Italian Elections: The most important election in a decade?
You probably heard that the Italian Election this year is one of the most important in a decade. That is because there are many candidates running and much more political parties than previous elections. The votes are spread between this parties and the result is that none of the parties or the coallisions have enough votes to form a government. This is also the result of the new election system in Italy where coalitions are stronger and more likely for being elected. So, what to expect from the election tomorrow?
Italian Election Explained:
This election marked the comeback of the famous political figure, Silvio Berlusconi from the Forza Italia. He is seen as a safe port in this fragmented political scenario, and for some people, as the devil they already know. His presence in the election campaign, in my opinion, was fundamental to remove the rough edges and smooth his party proposals. The most important is the standardization of taxes at 22%, that has been very popular among Italians. Not only that, he had a fabulous election campaign. He rose from 4% to 18% in the polls in just one year and he is not even allowed to run this year. He asked for the voters to vote for his coalition without he being the Prime Minister candidate. This quick comeback shows how popular he is in Italy and how powerful his position is.
On a more conservative wing, we have the League - a Right-wing party, who in the past was voicing the discontent of the entrepreneurs of the north and now has a more neo-nationalistic, anti-immigration, and anti-European point of view, very similar to the National Front in France. Their leader is a young politician called Mateo Salvini who is very skillful to mobilize followers for his proposals.
Then, we have the most boring party on the run: the Democratic Party. Their candidate, Mateo Renzi, who was the last prime minister for 3 years and achieved almost nothing, is very unpopular in Italy when he is not completely disliked. He rose as a very promising politician who very quickly was able to destroy his reputation, mainly because he is not simpatico (absence of sympathy). On the last election he was scoring 40% in the polls and this year he dropped to 23%. A very poor performance for someone who was Prime Minister a year ago.
Out of coallisions is the 5 Star Movement. The left-wing, populist, neo-communist party is the most dangerous one. Founded by an Italian comedian in 2009, it is likely to become the biggest party in Italy, with 30% of the seat in the house. Their proposals are very popular in the south, especially the minimum wage reform proposals and some far left, communist ideas. Their leader, Mr. De Maio seams to be a more moderate candidate and for me, this the biggest problem. As it happened in Brazil when Lula became President, he also showed a moderate approach to his communist ideas. The result was the worse economic crisis in 50 years and the biggest political scandal in the history of the country.
What is the most likely outcome of tomorrow's election?
In my opinion, no government will come out of this Election. For it to happen, it is required at least 40% of the house from the same party or coalition. A government will have to be formed after the election between Berlusconi and Renzi's parties in order to achieve the required numbers. In addition, a weak government would have a difficult time targeting the most imminent threats of Italy: unemployment above 10%, unofficial economy, and tax evasion, expensive government deficit for years and shy economic growth of only 1,7%.
The rapid growth of the 5-star movement provoked a rise in sympathy by the voters for the center-right and far-right parties, which is very good to preserve and defend Italy's national interests and liberal ideas. The problem is with taxes reform. The right-wing is promising to cut taxes in order to receive more votes, but the impact on the economy, especially because of the increase in the already astronomical public deficit, would be catastrophic.
Maybe the most tragic thing will happen tomorrow is that someone will inevitably win.