After a standstill that lasted more than eighty days, the Trinity Sunday of Italy’s crisis rapidly accelerated its pace depicting an equally tragic and grotesque scenario.
As largely anticipated, the attempt to form a Five-Star –League government, to the helm of which was appointed a brilliant university Professor lacking all forms of political experience, collapsed on the choice of Paolo Savona as finance minister. League leader Matteo Salvini, reconfirming his skills in what has become Italy’s everlasting political campaign, was only waiting to shatter a situation that was unstable from the very start. He thus reaped greater results with a single move, and most of all, he caused difficulties to the Five Star Movement, his political ally until a few days ago. The latter reacted furiously by threatening mass protests and raising the prospect of the impeachment of the President of the Republic, the responsible, confident, and far too patient administrator of an overwhelmingly contradictory incident.
Hereto the structural aspects of the crisis.
The election campaign followed by the outbreak of the crisis brought to the fore a tragic problem concerning the quality of political proposals.
It’s an evident problem from at least three different angles: the quality of political leaders, the quality of political programs, the quality of inter-institutional relations. This leads to the second major problem, namely , the quality of our democratic system linked to Italy’s own understanding. Unfortunately the two aspects of the crisis are interconnected and are inherently interdependent.
That’s why positive initiatives are needed. The issue was addressed in clear, incontrovertible terms by Cardinal Bassetti at the Assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. In the final remarks, His Eminence referred to Don Sturzo’s appeal to “strong and free men”: a message launched one hundred years ago that is equally valid for the present and for the future.
In Italy there are thriving realms and vital energies. The problem is that bad money drives out good, that it to say, violent political discourse, however inconclusive, manages to captivate the audience all the same. Also because it titillates our passions and removes individual responsibility.
Thus there arises the need, albeit within a tight deadline, to reason in a systematic way, calling a spade a spade, respecting State institutions that are public goods, and denouncing all forms of propaganda. It is a question of averting the tragic and grotesque drift of Italy’s crisis – which appears bound to be headed towards early elections.
Polarizing the system makes no sense, nor does it makes sense to polarize it into competing political proposals of Europeanists and non-Europeanists, populists and conservatives, the old and the new. Let us start with reality and our many problems first. In most cases early elections signal the crisis of an entire system. May they at least be marked by a new political proposal. A new and finally adequate proposal.