Monday, February 15, 2021

Italy's new Government

 Late last week, Italy got a new government, and its a doozey. All parties, but one, are either in it, or support it. 

M5S will provide 4 members to the new cabinet, while Lega (aka, the League) provides 3. FI provides 3, while the Democrats also provide 3. IV and LeU each provide 1. They will be joined by 9 independent technocrats. 

Let me explain why this is outstanding. M5S is a populist left party. the Democrats are progressive. FI is mainstream Conservative. IV is social democratic. LeU includes the Communist Party, and the League sits in the "Trump" notch mentioned in yesterday's post.

Only FdI, the firmly Nationalist party, sits outside the government. 

This is not the first "grand coalition" in Italy, far from it. Such government sat for a week in 1993, from a full year from summer 1946 to summer 1947, 2 years from summer 1976 to spring 1978, and then a little over 2 years from the autumn of 2011 to the winter of 2014. 

I do not know how long this government will sit for, but I find it interesting the League was willing to particulate, while FdI would be the only party to not do so. 

So, what does this all mean? For starters, it means Italy will (hopefully) have a stable government for the next year or two. It also means that FdI support will likely increase. There are always some voters who simply dislike the government, no matter what that government is. The FdI will benefit from that. From what I can tell, the party is currently strong in the south, this will likely help bolster it in the north. On the flip side, there are also some voters who simply like whatever government is in power. This will help boost Lega in the south. 

I can see this weakening FI and seeing that support go to the League and FdI. Simply by sitting in the government, the League appears more moderate, and FI voters may simply head there. FI, who has been in opposition since the last election, may also bleed anti-government voters. 

By the next election we could see Lega, FdI, and PD all at about 15%-25% support; while M5S could drop a few pints and settle between 15% and 10%. This would only help solidify a potential future Lega-FdI-FI government. 

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