Italy just had their political election and it did not go so well for the far left wing. Italy is at a political deadlock because groups such as Five-Star Movement received as many votes as the left wing, but what does this mean for democracy?
Democracy is at its most stable point when there is high support for democracy, all institutions are democratic, and when there are no groups or parties trying to overthrow democracy.
There is one reason why people did not vote for the left wing as strongly as before, and it has to do with their economy. There has been economic anxiety in Italy. One third of Italy’s youth is unemployed which is twice as much as the average in EU nation as well as there is a high public debt. This downfall and high unemployment rate may be correlated to the influx of immigrants, according to anti-EU and far right parties.
One main goal of any nation, country, place is economic growth. It allows and facilitates the influx of money, goods, and other things in order to prosper the way they want to. Many populist parties are against immigrants because they believe that they harm economic growth, and the people in Italy are not an exception. They take up jobs and resources that their own people could use. So when there is a high influx of people coming into their country, they see them as people who would deplete their resources.
Unfortunately, Italy is at a point where they should not receive anyone else because their own people are being affected negatively. Populists see this as an opportunity for them to be able to win people over, to have people vote for them because they are stating that they are the ones looking out for their benefits. One of the many promises that the Five star movement stated was to find a way to make the immigrants leave Italy. This gives the people a promise of having more resources for themselves, for employment for those who need it, and overall for more stability. Thus, can the right wing win?
The answer is technically, yes. People tend to see the negative effects of the present, rather than the long term effects of the decision they make. Italy has actually improved their economic situation under the democratic leadership party. Their industrial productivity was up by 4.9% and their banks have become more stable. There are certain times where these changes might not be apparent because people tend to want to see actions that are effective at the moment, and why should they not? The Five Star movement promised environmentalism, euro-skepticism, internet-based direct democracy, and government transparency. These promises sound very appealing, but not all of these can be done in the time that most people would want. People want what works for them at the moment, most of the time. When one thing or way does not work, people will modify them to get the most they can; they change what did not work, or completely change it and get something better.
With this is mind, people need to be more aware of the progress that the political party has done. This can be compared to politics in the United States, where it has always been a two party system. Not one party has dominated the house, the senate, and the presidency throughout a long period of time, because each party has made claims that sound better than the other and they compare and contrast the previous party in charge to what they have been able to accomplish. If they believe that the other party will do better, than the people will change their votes and choose the other party and vice versa. At this point, Italy is experiencing this same fluctuation.
In a personal point of view, the left wing should remain in power due to the small benefits that the country has experienced. They have been able to improve the economy and make banks more stable. The only problem that seems to be a deal breaker is the influx of immigrants coming into Italy. In this case, it would be unwise for people to vote for a far-right wing party, since they have not been in power for so long, thus, their promises cannot be assured.
Since Italy is at a political deadlock, the different parties have to make coalitions with those that are more aligned with their views and try to get as many people to vote. Both sides of the spectrum will have to work hard, but more so the democratic party in order to stay in power. Change is not a wrong choice, but choosing something without the realization of all the factors and the advantages and disadvantages of each party is not the best choice.
Ben-Ghiat, Ruth. “In Italy’s Elections, the Fascists Did Scarily Well.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Mar. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/03/05/opinions/italian-elections-future-opinion-ben-ghiat/index.html.
picture is from google