Hope !

I have many non-italian friends. To them, our politics are an endless source of entertainment and disbelief; like TV serials’ authors desperate for rateuppance, Italy seems to have an infinite reserve of crazy political plot twists.

Yesterday our Government narrowly won a crucial confidence vote. Is this a surprise? Methinks not. Who was there who really wanted new elections on the opposite side? If we voted today, I have no doubt mr. Berlusconi would crush all others, in part because of a biased electoral system, but in good part because of dire lack of a worthy opponent.

He may have won by a razor-thin margin in Parliament, but he still represents the majority of italians, and therefore IMHO rightly runs the country.

But my friends also know that my heart beats somewhere else and might wonder why the title of this post is “Hope !” instead of “Despair !”: the answer is simple: I believe that – as the monetary and financial crisis has demonstrated – the European Union is the solution; but for Italy, not only limited to loss of sovereign control over monetary policy (who determined the lowest interest rates in postwar Italy), but expanded to all sorts of crucial decision-making areas:

  • let’s have Germans run our big enterprises – they are not immune from scandals or bribes or anything, but at least they take responsibility and graciously bow out when caught red-handed.
  • let’s have the French run our Government Sector: they have demonstrated their ability to separate the running of the governmental service infrastructure, making it “something else” from the vagaries of their own politics.
  • let’s have the Brits run our politics: every time I watch the BBC reporting over “violent discussions” in the british Parliament, I cannot help but think that – even in the bitterest disputes – they retain an innate respect for institutions.

These are not impossible things: takeovers do happen, italian politics are becoming more and more irrelevant, and services could shift progressively to supranational entities.

I do have hope.


9 thoughts on “Hope !

  1. And the debts? You could leave them to the Russians?
    And the politicians themselves? To the Belgians? (they already have plenty)
    And the Lega Nord? To the Austrians?

  2. Robert, I don’t really know if these thoughts are shared by my fellow countrymen.

    We had a golden opportunity to test this approach when Air France offered to buy Alitalia a couple of years ago, but this plan was scuttled on grounds of “national pride” by mr. B who then won the elections.

    Believe you me, hope lies outside of this country, not inside…

  3. Ashtonishing to find my own thinking in your blog. It is some months – since when the Partito Democratico called for the Primarie – that I am proposing to friends to propose the PD leadership to mr. Tony Blair. Nobody is taking me seriously, but think twice –
    Capable, the man is capable.
    Catholic – so the moderate masses fearing God will not think that they are voting for Cossacks watering horses in Saint Peter’s fountains.
    Experienced, the man is experienced.
    I would even go to say that he is way more capable to speak to the country’s belly than the average PD politician.
    The man is currently unemployed, and readily available.
    Yes, he does not speak italian, but since when is this a problem? Look at the eloquence of mr. Scilipoti – or even how subjunctive sentences get massacred every day in the italian parliament.
    Thanks, and very good blog

  4. Joe,

    As much as I like your keen intelligence and poor sense of humour, I’m afraid you have it all wrong. For years I thought politics were basically intended for running things in a more or less rational way. Then one day it dawned on me that this was perhaps the biggest illusion of all! So I started considering the opposite: politics is for entertainment. And I have to say that idea grew on me. Politics is about (mostly) men acting as if they are your regular stand-up guys, while at the same time barely containing themselves when it comes to doing just about everything God has forbidden. They want to be caught, red-handed if possible, only to demonstrate to the rest of us that we (men) are only human. It is no surprise to me that two of the world’s most dominant belief systems (politics & religion) are being thoroughly redefined in exactly that manner in Italy. It’s what Italy was created for, to take on that leadership role in the world! So please drop the notion that introducing other EU characteristics will solve the problem, for the problem is not the problem. If any exchange should be considered between EU nations. it should be others scrambling to be more Italian. I for one am considering a hair transplant to combat my receding hairline.


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