We have a refrain in Italy, we bring out at every election: “This is going to be the worst electoral campaign ever”.
It may looks bizarre, but it’s always true. The level of our candidates is getting worse from year to year, making the refrain a secure forecasting.
The fifty days of electoral campaign seems longer every time.
At every election it seems like the very important topics we all care about are left behind, such as environment, labour market or economy, and the topics to spend time talking about are pointless controversies between the politicians. As if that were not enough, we now have a new electoral law this year which is such a bad law that now it’s almost impossible to find its ‘mother and father’, even if they are still there. Yes, because obviously nobody wants to recognize the paternity of a law that allows the boss of the party to decide who is going to be elected and who is going to stay at home. This is leading to a situation where “old politicians” are changing the parties from right to left and vice versa with no respect at all for the electors. No chances for voting for the favorite candidate in Italy. Not at all. Just leave a cross on the symbol of the party and they will manage. So the distance between the electors and the elected is getting bigger and bigger for many reasons: it’s flagrant considering we are close to a 50% of electoral turnout after having being for decades the Country with the greatest percentage of voters, 80% or above. Five years ago we had an unexpected chance to change everything with the result of the Five Stars Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle), but we squandered it. Now the 5SM has changed a lot, and it has lost his push forward a new politics becoming. It may seem hard to believe, but the protagonists are still the same: today’s favorite is the party of Silvio Berlusconi.
The previous legislation, led by the Democratic Party, has been characterized by three different Prime Ministers and showed the lack of ideas and the fear of losing a single vote by everybody in the Parliament. We failed to improve our economic situation (applying always the same politics we can’t obtain better results), we are completely scared by the migrants (so they become an expense only and not a resource), we didn’t step forward on social rights (civil wedding without adoption for children, but no Ius Soli for instance), we have less rights for workers (the Job Act increased instability) and our environment is always under attack and still completely out of the political agenda. With no successes to remember and talk about, with no brand new ideas to let the people dream about, and with only one aim – preserving their places, the power and the salary – our current political class is just trying to survive for five more years.
But can the Italian Citizens do the same?
Marco Affronte is Member of the European Parliament, independent in the Greens/EFA Group.