs of M5S, i strongly believe that the ruinous party-centered system of power can be fixed only by a political force like M5S. Both Left and Right, and also other minor parties and coalitions have all the guilt not to be able to represent the values of the citizens.
To tell the truth i believed that at the end Bersani would have found an agreement with Berlusconi, which would have leaded to three disastrous effects: Firstly there would have been a terrible government just when Italy needs some equality and solidarity (another Monti-kind Government would't be bearable by the lower classes). Secondly the duration of the government would have been short anyway, and after that the Left would have lost even more consent for any new election, which would have made the Right (if not M5S alone) at the power again. And as a Third point, Berlusconi with an Institutional charge, would have avoided to be processed again.
Now, with the election of Boldrini and Grasso, this alliance looks more far. Thanks heavens.
The last perfect step of Bersani now would be a back step, with the proposal to Napolitano (Presidente della Repubblica) of another person, as Presidente del Consiglio. Somebody upright and irreproachable like Boldrini and Grasso. Somebody that could be supported by M5S too (although they said they would never support a "traditional" government).
And i would be happy of it. And i also bet that a large share of Italians would be happy too.
Antitrust, corruption, sobriety in PoliticsOne other key point in M5S programs is an efficient antitrust law, to fill the legislative hole that allows Berlusconi to own a so big share of media. It's obvious that in a country where media enter all the houses, who owns them shouldn't be allowed to run for an institutional office, because it wouldn't be a fair competition. Popularity of M5S was in fact possible also because they based all of their communication on the Internet instead of the traditional media (Italy is having a total coverage of reasonable speed internet only in these last years).
To tell the truth fair media is a point also of the programs of all the other political forces (except Berlusconi's Right, of course). But none of them did solve the problem in the past, which thing makes people believe one of these options: the Left agreed with Berlusconi under the table (some kind of power seat in change of the freedom to do whatever he wants with Media) or, at least, the Left is incapable to do a simple law against free propaganda. In both the cases, the Left shows unable to solve the problem. In this way Berlusconi will always be able to do whatever he wants, supported by some kind of propaganda (a lot of people, me included, just hope in the Power of Death to solve what the Left cannot).
MoneyAnother effort of M5S is to try to reduce corruption in the Parliament. In order to do that they suggest the reduction of salary for the public charges, strict control of the exchange of money, abolition of party public financing, limitation of the time in which one single person can cover a mandate. Everybody looks like agreeing with these points, especially in a crisis period like this. I believe we should be careful also with these points. First of all i believe that a reasonable salary should be given to the deputies and senators, because otherwise Politics would become a thing for rich people, and i believe that this would be the right opposite of democracy. Politics should be a place to govern society, not to protect the privileges of the higher classes of people.
Moreover i believe that the parties should be covered of the expenses with public money, because otherwise they would need to find private sponsors. And private companies would pay money only if they have something in change. I'd like a system of parties that try to do things for the Country, not for the lobbies.
Finally, although i believe that there must be a change in the people in the Parliament, i also believe that the work of the Politician is something that is learnt thanks to experience. One for all, a politician i like is the Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano. He is a honest old grandpa that devoted all his life for politics.
I believe it is unfair that the politicians can decide their own salary, that the parties waste money, and that the politicians self protect their own seats for personal interests. This problem put serious obstacles to democracy. But, also, i believe that changing the rules is a very delicate subject, if we want to protect democracy.
Parliamentarian immunityFinally, a subject for which M5S is so popular is that they are against parliamentarian immunity. They actually want to abolish it at all.
This kind of immunity was abused in a lot of cases. One for all Berlusconi. Corruption, implication with Mafia, even underage prostitution. Subjects like these are accuses the Magistrature is trying to make Berlusconi responsible of, but he is avoiding processes thanks to immunity.
It's pretty obvious that a situation like this must be changed.
But it is also true that Immunity was introduced to protect Legislative and Executive powers from any possible attack of the Judical power. The equilibrium among these powers is the base of Italian democracy. It needs a lot of care to change the rules that support this equilibrium.
Moreover immunity is thought to protect deputies and senators from each other. An accuse of some crime cannot be used to block the works in progress into the Parliament or the Government. If a politician cannot do his job because he is busy answering the Justice for potential fake accusations, we are in trouble.
M5S propose to make ineligible those ones that are or have been investigated for some crimes. If we apply this rule, i believe that somebody would build fake accusations in order to drive the judges to investigate some political enemy, just in order to get rid of those enemies.
Other weird points on M5S programOne point that they suggest, in which i am very fascinated since before M5S existed at all, is the philosophy of Degrowth.
I believe it is something to take in consideration because the world resources are not infinite. So, the global economy cannot just indefinitely grow. Therefore if economy grows in some countries, it has to reduce in some others, and this is the base of poverty in the world. What happens is that the rich countries are more powerful, and they can grow. Poor countries instead do not have the power to contrast this, so they are getting poorer and poorer. Moreover i believe that this happens within the single country. So that the difference between rich and poor (in Italian we call it "forbice"="scissors") grow.
