Last week’s election which left no party able to form a government on its own is projecting a bizarre mood. The narrow-margin coalition-winner Partito Democratico (PD-leader Bersani) have right to try and assemble a government, probably a minority government, as courted Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S-Grillo) is not prepared to intermingle with “defunct political parties”. On the other hand, PD is not willing to govern in a coalition with Popolo della Libertà (PDL-leader Berlusconi) unless Berlusconi sets himself aside, as considered a discredited leader. It is likely that, should Mr Bersani fail to form a government, then a new technocratic government would be called for by President Napolitano, possibly led by a respected outsider.
It is not easy to assess a situation in Italy as politicians speak unintelligible jargon and most papers are the megaphone of this or that party; for this reason it is important to listen and read from many “chirps” if you want to theorize where the likely truth stands. Had Mario Monti (presently take-care government leader) not descended into a merciless election battle with scant success, an easier solution would probably be at hand; having the leader turned himself into a politician (derogatory in Italy) from a super-partes credible professor as he was regarded, the solution to form a new government is today problematic.
In a desperate attempt to form a government, Mr Bersani ferried his programme from a pro-European agenda, with the intent to attract Mr Monti in a coalition, to a pro-M5S plan entailing a marked social change and less Europe. Means that that PD has not a programme of its own? May be not, but this is what appears to be! To tarnish the party’s image further, Mr D’Alema, PD veteran, in a recent interview hinted that a government in coalition with PDL is not possible for the presence of Mr Berlusconi. The oddity is due to the fact that all PDL parliament members have protected their questionable leader and other members from prosecution, rising eyebrows about PD’s consideration about ‘integrity’.
M5S with their 25.55% score is the party to have gained the most (PD halted at 25.41%) and elected members are very young, unknown and without experience; it is reported that they are attending an intensive course led by reputed international tutors and mentored by economists but the fact of being completely unknown does not help in clearing the fog pervading this movement. Besides, Mr Grillo, leader, has not run for election and he will not be a parliament member.
M5S have a strategy, however; they will not enter in a coalition with established parties as considered deceitful; they have a defined programme turned to speed-up growth and enhance the social aspect while loosening economic restraint, and they call for a swift assessment of the viability of the common currency in this difficult Italian context. Amending the present electoral law to enable voters to choose candidates and a rapid democratization of the European Union law-making is also part of their programme.
The plausible outcome? The newly elected parliament will meet on 15 March to elect the speakers of both houses. The President will formally appoint Mr Bersani to carry out an explorative mandate; if not successful, Mr Napolitano would call a new ‘super-partes’ personality to form a technocratic government with a given task to change the electoral law and pursue a limited but necessary number of reforms while a new election would be called for in the Autumn of this year. This scenario would also give time to M5S members of parliament to get acquainted with the general public and, if they uphold what they claim, they would flip-over ”every stone to bring to surface any sleaze and form of delinquency”.
Old parties’ ideology is over, no Right no Centre no Left, just good governing! Nevertheless, I wonder: any chance of honesty and integrity being a new party’s ideology?