“Meloni scored a goal into an empty net, he won for lack of opponents.” Maurizio Fistarol, former mayor of Belluno, deputy and senator, offers his analysis of Sunday’s vote with a vision that delves deeply into the choices of the voters.
Fistarol, what happened to Italy? Is there a black tide that has hit our country as it happened, for example, in Sweden?
“No. The right won because it had no one against it. There is no oil spill, no shift to the right of the electorate. In Sweden the vote was against immigration, not here, also because of Meloni’s cunning. If we look at the data, the center-right reaches 44%, while the sum of the three progressive forces (Pd, M5S and Action) is almost 50%. From the political point of view there is no displacement, but the technical point of view must be considered: the electoral law obliges the parties to join forces to take the majority of the constituencies. The center-right did it, the center-left did not. FdI wins, but his votes are a transfer: he has emptied the League, because Salvini is now sickening, and he recovers the center-right component of the M5S. Power will be a formidable glue in the coming months, but in a while the League will raise the bar as well as Forza Italia which has not disappeared and is indeed essential both in the Senate and in the Chamber ».
Why does the electorate vote like this, with continuous decanting and rejecting the outgoing government?
“It is not a vote against the Draghi government, which retains a very broad consensus. In my opinion, the problem is that there is a lack of a wide-ranging political vision, there is a widespread mediocrity and there is a lack of leaders capable of communicating a vision of society, making a gigantic uncertainty prevail towards the future. People are not dissatisfied with the Draghi government, but with the economic and social situation that is independent of Draghi and depends on war, Covid, the recession and the climate. Furthermore, it must be said: there is an electorate stunned by social networks. These voters want to prove what has not yet been proven. Populism has been going on for twenty years: first FI, then Lega, then M5S. Who remained? Meloni is the last chance for people looking for the savior of their homeland. But the consequence is that, as soon as success comes, so quickly it goes away. Salvini and M5S have already been there. The M5S has recovered in the last month because it has made an effective campaign towards those seeking social protection ».
How do you read the defeat of the Democratic Party?
There are several reasons. The first is contingent: he bet on the reliability of the M5S and lost. The Democratic Party has built everything on the wide field only to discover that the M5S is unreliable. I also consider it negatively, but if I put myself in their shoes I must say that the M5S is this and if it had not behaved like this it would have lost half of its electorate. It is not a responsible government force. But there is another reason for the defeat of the Democratic Party and it is structural. The problem is not just that its leadership team is inadequate, mediocre and made up of co-opted people. The drama of the Democratic Party is that of the mullet – sea fish – thrown into the waters of the Piave: it dies. The Democratic Party was born to act in a majority system. I was there when Veltroni made this operation with the idea that two large parties would be formed in Italy, but it never happened. The Democratic Party has put together many different things with logic takes everything, but with this electoral system it takes nothing and the voters run away from it everywhere: those on the left vote to the left, those seeking social protection vote M5S and modern reformists choose Calenda. Either the electoral political system changes in a majority sense, or there will never be anything to do for the Democratic Party. And let’s not delude ourselves: the congresses will be of no use ».
There must be a solution.
“We need to re-establish the progressive camp by basing it on at least two large forces of 20% each. A true leftist who thinks about rights, the real and fundamental ones such as work and health, not always relaunching with “new” rights; and a non-socialist reformist party that speaks to young people about work, the environment, economic reconversion ».
How do you see the Third Pole?
«Its first limitation is already in the name. The second is that it must decide what to do: condition the center-left by placing itself as the reformist party that supports and perhaps guides it towards the future; or play a solitary game aiming for a Macron-like operation, but to do so they have to change the electoral rules. He also has a leadership problem: Renzi is unpresentable, Calenda is good but only works with the elites. I who have known them, I think that Gelmini and Carfagna may be the right figures, but you need a step back of two leaders with an immense ego. If they succeed they will go far, otherwise they will return to 5% ».
We come to us. Belluno goes from six to one member of parliament. Do you need to worry?
“It went well. With the reduction of parliamentarians we could have gone to zero. I did that job and I can assure you that it doesn’t matter if there are one or four, it matters how much what is there in Rome matters. De Carlo, who is very close to Meloni, can be someone who counts ».