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) ……
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.