5 Apr 2010

Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà

Just had this from my friend Fabio Barteri from the Italian Ecosocialist network http://ecorise.org/

Just a few weeks ago 13 italian regions (out of 20) faced elections to renew
the Regional Council and the President of the Region. The left- wing
opposition gained 7 regions and the government coalition gained 6 regions,
but on the overall, the Berlusconi's coalition took a 3% more than the
centre- left, thus winning theese elections. In this electoral event we can
see a lot of important phenomenons.

In Italy people usually vote in mass. On the average, all the elections gain
an affluence of the 75%, and the political elections can reach the 90%. In
this case, we had an affluence of the 60% and a decrease of more than 5
millions of voters. The party of Berlusconi, the PDL (freedom people's
party) have lost about 3 millions voters and biggest left wing party PD
(democratic party) have lost more than one million voters. Turnout occurred
heavily and hit both left and right.

Italian radical and anticapitalist left is facing a big crisis since 2008.
The two parties of the left, SEL (left, ecology and freedom) and the FS
(Left federation- communist refoundation party) took respectively the 3,0%
and the 2,75%. The italian Green party, despite the big efforts of his
leader Angelo Bonelli, gained a frustrating 0,64%. Actually there is not a
left party able to carry on a real anticapitalist project in Italy.

The party led by Umberto Bossi "Lega Nord", (Northern League) is a
regionalist and far- right xenophobe party. Is considered the real winner of
theese elections because it has been able to keep the majority of the votes
tooked in the european elections. This stability, in a period of turnout,
allowed the northern league to increase its percent up to 13%. This party
claims the independence of Northern Italy and his political activity is
oriented to guarantee the economical and political autonomy to italian
regions, shaping a federal structure of the State (Italy is not a federal
republic). This is the most effective message and, despite their campaigns
against the immigrants, the Northern League gains votes and appreciation
because of his strong regionalist position. In the northern Italy (Veneto,
Lombardy and Piedmont) the Northern League is projected over the 25%. In
Veneto (the region of Venice, in the northeast), the northern league is the
first party (more than 30%).

It could surprise you but Italy is not really different from Spain in matter
of regionalism. Separatism is strong in the northern regions and in the
islands (Sicily and Sardinia). Separatists and regionalist movements has
been reported also in southern continental Italy. We can say that the
national italian pride is really felt only in the central Italy (Rome,
Toscany, Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche and Emilia Romagna). This phenomenon does
not leads in real separatists movements, but in a diffused sense of

We now focus on two regions: Piedmont and Apulia. In Piedmont (the
northwestern region of Italy, whose capital is Tourin) the outgoing left-
wing president Mercedes Bresso had lost the challenge with Roberto Cota
(right- wing/ Northern League) because of the intervention of an independent
ecologist formation. In Piedmont there is a big controversy about the
building of the high- speed train line (TAV), wich would destroy the
ecosystem and local agriculture in the county of Val di Susa (a valley in
the Alpes). In this county the left- independent "Five Stars Movement"
gained the 30%, resulting in a 3% at regional level wich made Mercedes
Bresso loose.

Opposite situation in Apulia. If you consider Italy as a boot, Apulia
represents the heel. It is the southeastern region of Italy. In the 2005 a
brand new candidate of the far left, Nicola Vendola, had won the primary
elections for presidential run in Apulia, in the centre- left coalition.
Young, communist and homosexual. He represented a real novelty and we still
consider him the "Italian Obama".
He won the elections by proposing a strong ecologist and socialist policy
during his term. His party, Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà (left, ecology and
freedom) reached the 10% in Apulia.

We can notice three important things. The first is that italians, exhausted
by the crisis and misgovernment, are slowly dropping Berlusconi.
Unfortunately we cannot find a real alternative in the left parties,
especially in the Democratic Party, because of a lack of leadership and a
real political program. The problem is that the democratic party cannot
represent the real aspirations of italian left because his moderate
positions. We can also notice that the regionalism and the autonomy of local
communities represent one of the most effective political proposal in the
Republic. Ecology matters more every day and this is a real novelty for
italian policy. This increase of interest for ecology does not corresponds
to an increase of the green voters and this is due to de crisis of the green

The situation makes me think that a left rebirth in Italy (and in Europe)
could be set up by an ecologist and radical socialist party that can involve
people in a regionalist and grass root democracy proposal.

Nothing in Culture Makes Sense Except in the Light of Free Sharing.

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