We’ve just had national elections in Italy on 25 September 2022, and now we await the mid-term elections of 2022 in the USA.
The Italian elections were called as soon as the newly elected Parliamentarians had served enough time in office to be assured of a Parliamentary pension. That was foreseeable but the speed with which these snap elections were scheduled was not. There was little time for campaigning and little was done. In half a century I have never seen so little campaign publicity here. Almost no posters or ads anywhere. The current Italian organization of elections is virtually indecipherable, certainly to foreigners, but my impression is that few Italians have much of a clue as to how the system works either. One mostly just votes for a party, but there are also preferences and politicians seem to be able to represent whatever city or region their party agrees to let them run in, with residency having nothing to do with it.
There are a large number of political parties but they tend to band together as parties of the center-right or the center-left. Italy has suffered a great deal from the Covid pandemic and now, just when people have expected a recovery, the war in Ukraine has come along to devastate the economy even more than Covid. The Draghi Government was something akin to a unity government, i.e. a government of unelected “technocrats” appointed to see the country through the Covid crisis. Virtually all the major parties supported that government, with the exception of Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia. While in the past this essentially right-wing party trailed behind the other two parties in the center-right alliance, the Lega, headed by Matteo Salvini and Forza Italia, headed by Silvio Berlusconi, this time she outpolled them with 26% compared to 8% for the Lega and 8% for Forza Italia, with their combined center-right taking something like 44% of the vote. She may not have been a part of the Draghi Government but she did support its unconditional allegiance to NATO and the US, just like all the other parties.
The big losers were the Partito Democratico and its partners in the center-left coalition. Its partners mostly consist of vanity parties, i.e. splinter parties formed by former leaders of the PD who thought they were better than the current leadership. The center-left wound up with 26% of the vote.
That left the Five Star Movement, which only a couple of election cycles back came out of nowhere to become the party with the highest number of elected parliamentarians, as the only other significant element. While the 5SM officially supported the Draghi Government, it split over the continued supply of weapons to Ukraine, with several of its members, who were ministers in the government, forming their own party, in a show of support for Draghi and the US government. When riding high, the 5SM had accomplished two significant goals. It passed legislation to cut Italy’s oversized Parliament by 40%, a change which goes into effect following the recent elections. It also passed the Reddito di Citidinanza, a measure by which people with limited means who apply, receive an income of €500./month. The party was expected to do very badly in the recent elections, at least in part because of the anger generated in the north among people who work hard and still struggle to make a living. However, the 5SM did remarkably well in the South where many people have benefitted from the boost to their typically low income. The party polled 15% with the remaining 15% split between a center coalition and the other small parties.
There was some discussion on why there had not been faster action to make Italy independent in terms of energy and why renewable energy had not been a high priority of the government but the fact that the US sanctions, acquiesced to by the EU, had cut the available supply of energy practically over night by 40%, was rarely mentioned except by a few non-establishment journalists and a several renegade politicians. Thus, the Italian public, which apparently opposed sending more weapons to Ukraine by something like 44 to 38%, had no political party representing their views on one of the most pressing issues of the day.
Italians usually have a large turnout in national elections. This year was an exception with a 64% turnout, down from 73% in 2018 and 80% in 2008. Non-voters outnumbered both the winning center-right coalition and the defeated center-left coalition. There has been more noise about the election after it than there was before it took place. Conventional establishment leftists are pulling their hair out because the country has been taken over by a party whose origins derive from the remnants of Mussolini supporters, while nobody cares to point out that originally of the Partito Democratico was the Partito Comunista Italiano, which supported Stalin and toasted the crushing of Hungary, long after the death of Mussolini. Can people change and do they change? Much evidence suggests that they can. The PD became the most extreme right party in Italy, at least with regard to economic issues, when Matteo Renzi attempted to push through a new Italian Constitution drawn up by JP Morgan with the paid consultancy of Tony Blair, in an effort to reduce the input of the Italian public on policy decisions.
