Staying with Berlusconi or staying with no one?

Casini and Berlusconi
Casini and Berlusconi

“Silvio Berlusconi is the PdL. A real project of the Popolo della Libertà does not exist, that is only centered on his extraordinary leadership. In a way, the PdL is just an enlargement of the Forza Italia party.”

This is what Pierferdinando Casini (leader of the center coalition Udc and former ally to Il Cavaliere) said the other day on tv. He went on: “the Pdl – which is going to have its congress – has all my respect, but it’s a dead-end party, and that is Silvio Berlusconi”. By stating that the Pdl is just “an enlargement of Forza Italia party”, Casini was trying to underline the fact that, by creating the Pdl, Il Cavaliere has realized a broad coalition of political forces aimed at governing the country. This party, therefore, doesn’t have a precise political project, according to the leader of Udc (Unione dei Democratici Cristiani e Democratici di Centro).

Fabrizio Cicchito, group leader of the Pdl at the Chamber of Deputies, has described the goals of Berlusconi’s party in an interview with the Roman daily Il Messaggero:

“We are trying to create a presidential party in which the leader must have the power to take the initiative ant that power must not be entangled in the strict mechanism of a party”, said Cicchitto. “Presidentialism – he added – is one of the goals for an institutional reform upon which Forza Italia and Alleanza Nazionale (Fini’s party) have developed their [political]elaboration”.

So, presidentialism is the key world for PdL’s political ambitions. A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides (hence the name) separately from the legislature, to which it is not accountable and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it.

In a presidential system of government there is a separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branch. The United States have a presidential government, the French one is a semi-presidential Republic while the Italian one is a parliamentary Republic.

So, there is a actual political project inside this party. Also, in case this is a “dead-end party” that will vanish right after’s Berlusconi’s retirement, just as Casini claimed, there could be no fight over its future leadership. Although, this is exactly what’s happening in Italy right now: a fight over PdL’s future. As usual, this clash has two factions. The first one being the “applause faction”, the second one being the “secret scrutiny faction”.

The “applause faction” is a group of politicians very close to Berlusconi, we could name Maurizio Gasparri (group leader of the Pdl at the Senate), Gaetano Quagliariello (deputy group leader, Senate), Fabrizio Cicchitto (group leader at the Chamber of Deputies) and Italo Bocchino (Cicchito’s right hand). They are in favor of a old fashioned vote: how many members of the party will raise their hands when Il Cavaliere will be presented on March 27th? That number will reveal the leader of the party.

The other faction is represented by Gianni Alemanno, major of Rome and former primadonna of Alleanza Nazionale, Gianfranco Fini’s party. Alemanno would rather elect the leader via a secret scrutiny, that means creating a record to be used in the future. In other words Alemanno is not exactly contrasting Berlusconi’s leadership, he just wants to put pressure on him and make this chess match more open. This is about power and how to use it: Alemanno is playing for his Boss, Gianfranco Fini, the one and only alternative to Berlusconi inside the PdL. The major of Rome is, indeed, also playing on two different time schedules: present and future. In today’s political life his goals is to reduce Berlusconi’s power, while for the future, is he is trying to make space for Fini who might in fact end up being the new leader of the PdL, only after Berlusconi’s retirement of course.

So, the PdL seems to have a very precise political project that goes by the name of presidentialism and it is formed by a group of charismatic people. Why then, Pierferdinando Casini said that this party only has one leader (Berlusconi) and once he will retire from political life his party will vanish? Maybe be because -as it is today – the PdL is the only credible political coalition existing in Italy. In which case Casini was just trying to dist Berlusconi’s party in order to get some credit for himself. At least this is what some political analysts agree on.

On March 27th, the PdL will officially choose its leader – Silvio Berlusconi -and it will officially become the only credible political coalition in Italy. The Italian left is in fact struggling with its internal problems and the centre is virtually disappeared after the “clean hands” revolution of the early nineties. This is a great concern for all the politicians of our country. Either you stay with Berlusconi or you stay with no one.

Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

One thought on “Staying with Berlusconi or staying with no one?

  1. I came across some information on an international conference, They have very interesting panels on identity and a featured panel on Barak Obama and you can also make a real African Safari…
    The Institute of Identity Research (IDmap) announces an international conference
    on Identity Politics on the Internet to be held in Kenya on the 27th to 29th of
    August 2009. The aim of the Conference is to create discourse in the area of
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    The Conference will be graced by several leading scholars who have written and
    researched extensively on issues of Identity. We hope that this conference will
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    identity in the contemporary context.
    August 27-29, 2009
    Organized by Institute of Identity Research (IDmap)
    Will be held in Amboseli Wildlife National Park, Kenya
    Featured panel: Barack Obama’ Election and Kenyan politics of Identity:
    Will he identify himself with the World or with his People?

    • The Dead line for submission of the Abstracts is 01.05.2009 (200-500 words)
    in Word or PDF formats
    • The Dead line for submission of full-text papers is 01.07.2009
    Preliminary program of the Conference includes the following panels:
    • Kenyan 2007 Presidential elections and the Internet
    • Traditions and Identity in Kenyan politics: Barak Obama as a Luo
    representative of Kenyan identity politics
    • Facebook and Identity: do old ethnicity definitions still matter?
    • World Identity politics: Case-studies and Comparative Analysis
    • Parties and recruitment in the digital world
    • Gender, ethnicity and empowerment: what is better to be a white man or a
    black woman?
    • When religion comes to the Internet: the new ways to build and reinforce
    religious identity
    • Government on the Internet: new ways to preserve Nation-state and its
    identity on the Net
    • New English and E-Linguistic: jargon and vocabulary of Internet campaigns
    Participants are welcomed to join the following working groups:
    • Computers and identity
    • Culture and identity
    • Mathematical expressions of identity
    • Internet and Politics
    • Internet Vocabulary
    Best Identity MA/PhD Thesis work award:
    During the conference the Institute will award the best MA/PhD work submitted
    for the evaluation. The work should reveal an original and innovative approach
    in the field of Identity with its expression on the Internet. Information
    regarding submission procedure can be found on our site or through direct
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