Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement: the real novelty of Italian politics

The Italian political scene seems more and more characterized by the contrast between the Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Five Star Movement founded by the comedian Beppe Grillo and the communications expert Gianroberto Casaleggio, died a few months ago and replaced by his son. In fact Forza Italia (Forward  Italy), the party founded by Silvio Berlusconi, has not yet found a replacement of the former premier, now more and more away from politics, who is able to revive the fortunes of the party. Finally, the secessionist party Lega Nord (North League) can’t seem to get the electoral support outside the northern regions where it’s traditionally stronger. However, the real novelty in Italian politics is the Five Star Movement, born from the irreverent comedian Beppe Grillo’s blog. The Five Star Movement refuses to be considered a party, it promotes direct democracy through the use of web (direct election of candidates, online voting of popular bills), reduction of the salaries of the members of parliament, maximum limit of two electoral mandates. Following the popular discontent with politicians, fueled by the economic crisis, the Five Star Movement has achieved great electoral successes in recent years, posing as anti-establishment movement and defender of legality. Today, according to the polls, the Five Star Movement is the first party in Italy. But there are many doubts about this new political project. Beppe Grillo and the co-founder Casaleggio  hold the exclusive property of the movement brand and the blog with which they control the party and at the expense of internal party democracy the decisions are often made independently by the two founders. The two leaders are also owner of the website used to vote on proposed laws or decisions on specific topics. The members of the movement are often young people with no experience. They have many difficulties to govern the municipalities of the city where they had won the election. In Rome, for example, the new mayor of the movement  Virginia Raggi has taken more than three months to complete the municipal council, in fact leaving Rome without government throughout this period. Without any doubt Rome is the test to see if the Five Star Movement has the ability to govern the capital today and tomorrow the country.

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