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.