The Democratic Party and the Dilemma of “Tuttifruti” Alliances to Avoid Shifting Italy to the Right.

Italy’s elections are less than two months away, but many important things will be decided before the official start of the election campaign at the end of August. This is what works for all parties, but especially for the Democratic Party (PD), the main left-of-center formation, which according to polls is in close competition with the far-right of Italy’s Brethren for the most votes. Next September 25. Coming in first is not enough and could turn into a Pyrrhic victory if the centre-right coalition further to the right than ever (Forza Italia, along with the Italian League and Brothers) comes through without cracks and the trends in the polls are confirmed.

“Us or Georgia Meloni”, party secretary Enrico Letta said a few days ago in front of the executive authorities.. But political competition played only a part in this dilemma. “Italian PD and Brothers [FdI, por su sigla en italiano] They are currently two competing parties, but the electoral mechanism in Italy works with coalition logic, so it is not so important to be the first party, as to win seats with your own coalition. In this sense, the center-right, of which FdI is a part, is ahead of the center-left, which, moreover, is going through difficult times due to the issue of electoral alliances”, explains Lorenzo Pregliasco, political communication expert and founder. Election Analysis website YouTrendwho this week ran a simulation for PD with various possibilities of alliances.

The result, with current trends, gives the majority to the right in all cases, but the situation of the progressive camp improves or worsens depending on the composition of the electoral puzzle, which is much more difficult for the PD after the distance, which seems insurmountable. A moment that now separates him from the 5 Star Movement (M5S, its acronym in Italian). For Leta, the M5S’s decision to open a government crisis – withdrawing its support for chief executive Mario Draghi, who was later given the nod by Forza Italia and Liga – was a red line that should not be crossed. First of all, because in the same weeks the so-called “Broad Valley”, a progressive alliance that also included Grillin. While some voices close to PD are warning about blowing bridges, the PD-M5S tandem is more unlikely than ever.

Relations between the parties were never very smooth, and PD often became the target of harsh criticism, especially among themselves. Grillin During the first hour, however, the two parties ended cooperation in two of the three executive bodies of this legislature and continue to cooperate in local administrations, such as the Lazio region. A collaboration that is the result of the many metamorphoses that the M5S has undergone since it became the most vocal formation with more than 33 percent of the vote four years ago. “The issue is no longer PD-M5S, because it seems to me that the terms of the alliance do not exist. The question is what constitutes the PD without the M5S in the middle. I believe the scheme will be a centre-left coalition with the PD, a list of environmentalists and other leftists, and then something from the centre. M5S will go on its own. But the voter’s decision will depend on the political offer: 5S is not always worth 10 [la cifra que le otorgan los sondeos]. If they go it alone, they can rise or fall. And it depends on how many votes will go from the M5S to the PD after the government crisis,” says Pregliasco.

“The electoral law greatly complicates the game of alliances, because the coalition works in single-mandate schools, and whoever has one vote more than the others wins,” he adds. The system by which they vote, which cannot be changed due to a lack of political agreement, is a mixed system, where one-third of the seats are elected in unnamed schools and two-thirds are proportional.

In this scenario, the Democratic Party is forced to redraw its electoral pacts in a difficult balancing act, because in the middle there is a cross-veto of the formations that will have to join the electoral poster. He moved from “wide field” to “open field” and several actors enter there. It leaves the environmental parties and the left of the PD – the Italian left and Green Europe represented together – in Action, the party of Carlo Calenda, a former minister of economic development in the government of Matteo Renzi, now joined by veteran politician Emma. Bonino in a liberal-style poster, with several points (such as a return to nuclear power) that clash with the left.

Calenda’s party (which the polls give 5 percent) is best placed in the growing city center and where Renzi’s Italia Viva, few supporters of Forza Italia (whose alliance with the PD would be improbable) before the national government experiment. unity with Draghi) and the group of Luigi Di Maio, the current foreign minister, who decided a month ago to leave the M5S, which he led and helped create. Di Maio has been one of the most critical of the PD, until recently and the two joint government experiences that began in 2019. But few are scandalized. Three years is an eternity in Italian politics, where, as recent weeks have shown, alliances and governments can fall in a matter of days.

PD Secretary Enrico Letta knows from experience how difficult it is to manage such a broad coalition with such diverse interests. In 2013, and after a two-month blockade following the election, he received a mandate to form a grand coalition government that also included People of Freedom, the center-right formation then led by Berlusconi. It lasted only 300 days after Renzi backed the issue of censorship in the party’s national executive.

But the PD secretary also recalls Olivo’s experience under Romano Prodi of the progressive coalition that helped defeat Berlusconi in 1996. Del Olivo then formed Union, an even broader alliance that won re-election in 2006 against Prodi, whose government lasted less than two years, once again weakened by internal divisions.

Leta, who left his post as deputy in 2015 to go to France to run the School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris and is president of the Jacques Delors Institute, returned to Italy a year and a half ago to take back the reins. Party in times of trouble. “I am a new person today because I have worked with young people,” he said then. And in these young people he trusts to challenge the election campaign, which he wants “house to house, street to street”, as he now says, with the famous call of Enrico Berlinguer. A campaign where after completing a puzzle, all alliances must be defended as necessary.

Source: El Diario





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