Italy, reformism won ” “and anger lost” “

Italy's vote in the light of European election results. Believers are called to reflection

In Italy anger was defeated. The fear that it could take over played a crucial role. The need for reforms and stability prevailed. The temptation to overthrow the table of representative democracy lost. Abstention won, reaching 41%. Those who weren’t able to renew themselves lost. Those who presented new ideas and new leading classes won. Premier Renzi won. Grillo, his opponent, lost. Eurosceptics didn’t score a stunning win. The Europe of austerity did not suffer a defeat. Only two governments (Italy and Germany) have won. In many Countries these elections have been experienced as national electoral test. Governing Europe won’t be easy. In fact, the malaise expressed by European voters can’t be ignored, and most of all, a lot will need to be done to weld power with politics. Its failure would result in the continent’s lack of relevance. Follows a closer glance at the situation in Italy and the election results. First of all, it should be said that no analyst or pollster had predicted the triumph of Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD). Such circumstance, (by no means a secondary issue) is very telling of the forecasting skills of our ruling classes, to the extent that during the days ahead of the elections Renzi adopted a cautious approach, taking into account the possibility of a defeat. No wonder that on election night young PD leaders expressed a combination of joy and incredulity. Italian voters have opted for Renzi’s reformist formula to which corresponds also a kind of political anthropology that rejects the aggression of the opponent as a method for political action. Moreover, it is evident that Renzi’s watchwords also appealed to a large number of moderate voters, and now it’s up to him and to his young party leaders to put that support to worth. We are not in the position of giving advice, but we certainly can imagine that pursuing the path of social justice along with family and employment policies are commitments that ought to be firmly followed through. It is equally important to continue modernizing the institutional system of the country. Not getting stuck in the marshes of politicism is the responsibility of those who won. The losers, notably Grillo, should be asking themselves which is the path they want their voters to follow. An Italian citizen on five is the bearer of destructive rage, that very rage that echoed in the words of the ex comedian from Genoa and in the squares of the 5 Star Movement. Having lost as many as 3 million votes in a few months’ time is very telling. Many Italians, before programmatic aggression (sometimes even conveyed with vulgar expressions) combined with a lack of governance proposals, have turned their backs to the Movement. For Grillo the worst is yet to come, namely, handling an unexpected defeat. He may try to gain standing as the second political movement in the future, given the lack of a convincing centre-right, but he has to decide. Someone may say, and not without good reason, that Grillo already is the new Italian right-wing. We shall see… Now let’s speak of Italians. Too many of them preferred to stay home. The record-breaking abstention rates that this time rewarded the reformists and penalized the angry voters, is no guarantee of tranquillity. Everyone should contribute to restoring to politics its role in the management of the common good. To those who highlight the distance between real power and party politics, coupled by the relentless crumbling of representative democracy and decision-making capacities, the response should be a leap forward. All Italian political forces (winners and losers alike) must show that politics can once more impact citizens’ and families’ lives and that they have not renounced their responsibilities towards the community at large. A simplification effort will be certainly needed. We think it has been understood even in Brussels. In the meantime, we take stock of the fact that a new political season is opening up, both in Italy and in Europe, in which the old categories (progressives and conservatives) will perhaps be inadequate to describe reality. It will also be our responsibility to find a way in this political passage inhabited by a new political fauna. But before half the country that does not go to the polls nobody can back down. And perhaps in-depth reflection should be undertaken also by the faithful.

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