The recent elections took place on September 25th. While the PD had become the most vociferous supporter of Ukraine and NATO prior to the elections, by October 6th or 7th the newly resigned PD Secretary was calling for demonstrations demanding negotiations leading to peace, as people were already in the streets burning their electric bills and to refusing to pay what in essence were well beyond their ability to pay. Unfortunately, ex-Secretary Letta called for the demonstrations to be outside the Russian Embassy, rather than at the US Embassy, a rather hollow gesture inasmuch as the Russians had been clamoring for negotiations for nearly a decade to halt the NATO expansion on their borders. Indeed, there had been negotiations leading to the Minsk accords, ignored by signees France and Germany and violated by Ukraine. Apparently, there were also negotiations to end the war shortly after the invasion, supported by Zelenskyy, but vetoed by Uncle Sam and the more militant elements within the Ukrainian regime.
The new government will not take office until early November, despite all the criticism it has received before even being officially appointed. The country is showing signs of turmoil which are likely to grow. The Italian economy may grind to a halt as retail and industrial businesses are forced to close but it will not be alone. Much of the EU is likely to face something reminiscent of the Great Depression. Misery loves company. There should be enough to go around.
The 2022 US Mid-term Elections-
It is not uncommon in the US to describe up-coming elections as the most important in a lifetime. Presidential elections of 2000, 2016 and 2020 had something of that aura. They had the potential to alter the course of history, of conditions in the US and around the world, and they did. Mid-term elections seldom have that importance. This year they do. The BLOODS and the CRIPS, as I choose to refer to the Republican and Democratic Parties, both deserve to lose, one for sedition, the other for failing to effectively deal with it. While both parties appear to be functioning below a level of competency one would expect by picking government representatives at random out of a large phone book, there is a major difference. One party has effectively abandoned the concept of government elected by the voters. It is a minority party, a difficulty it has dealt with effectively for decades by using many of the built-in peculiarities of the US Constitution to hold onto power despite rarely having majority votes. Under the last president, the BLOODS have renounced all respect for the rule of law and any pretence of civility or decency, to pursue the quest for unlimited perpetual power, whether it be for personal gain or to inflict their will on the majority of their countrymen. This is a clear attempt to seat a totalitarian regime. If they prevail in the upcoming election by margins large enough for them to gain full control of the voting process, the USA, which we prefer to think of as an historic leader of the democratic experiment, is dead! Unless the current war escalates into a nuclear holocaust, the physical terrain will still be there, inhabited by more than 300 million people, as will be rulers of the country, but the USA will be as extinct as the Roman Republic or the Soviet Union.
There should be two other major issues in the coming elections, starting with climate change making the world uninhabitable, and the threat of a nuclear holocaust doing the same thing more quickly. However, it would seem, judging from the news as presented by the MSM, that the deciding issues are more likely to be the price of gasoline and the status of abortion rights. The CRIPS, who only a few months ago were in a funk over their prospects of being blown out in the mid-terms, have grown more optimistic since the striking down of Roe vs. Wade by the newly radical right-wing Supreme Court, which has created a sizable backlash. CRIPS have also been encouraged by the reduction of gasoline prices, by full employment, and by the soaring stock market. Unfortunately, the stock market has sagged lately, gas prices have turned up again and inflation has grown fast enough to make people edgy. A poll taken in Georgia the other day said that abortion rights are a decisive issue for 11.7% of voters polled, “threats to democracy” are the central issue for 18%, while “the economy” is the decisive factor for 40%. In a few weeks the continued existence of the world’s most powerful democracy may be decided by fluctuations in gasoline prices.
For any of you with the opportunity to vote in the upcoming US elections, I urge you to vote for the CRIPS, no matter how obnoxious you may find their candidate on your ballot. I have faced a similar challenge. The CRIP candidate on my ballot is the son of one of my Senators, who is a Batista Cuban, among other issues. I am unaware of any Batista Cuban who has ever voted against funding any CIA-installed Fascist government anywhere in the world, or for that matter opposing any military expenditure at all, whether they are BLOODS or CRIPS, or whether they represent FL, TX or NJ. I have no anti-Cuban prejudice. I simply don’t want to vote for anyone with that kind of mind-set. I have done it though, and you should too. There are many issues to be fought over and some may be very important to you. Speak out about them. But right now, nothing is more important than assuring that there will be real elections in the future.