This is not fair, if we want a just world. That's why we, rich countries, have to stop growing. The only acceptable way to stop growing is to level the wealth of everybody to ensure that everybody would be able to access to the essential needs.
But it is clear enough that Degrowth can be applied only globally. If an economy like the United States, for example, unilaterally decide to stop growing, in few months other more aggressive economies like China, for example, would reduce United States to the level of third world.
That's why Degrowth cannot be seriously part of a single nation political program.
Exiting from the Euro?One problem that aggravate the crisis in Italy is the unbalance of distribution of European economy. Rich nations like Germany have some privileges that poor countries like Greece don't have. And understandably German people want to keep those privileges. The effect is that Greece is going down and down because Europe want it to refund the debts. This is a myopic way to see the problem, because punishing Greece because its economy is doing bad, make its economy do even worse.
The real truth is that European community doesn't make sense if there is not a political integration among the countries. If Germany (and the rich countries) do not want to help economy in Greece there is no reason for an European union. And if we abolish Europe everybody would loose, Germany included.
To make a comparison, if a State of the US, say for example Mississippi, suffer more than others for crisis, the United States won't ever think to expel Mississippi from the union. Instead the rich states would help the poor ones. This point of view is obvious because it is socially accepted that USA are a inseparable union of States. Somebody from Boston and somebody else from Los Angeles both feel like Americans. Under this point of view, if we really believe in Europe, a German should consider a Greek part of the same Nation. There cannot be bankrupt in Greece and privileges in Germany.
Italian economy is not at the level of Greece, but we still are one of the worse countries of the union. Somehow Italians feel abandoned by Europe because we are paying for the fact that we are expected to be at the level of other more rich countries. This feed the anti-Europe feeling of somebody.
The fact is that economists say that if we exit from Europe it will be the total bankrupt of Italy, being that our economy cannot compete. Nevertheless M5S proposes to find the way to exit the union. This would be a suicide, but the option is somehow popular among the citizens.
What i think of M5SI believe that Beppe Grillo is a Clown. In a different way than Berlusconi. Berlusconi acts like a clown because he wants to do whatever he likes no matter the wealth of Italy. Grillo instead is a comedian, and he is proposing a different way of doing politics.
The things are more complex than how it was reduced by Peer Steinbrück (a German Politician that commenting Italian elections said that in Italy Two Clowns won - hence the title of these posts of mine). The problem is deeper in Italian Politics, and there is nothing that can be depicted so funnily by some German dude.
M5S is the answer to the need of Italians to be part of their own democracy, because the power, that should be in the hands of citizens, had progressively moved to the hands of a politicians caste.
I believe that it is time to renew the behavior of Politics, and to do that some rules must be fixed. I also believe that the task to do this cannot be done by who take advantage of the situation.
In my opinion Italy needs some honest people that impersonate the needs of the citizens and work for them. M5S is the answer of this need. Not because they are more capable than the other politicians, but because those old faces do not represent us anymore.
Politics need a renovation. It's not yet very clear the way that renovation should be done: the only clear thing is that we need that renovation. I want to get rid of Berlusconi and those ones that allowed him to be there umpunished for so many years.
Grillo is a Clown, but the deputies/senators of M5S are just common people (and the fact that they are "common" people is a good news itself) that try to do their best for the Country.
In several points i do not agree with their program, and i also don't trust in their capability to obtain some good results. But, for sure, they are a control for real politicians to do their best (that they guiltily didn't do till now).
What are we voting forI voted for the Left, because my personal values are more similar to the values that are traditionally associated with the Left. I cannot vote for the Right, both because their ideals are different from mine, and because with Berlusconi leading the right, nothing good will ever come out from that coalition.
I didn't vote for M5S because i do not agree with their programs and i do not think that they are enough expert to run a Country.
The intention of most of the people that voted for M5S was not to vote for them, but to vote against everybody else.
But i don't think that we were called to vote against somebody, and i don't think that the vote express a personal judgement on something. I think we were called to decide which people and which forces should compose the government of the Country. I didn't like the way the Left proposed itself, but i was not called to say what i like. I was called to choose, among the options they gave, which one is the best. And that is the Left.
Politicians try to interpret the result of the vote. I don't think it is a correct way. The result of the vote is that one about 30% is for the Left, 30% for the right, 30% for M5S. But my vote was only one. I voted 100% for the Left.
If they want to understand the result of the vote they should ask themselves why so many people voted 100% against them.
What's going on nowPolitics in Italy looks really slow, in this period. We need a government now, but still it looks we are navigating in the middle of the ocean.
Though it looks like my posts are even slower than Politics.
In the mean time, yesterday Napolitano finished the Consultazioni, so today he's expected to give somebody the mandate to try to form a Government (and ask for a Fiducia vote).
It looks like Napolitano is giving the charge to Bersani. But still it looks like the M5S senators won't vote the trust for him. If it will end up like that, all the cards still have to be played, but none looks good to reach some kind of result.
In few hours we should know for sure Napolitano's strategy to exit this pool of mud.