Italian politics 2013 – sunset boulevard for Mr. Berlusconi

The huge political losses of 2012 and 2013 causes a major break in the center-right field, consumed by scandals and left in a hurry for a new start. The main problem is still the same from the 1993; in Italy there is no real Tory party nor a right-wing party with no ties at all with the sad legacy of Fascism.

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi

The main party of the center-right field is the “Popolo delle Libertà” (PdL), a formation owned by the notorius Mr. Silvio Berlusconi. PdL got a strong cut in its consensus in the 2013 elections (-47%) and for many of the prominent members of this party are ready and willing to start an internal power struggle. With the perspective of at least five years away from power and a lot of judiciary problems to front, for Mr. Berlusconi it’s “sunset boulevard time”. The old leader (he will turn 77 this year) holds the party by the means of his money and for the media he controls, two major assests that can be both endangered by his problems with the law. It looks like a number of his men in the national parlament are evaluating to run away, looking for a more stable future. A collapse of PdL will leave a major breach in this side of the political field.

For the “Lega Nord” (LN) party it’s high time to reconsider leadership and the future of this movement. Mr. Roberto Maroni, acting leader in the last year, get the victory for of the local government of Lombardia. That was a political milestone for LN, their political campaign was mainly based on the idea of a macro region in the northern part of Italy with the aggregation of Piemonte (already governed by center-right coalition and with a LN governor) and Veneto (same situation of Piemonte). After a 2012 dominated by scandals and a change of leadership (from Umberto Bossi to Roberto Maroni) the electoral base of LN is deeply enraged with the top levels of the party, that gives room for a strong demand of change. the party lost about half of its consensus this year. LN is on the edge of a possible break-up, with the Veneto-based “Liga Veneta” that could become a new party of his own (more open to integrate other political forces) with a strong leader like Mr. Flavio Tosi.

Roberto Maroni

Roberto Maroni

The right-wing field is currently split in four parties. The new formation “Fratelli d’Italia” (FdI) do not reach its full political potential and the result of this elections can be judged as poor. This year we be very important for FdI; if they use this time to enlarge their presence in the country and act as a new home for who will escape from PdL they will be on the right track (no pun intended) to set up a conservative party, if they choose to be inclusive of the far-right movements they will slowly become irrilevant.

For another party, “La Destra” (LD), there is a bitter mix of satisfaction for the renewed consensus and regret for the failed objective of winning the local election in the Lazio region. The leadership of this party is not to be challenged in the near future but it looks quite difficult for LD to expand their electoral base. This factor and a five year period away from power positions could be causes for some shift in the consensus, both in the direction of far-right movements and in the direction of other right-wing parties like FdI. In the same game there are the two main far-right parties, “Forza Nuova” (FN) and “Casa Pound” (CP). FN and CP got a strong hold on the far-right oriented electors but at the same time got no real choice to grow and to collect more consensus. They are both confined by the heritage of Fascism, a factor that guarantees a strong identity at the price of a small electoral base.

With such a general situation the center-right field will face a great turmoil in the next few years. There are no new big leaders, neither the premises of a real change. The path for a modern Tory party in Italy could get a real start only after the demise of Mr. Berlusconi and that is not likely to happen in a matter of few months or a year.

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2 thoughts on “Italian politics 2013 – sunset boulevard for Mr. Berlusconi

  1. I really hope that arrives at the end of the epic belusconiana. The old man now who has already done enough damage in Italy.
    Regarding the LN is a paradigm that they have won the Lombardy when their consents are at a historic low.
    The LN (or rather his constituents) should reflect on the many mistakes and broken promises made ​​in the past 20 years

    • The real problem is the need for a real center-right alternative in Italy, for a party that will be an equivalent to the english Tories or to the german CDU-CSU. Without populist accent it looks like there will be no consensus (i.e. the downfall of UdC, FLI), even the new party lead by Mr. Monti scored a low result.
      LN is the demonstration of how much little parties can be able to get a share of control far larger than their real electoral weight. It’s an old story for our country (think about “pentapartito”). The center-right field got the best from a very silly situation; a candidate like Mr. Albertini drained a lot of votes from the center-left field, enough to block any hope of success.

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