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Italy voted: Sure, but sad

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Italy has voted, and it has made a clear decision: to be governed from the right, even more: within the alliance, even more clearly, the “Fratelli d’Italia” were voted up, of all people, the party that came from the spirit of fascism nostalgia was born and was intended as an offer to those old “camerati” – by no means only men, but the word only exists in the masculine noun – who had little use for a democratic-liberal turn of a former leader.

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Even the boss, who likes to present herself as a harmless conservative, is “proud” of the old symbols and slogans. “God, family, fatherland” – apart from the story of the slogan, which makes you shudder: nothing good can be expected for Italy’s future.

“God, family, fatherland” – code for the march back

Anyone who reads the joint election program of the right-wing alliance will notice that it declines precisely this confession: God, the “Christian-Jewish roots” that the right wing in Europe refers to everywhere – and at the same time obscures the fact that their anti-Semitism naturally lives on – for a identitarian program in which people who think and believe differently have no place, a declaration of war on a multicultural Italy.

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That has been around for a long time, but of course you can make life really difficult for him: by denying the children of the first generation of immigrants naturalization, by illegalizing migrant workers and thereby depriving them of any right to defend themselves against denied wages and violence, which they suffer in the tomato fields and in the factories.

“Family”, on the other hand, in the light of words and deeds, stands for a complete lack of interest in a modern welfare state, which cements the fatal dependence of children, the sick and the elderly on the family and with it many evils that also hinder the economy, today more than ever: a low female labor force participation rate and inherited poverty.

What the right understands by “family” many have to fear. Women who want to work or have an abortion, queer people. Europe will have to contend with the revered “fatherland”: national selfishness, “Italy first”—whatever that Italy is: that of corporate interests or that of the men and women who don’t know how to get by until the end of the month?

Client interests instead of questions about the future

The program of the right has no recipes for the big and burning problems, they don’t even seem to be interested: about the climate, the management of migration – the text only knows “illegal” – the text only loses words that seem hollow even when skimming , while he becomes very specific when it comes to the clientele interests of the alliance partners: to get the money for public contracts and to be as safe as possible from the stalkers of an already overburdened and outdated judiciary.

How this election victory came about will make Italy and its neighbors ponder for a long time. Europe will very soon have to deal with the fact that the Orbáns of the Union can see Giorgia Meloni as an enthusiastic ally and a founding country of the EU.

Never in democratic Italy have so few voted

One of the reasons can certainly be seen in the voter turnout: for the first time in almost eight decades of democracy, it has slipped below 70 percent, and significantly so. The nine percentage point drop since 2018 is not just a continuation of a sad trend, it is a slump.

The fact that voter turnout was so dramatically low, especially in the South, shows that those who need good politics most are no longer expecting it to improve. It’s a sign of desperation. The crisis of Western democracy, its promises of representation, of the people’s government by the people, reached a new, dramatic point this Sunday in Italy.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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