The parties are weak and getting weaker. What we are witnessing is an erosion of legitimacy, and and an erosion of structures and leadership, credibility and authority as well. That erosion has been confirmed by the inability to form a government and it has been magnified by the ill-chosen pact between the Democratic Party (PD) and the People of Freedom (PdL) to field a joint candidate for the presidency of the Republic.
This inept agreement shows just how far those who came up with it and who backed it have failed to grasp the Italy they are living in, that Italy that just came out of the polling booths.
They have failed to grasp the crisis of parliamentary democracy and are carrying on as they did before, back when the party machines made the decisions and the parliamentarians toed the party line. Their failure to grasp this crisis has been a very grave error.
Today they’re placing all their hopes once again in Giorgio Napolitano. The re-election of the outgoing president confirms the inability of the parliament to emerge from this cul-de-sac and to cope with democracy without having to invoke a higher presidential authority. The presidential function, in fact, is now going through a metamorphosis. Perhaps we need to rethink our institutions, since, with the democracy of the web, which is here to stay, the fragmentation of the parties is inexorable.
* Read more on Italy‘s politics here, on presseurop.eu.