Future Democracy. Italy of the future: instructions for use

The Bel Paese faced with the first missteps of the first right-wing government in the history of the republic.

Bruno Somalvico

At the end of the seventh issue of Future Democracy, Bruno Somalvico, in his capacity as Editorial Director of the magazine, in his editorial “Future Italy: instructions for use”, starting from the political framework that emerged on 25 September last, observes how “the elections despite everything, for the XIX Legislature they could mark a watershed and the start of a Constituent process aimed at defining new rules 75 years after the approval of our Constitution” and this above all in order to truly create a democracy of alternation within the framework of a new season of republican Italy.


Born from a palace coup with the incautious grillino behavior that allowed the center-right government to unload Dragons many months before the natural expiry of the legislature, the general elections of 25 September 2022 very plausibly went down in history as those on the one hand with the record of abstentions on the other like those with a extremely clear result in favor of the winning centre-right coalition united and which benefited from the towing effect of the Rosatellum, punishing a centre-left divided into three sections while collecting a similar or even higher number of votes overall. With this absolutely anomalous situation between centre-right and centre-left, the final result seemed obvious from the outset: massive victory of the coalition of centre-right with within it a great affirmation of the Brothers of Italy a downsizing of the League and a clear defeat of the center-left coalition especially after the decision to Charles Calenda to run separate from the coalition built around the Democratic Party giving life to the Third Pole together with Matthew Renzi, and to the significant downsizing but certainly not the disappearance of the 5 Star Movement. And so it was.

These elections – as we had announced in these columns in the middle of the electoral campaign – they were perhaps the most boring in the history of republican Italy as they lacked authentic direct television confrontations between the leaders of the main political forces and/or coalitions in the name of the application of the plaster rules envisaged on television by the level playing field dating back to three decades ago , when by now the risks of polluting the electoral campaign pass almost all through social networks. The tendency towards polarization of the vote concerned only the centre-right coalition, favoring the affirmation of the Brothers of Italy and the appointment without any shadow of a doubt to Palazzo Chigi of its leader Giorgia Melonithe first woman in the history of Italy to lead our country from Palazzo Chigi. The fragmentation of the centre-left into three blocks has not created the new bipolarity desired by the PD with the polarization of the vote between the two traditional centre-right and centre-left coalitions, but penalized the PD which suffers an erosion of votes on the one hand in favor of Calenda’s and Renzi’s Third Pole, on the other ensuring an unexpected recovery of the consents to the pentastellati under the guidance of the former premier Joseph Contewhich despite various splits and migrations of its parliamentarians manages to maintain its own weight beyond the hard core of its militants, and to undermine the Democratic Party on its left flank, especially among the former voters of the Democratic Left Party (PDS) and before that of those of the Italian Communist Party (PCI).

With these premises, even in the absence of clear political programmes, and above all of quantifications of the costs of the measures announced by the leaders of the winning coalition, the elections for the XIX Legislature could nevertheless mark a watershed and the launch of a constituent process aimed at defining new rules 75 years after the approval of our Constitution. The center-right coalition, but it would be better to define it between the moderate center – which came out rather battered despite the survival of Forza Italia – and the two radical right-wings – one the Northern League one which also came out battered in sharp decline, the other the national sovereignist one of Brothers of Italy who came out instead as the great winner of this electoral round and with the wind in their sails pushing the Brothers of Italy towards the construction perhaps of that Party of the Nation with a majority vocation to which Renzi aspired when he was head of the Democratic party.

At the moment we close this number doubleborn in this spring of 2022 with all the attention focused on war and the creation of a new bipolar world order, between a West under US leadership and a composite Eastern world around which China is slowly trying to exercise its leadership, not necessarily wanting to interpret it in the sense of wanting to attack the other bloc, as well as to push it progressively towards the Pacific area while continuing to guarantee the benefits of globalization to the Asian giant, some signs seem to push towards a solution, if not peace, at least a truce in the conflict that arose following the Russian occupation of Ukraine. A solution perhaps due not so much to Russia’s military weakness and the resistance capacity of the Ukrainian army thanks to the armed support of the West and in particular of the so-called Five Eyes, but to the deterrent capacity that China and its diplomatic action could exert against its “ally” Russia and directly on Vladimir Putin. In this context, the reaffirmed Atlantic solidarity between continental Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, the rebirth of NATO and the new requests for membership of Finland and Sweden, do not seem equally decisive on a political and diplomatic level.

Only now, after his affirmation in the mid-term elections, will the diplomacy of the US President be able to unfold Joe Bidenbut will certainly be conditioned by the internal commitment in the electoral campaign for his reconfirmation with a second term in 2024. He will be able to count on his faithful British ally – weakened by his own internal political events – and on that part that remains of the Commonwealth remained firmly in the bed of western democracies, but he will have to deal with a Europe that is equally divided internally. This could further penalize Italy as well as weaken it.

The European Union – which appeared united in the initial phase of the conflict in supporting – above all Poland – its sister Ukraineunjustly attacked by a Russia that once again appears as the enemy at the time of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain – today it seems strongly divided not only on the prospects for the development of a common European defense policy 70 years after the failure of the European Defense Community (project definitively rejected by the French Parliament in 1954) and more generally of the growth of the difficult construction of a political Europe, but above all in two fields as different as they are different such as energy and the environment, on the one hand, and that of measures to deal with migratory phenomena in compliance with human rights and the duties of assistance and the granting of political asylum in certain cases. Two thorny issues with direct impacts on the mood of public opinion and voters, those on the cost of bills and the measures to be taken to contain inflation as well as on how to organize the entry flows into Europe of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people from the African continent. On energy, there is a clear rift between France in favor of the measures advocated by Mario Draghi to establish a ceiling on gas prices and Germany and the Netherlands, as opposed as they are hostile to new budgetary deviation measures.

On migration policies, instead of seeking a compromise with other equally heavily indebted countries such as Francepressed by the Northern League Matthew Salvini, already accused of hostile behavior to article 2 of the Treaties of Rome on the occasion of other landings on Lampedusa, the new Italian government of Giorgia Meloni raises its voice against the NGOs defended by Germany obtaining the consent of hostile sovereign countries starting with Poland and Hungary, brutally entering a collision course with that country, France, with which Italy was building a great alliance thanks to the skilful texture of Mario Draghi regaining great prestige and a role that was projecting it into the new control room of the Union.

The hope is that – accomplice Sergio Mattarella. this misstep by our executive is remedied by swiftly ending tensions with France. Otherwise Giorgia Melonieven with the wind at your back, runs the risk of coming out with broken bones, which is of no interest to the current quarrelsome majority except for the “fascists” like Matthew Salvinibut neither is it for the opposition, which has an interest, on the contrary, in favoring reforms in Italy that lead to a democracy of alternation with a right that is not hostile to the European Union but on the contrary favorable to its political growth.

In short, a European policy and a foreign policy in perfect continuity with Draghi’s would be desirable, as the internal maneuver of the Budget Law seems to be taking shape under the shrewd guidance of the Northern League governor Giancarlo Giorgetti who seems truly inspired by the former tenant of Palazzo Chigi and having renounced a large part of the coalition’s proposals during the election campaign. As confirmed by a survey, the Italians in their vast majority do not want to know about flat tax and similar measures. Giorgia Meloni he seems to have understood it perfectly, maintaining an institutional profile. He does not want to repeat Matteo Salvini’s mistakes at Papeete.

Future Democracy. Italy of the future: instructions for use