Wednesday, March 7, 2018

More on the elections this past weekend (Italy and Tasmania)


227 - M5S - "5 Star Movement" - Populist, anti corruption, did not run in coalition.
128 - LN - "Lega Nord" - Autonomist, ran in right coalition, wants less immigration.
117 - PD - "Democratic Party" - Main left coalition party, lead by Prime Minister Renzi.
103 - FI - "Forza Italia" - Berlusconi's party, conservative, ran in right coalition.
34 - FdI - "Brothers of Italy" - Ran in right coalition, accused of being racist and fascist. 
14 - LeU - Left wing, did not run in coalition
4 - SVP - German Minority, ran in Left coalition
1 - +E - Pro Europe, ran in Left coalition
1 - MAIE - Special Interest, Italians Abroad (Mostly Argentina)
1 - USEI - Special Interest, Italians Abroad (Mostly Brazil)

A few notes. While Brothers of Italy has historic ties to the fascist party, I have some difficulty finding any actual racist incidents they are involved in; contrast this with parties like AfD, Jobbik, or France's National Front. As such that aspect of their platform may be overplayed in english language media. 

Additional, Lega Nord's main thrust is not lower immigration but more powers for the regions of Northern Italy. They wish to make Italy into - using a context Canadians can understand - a federation where the regions have province-like powers. Unlike FdI, finding racist content for Lega is quite easy. 

While the Senate's results are not yet fully clear, it is clear that the share of seats will be similar enough to the House that any majority formed in the House will likely also have a majority in the Senate, and vice versa. 

In terms of coalitions, the results were as follows:

265 - Right
227 - M5S
122 - Left
16 - Others

Both LN and M5S have declared victory and their leaders have called on the President to name them Prime Minister. LN says it is the lead party of the lead coalition, that the Right has taken 265 seats, just 51 short of a majority, and therefore, their leader, Mario Salvini, should be Prime Minister. Meanwhile M5S has said that they are the leading party, taking 227 seats, nearly double that of the next largest party, LN, and thus Luigi Di Maio, their leader, should be Prime Minister. Renzi will remain PM until a new one is chosen. 

To get a majority, a coalition would need 316 seats. The ways in which to get to 316 are limited by the math. M5S could ally with any of the next 3 largest parties, LN, PD, or FI to reach a majority. If M5S is not in government, then LN, PD, and FI would have to form their own coalition as there is no other way to reach a majority should any one of these parties be missing. 

As such there are three competing ideas for which coalition to form.

M5S + PD
Its a bit unusual for a reformist party to go into government with the government they just tossed from office, but the key here is that M5S would be the larger partner and thus lead the government. As such this is the option M5S is currently pushing and is the most likely outcome at this point in time.

M5S + LN
This would ally the two major populist forces in Italy, and the two largest parties calling for major reform and change; it would also scare the pants off the 'establishment' more than Donald Trump ever could. The problem with this is neither M5S nor LN seem very keen on the idea at this time.

This would be a coalition explicitly to stop M5S from taking power, one reason this seems unlikely is there is more fear of LN than there is fear of M5S in many places. In the end it may come down to who PD would rather work with, Berlusconi, or M5S.


While counting continues, the results will end up near to this:

14 LIB

This is the worst green result since 1998 when they took 1, and the first time that the Liberals win back to back majorities since their wins in 1982 and 1986.

What's most of note is the Green weakness, as without that, it is quite likely the Liberals would not have achieved this victory. 

There is not much more to say on the result at this time.

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