The next three days will be very important for the Italian politics: our country will in fact witness the creation of a new political party – the PdL – in which Forza Italia and Alleanza Nazionale will join together in order to form a governing coalition.
Usually,when it’s about forming a new party, first comes the symbol, then a political theory to go with it and at the end one must deal with the voters. With the PDL it was the opposite: two years ago Forza Italia, Alleanza Nazionale and the Lega Nord won the election by a large majority and – during the following year – Berlusconi decided to create a brand new political party: the Party of Freedom, il Partito della Libertà.
The process wasn’t exaclty, the slickest thing you could possibly imagine. Although, we could argue that the creation of the PdL came naturally. In a desertic political panorama, with the left in the guise of a forgotten realm, Il Cavaliere didn’t really have to think so much about it. His idea, indeed, just reflected the will of the Italian electorate.
The birth of this new party means two main things for the Italian political life, first: the end of an old fashioned scheme in which too many small parties were fighting for a seat at the Senate or at the Chamber of Deputies (more commonly known as the Parliament here). Second: the end of a far right party (Allenza Nazionale) that took much of his appeal from the Mussolini’s PFN (Partito Nazionale Fascista) and from the more recent “Movimento Sociale – Fiamma Tricolore” (Social Movement-Three Colored Flame). Even though the head of An (Gianfranco Fini) recently claimed that his party “will not be a simple branch of the PdL”.
“We are giving birth to a great Italian party, a great popular force with a vocation for majority which crucially contributed to a two-party system in our political arena. That essentially means a simpliflication of the political frame”, said Denis Verdini, National Coordinator of Forza Italia.
These are all good news, but there are also some dark spots. The dilution of Alleanza Nazionale into the new party, per say, wasn’t exactly smooth. To the contrary, as it is now, there’s a fight between Fini and Berlusconi over the Mps’ work. Our Premier said today: “they’re just there to fill the seats” (meaning: they are doing nothing). He was reffering to the Mps at the Parliament. Not that Berlusconi wants to get rid of the Chamber of Deputies, of course. He just wanted to point out the fact that many Mps are not doing their job because of the old style procedures and rules that are slowing down the work of this institution. Gianfranco Fini’s reaction was immediate, nonetheless: “the Parliament is a vital democratic institution, once thing is changing the rules, another thing is to blame it just for the sake of doing it”.
The number two of a majority party yet to come that attacks his future leader? It may sound odd to many, but that is not exactly what it looks like: Fini – according to some Italian political analysts – is just trying to tell everyone that he is not going to be “Berlusconi’s pet” and that he will have a precise role in the forthcoming PdL.
The recent polemic between the two party leaders, though, it is not great news for the Italians, whom have been listening to these kind of discussions since Berlusconi and Fini first joined forces, in 1996. It’s inevitabile anyway- someone said – for two strong personalities to confront each other.
Also, confrontations, discussions and agreements have been frequent during the last year or so, between the politicians of Forza Italia and Alleanza Nazionale. They will now vote the new party’s chart during the congress at the Fiera di Roma – nearby the seaport of Fiumicino. That willl be the PdL’s spine, the ground upon which a new era of the Italian politics will start.
On the other side, the Italian left is facing what many have described as the worst crisis since the seventies, a period during which the leftists had to counter critics from the centre and the right about the terrorist organization called “Red Brigades”.
Some politicians from the far left have said that the PdL represents an empty box that can be filled with virtually everything. They said that this new party has no political heritage whatsoever. They have been told that the PdL, istead, can count on a solid base, represented by the best Italian repubblican tradition, the one that exhisted before the Great War and that shaped the very core of our democratic system of governance.
These are just opinions though, what’s for sure is that the leader of the new party will be elected via a votation and also through the famous hand-raising (upon which Fini ad Berlusconi had argued). The President will be elected every three years during each congress, this post will effectively be the most important one, inside the party. There will also be a Presidency Council, formed by group leaders and deputy-group leaders of both parties at the Chamber and at the Senate, plus a European Mp and twenty-three members nominated by the President and elected by the Congress. From this Council, the party will also choose its three National Coordinators (Sandro Bondi and Denis Verdini for Forza Italia and Ignazio La Russa for Alleanza Nazionale).
The main feature of the PdL will be pretty unique though: this party has been voted and wanted by the Italians way before becoming a reality. Our voters, in fact, betted on Berlusconi and Fini in April 2007 and now they are going to benefit from their choice.