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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Five Star - breaking the mould?

Italy essentially had a two party system on British lines, with both parties competing for the centre-ground on a left - right axis. Indeed, mainstream commentators are still this morning analysing the election results as the balance between the two, like arms of a scale. Except that something quite extraordinary happened. A third party, Five Star, headed by a 'foul-mouthed comedian' (I thought that was Berlusconi?), has won 50 seats in the 315 seat Senate, holding the balance of power, and 100 of 630 seats in the lower house, a proportion the LibDems never even came close to, even at their high-water mark. They came from no-where, non aligned on the left-right axis but with a healthy contempt for the old politics and the self serving political class.

Like the Pirate Party in Germany, which now holds 45 seats in State Parliaments, M5S is benefiting from a popular wave of discontent with the established parties that is also giving UKIP an increased poll share in the UK.

Of course Italy is too big not to have a functioning government. If some sort of satisfactory coalition can't be patched together, they'll be back to the ballot box again and M5S will either disappear as a spent protest (probable) or return to Parliament greatly strengthened (unlikely). Either way, Europe's political foundations are feeling the first feint tremors of change, a process that can only be slowed by economic recovery. And there's precious little hope of that in the near future.


Barnacle Bill said...

Indeed there is precious little hope of any economic recovery in this little country.

Although our political elite try to con us it's just around the corner or, when't it's our tunr at the top table it'll be all rosy.

Quite frankly I don't think I'll see any improvement before I retire and that hopefully is ten years away.

Of course that's if they let me retire!

Anonymous said...

I heard some dork from the FT on the newspaper review disdainfull and condescendingly calling Beppe Grillo [boy oh boy can that boy can speak to a crowd]and paraphrasing, "some form of comic".
And by this, somehow implying that Berlusconi was a serious politician - shurly shom mishtake?!


There is a groundswell of similar outrage here in the UK there will be a strange result in Eastleigh, the head is building but the anger is less over here but the phenomena is widespread in Europe - long may it continue and Forza Beppe Grillo!

Blue Eyes said...

It's all very well standing against the status quo and fair play to Italians for registering their protest, but how does it get Italy closer to having a sound administration with democratic legitimacy?

Andy said...

Surely serious economic woes would be more of a trigger for radical political change?
whereas prosperity would preserve the status quo?

Andy said...

And thats exactly what you said.
sorry,misread it first time.

i`ll get me coat.

James Higham said...

It would be good to see this sort of thing kick off a "p***ed off" movement here. It could landslide.

Mike Cunningham said...

As I am not in the business of predictions, I would simply state that a 'win' by one of the so-called mainstream parties is well on the cards, as the average British voter has about the same degree of political awareness as the Jury in the failed Pryce trial had of knowledge of basic English; never mind legal procedures.

I would applaud a UKIP surge, not because of any admiration for their policies, but because it would show the faint possibility of an awakening of any interest in politics, either local or natiuonal; but doubt that such a happening would occur.

Why do I prophesy a return to the 'status quo'? Simply because when the greatest scandal ever to be exposed within the NHS, with up to 1200 dead in the Mid-Stafford Hospital was even being discussed, the headlines swapped to bloody horsemeat in 'burgers. My query in that case is quite simple; 'What on earth did you think you were buying, when paying 99p for a 'BEEFBURGER'?

S Baggaley said...

@Blue Eyes:

Having seen the farce of the two main parties running this country (Italy) for some years now, I don't understand why you don't believe a party run by a comedian with a knack for rabble-rousing would do a worse job.

Seriously, have you seen Berlusconi's "policies"?