Talking about a revolution

I suppose it’s not really for me to say anything given that a) I don’t really understand Italian, b) I don’t really understand the politics and c) I never vote (any more) ……

but …….

A bit of background. In the recent elections, the Five Star Movement (M5S) got something around 25% of the vote and were the largest “party” (in terms of votes) but, because of the way that the system works here, they got far less than 25% of the MPs in the parliament.

They were elected on the basis that they would change the system. Removing the corrupt practices (and people); reducing the enormous expenses run up by the parliament and MPs; give the power back to the people. They promised to do certain things like, take a wage cut when they were elected, not form an alliance with another party just to get power (see the Lib Dems in the UK – need I say more?), etc.

Then came the first thing the new parliament had to do. Elect a Speaker. It seems that there was this final run-off between 2 candidates and, at the vote, Fat Pete (Pietro Grasso) won. Now, he could only win with the support of some (maybe even a few) of the M5S MPs. Now, before the vote, it had been agreed that the M5S MPs would submit blank votes (it seems this is a secret vote done by paper) – but the reality was that some, quite obviously, did not submit blank votes.

Beppe Grillo is angry. He wants to find out who the M5S MPs are and expel them from the “party”. Some of the M5S supporters are suggesting that BP is trying to run the “party” exactly like the existing system whereas the M5S MPs were elected to represent the people. The new Speaker is a well-known anti-Mafia campaigner. It is said that the M5S MPs from Sicily were the ones that voted for him, since they have been successful in Sicily because of their anti-Mafia stance.

It is also said that some M5S MPs voted for him to ensure that Schifani (a ultra-right-wing candidate proposed by Berlusconi’s party) didn’t get in.

BP accuses these MPs of having “lied” to the voters.

So, here it is, my opinion (for what it’s worth):

You can’t stop the corruption and the huge expense by working “within the system”. It’s important that this parliament fails (and fails quickly) to enable people to vote again. Having seen how well the M5S has done, more people are likely to vote for them. Now they are seen as a force for change and change is what Italians want (I think). If they get a much bigger vote, they might be able to form a government and actually DO something. Already the MPs have said they will only take a proportion of their salaries – but they cannot change the system to make this compulsory – unless they get control.

If they start trying to work “with the system”, they will, ultimately fail (as have the Lib Dems in the UK) and disappear from view (as will the Lib Dems at the next election).

So, they need to make the parliament fail and quickly.

This is the bigger picture. This is the road to salvation. This is a revolution.

C’mon guys – get with the bigger picture!

p.s. I like the name “Fat Peter”. It makes me smile.

Tracy Chapman – Talking About A Revolution

6 thoughts on “Talking about a revolution

  1. Andy,

    I voted for the M5S. However, I think that if you want to change the system you have to work within the system. Without a government, how can you change the system?

    Also, I don’t like the fact the BG wants to run the movement and I’m not sure that
    ” Having seen how well the M5S has done, more people are likely to vote for them. Now they are seen as a force for change and change is what Italians want”

    Yes, we do want a revolution and perhaps M5S is the ONLY political force able to do it. Said that, social & political fights take place in the parliament. Blank votes do not help. Not in the long run. At some point, you have to “play” in order to change. Don’t want to play? Don’t run for the elections.

    • Hi Lola,

      I know it’s none of my business really, especially as I don’t vote any more, however ……

      Sometimes, I think, working to much within the system won’t work. There’s too much corruption and dealing behind the scenes. The only way it will change is if some party like M5S get a majority. Now, here, in Italy, an absolute majority has never been seen (I think) and, maybe, it’s not even possible but it’s worth a try. If M5S had a majority it could pass laws that prohibit anyone with a criminal record from being an MP (that may get rid of a few of the ‘old guard), for example; change the salary and pension benefits for being an MP; set a retirement age, etc.

      They ARE playing. They got the votes – a quarter of Italians want this change – but now they need many more votes to be able to actively do something.

      The problem with coalitions (see the Lib Dems in the UK) is that your proposals get watered down and, sometimes, you have to agree to something that is not what you said in the election or against your ideals. If they go into coalition they will surely lose a lot of the good faith they have (imo). As I see it, the blank votes is a method of hurrying fresh elections (that everyone knows will have to come eventually) when the success of M5S is fresh in everyone’s mind.

      But I think you’re right about BG. Unfortunately, he does seems a bit like an unelected PM and that’s not good. To be honest, he would have been better to talk to the people (who voted for the Speaker) individually and not do this publicly.

      Finally – play but only when you are pretty sure you have a winning hand. No point in trying to win when you don’t have a hope in hell.

      But I bow to your greater knowledge, of course :-)

  2. Hi Andy,
    I don’t have enough knowledge to comment on what’s going on, to be honest.
    Except for today ;-) I am a busy woman LOL

    Well, they are not playing at their full potential. For many reasons. One them being BG. We will see where all this will lead us.

    I trust M5S but I am not 100% that their strategy is the right way to change things in Italy. However, I might be wrong. Actually, I strongly hope to be wrong.

    And, by the way, it is your business! You live here, after all.

    And now, back to sun :-D

    • Hi Lola,
      Well, of course, I have my opinion – as I’ve stated, so I suppose that’s something.

      I don’t know if it will work either but, given that nothing else seems to have worked before now, I think it’s worth a try.

      Anyway, with Cyprus going the way it seems to be, I would say that everything has as much chance as anything else and things may be taken out of everyone’s hands soon enough.

      Yes, it is a rather stunning day today. I wish I was out walking the dogs and, maybe, stopping for a beer :-D


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