News - March 27, 2013

Meanwhile in... Italy

In the news: In governmental elections in late February, a new political party called the Five Star Movement has won 25 percent of the seats in parliament. Its leader is the former comedian Beppe Grillo.
Commenting: Pepe Solimeno, MSc student of Biology.

'Italy has entered into a new era, we refer to it as 'The Third Republic'. Politics will be completely reformed, and Beppe Grillo is playing a very big part in that. He is opposing the old system that has reigned for twenty years.
Beppe Grillo wants to give sovereignty back to the population, which is an important line in our constitution. He wants to create an information platform to let people vote for policies directly. I'm not sure they know how to create it. One of the main criticisms is that the vote can be easily manipulated and the platform hacked.
It is incredible what Grillo has achieved. His party is only five years old, and he has had a great success already. As a leader he is a great guy. He consults specialists on important topics, Nobel prize winners and other experts. His popularity is interesting because he is not willing to be on TV, he says TV is a manipulative medium. He is called a populist, and in some ways that is true. I am not a fan of his, but his ideas are what we truly need. We need to get together and find a way out.
There is still a lot of trouble with his image. He has used bad language against the big political parties. He has a young party and a lot of representatives are neutral. These people don't know from experience how the parliament works. So I think this parliament will not last long. The three parties will not vote for each other's proposals. There will probably be new elections within a year.
But even if it doesn't work out, it's worth the risk. The political reform is so necessary that we have to take this chance. And I think the most important points of this movement will play a big role in the next elections.
Back home there is the widely shared feeling that we are being fucked by politicians. Election is a choice between different evils and people think their votes are not worth anything. Therefore they are not as interested in politics as I am.'