The Lega-Forza Italia cold fusion risks stealing consensus rather than adding them together

In a country where all the parties have made and undone alliances with all the others and where about half of the voters no longer vote, a new political creature is advancing: the cold fusion between Lega and Forza Italia. First it was talked about as a hypothesis, then as a background, for two days it should also have an expected date of birth, 2023. It will arrive in time for the next elections, therefore, but without haste. Whenever it arrives, because in two years, with the times dictated by the politics of social networks , everything can change again.

A cold fusion between Lega and Forza Italia is possible. Why "cold" in the first place? Because there is no real convergence of ideas, electorates and programs between the two parties, beyond the fragile alliance that has hitherto held them together. In this operation, there are only top-level decisions, motivated by party interests. The elite of the League has a great desire to be cleared through customs at European level, in order to govern without going through humanity's enemy, therefore it needs the contacts created by Forza Italia in its decades of belonging to the European group of Popolari. On the other hand, Berlusconi knows he is not eternal and also knows he has no political heirs. Somewhere, his party must place him. The League has the numbers, but not the entrances, Forza Italia is the opposite.

A project of this kind, however, seriously runs the risk of stealing consensus, rather than adding them together. The League owes its great success in 2018-19 to the very fact of being anti-system. The polls (which must be taken with the benefit of inventory) have been declining since it became a governing force. It is true that many things will change, between now and the next elections, but it is realistic to think that a Lega voter is not very happy to see his leader put his signature on the curfew or on the new closures of restaurants and recreational activities, even at six months. since the beginning of the vaccination campaign (he will be even less happy when he sees the costs of the Recovery Fund , but we don't want to be bad prophets). A moderate League, inserted in the EPP Eurocracy, together with Merkel, with social and ethical programs agreed with Bernini, Carfagna and Cecchi Paone… does it make sense? Seen in this way, it would seem a retaliation rather than a political program. For the Forza Italia voter, assuming he still believes in the liberal revolution promised in 1994, does it make sense to vote for a party in which the ideas of Borghi and Bagnai dominate, therefore for the most anti-liberal economic program since Berlinguer's time?

It is one thing to accept an alliance: to meet in government, but then everyone at their home. A fusion is quite another thing. The same problem occurred in 2008. Without warning, only with a press announcement made on the running board of his car, Berlusconi announced the merger between Forza Italia and the National Alliance, into the new People of Freedom. It was a theoretically immense operation: the soul of Italian moderatism (liberal, republican, Christian Democrat and Social Democratic) embodied in Forza Italia should have been reconciled with that of An, a political subject born post-fascist and slowly liberalized, but still in search of identity, in a path that had been going on for 14 years. To reconcile the heirs of the white partisans and those of the republicans it would have taken a slow, long, painful collective examination of conscience, in search of some point of contact in the founding values ​​and of a common program for the future. Instead, by deciding to merge without discussion, overnight, what has been achieved? The split of Fini in just two years and the subsequent fragmentation of the PDL in just six years. Because reality takes its revenge, beyond any temporary success.

With the cold fusion between Lega and Forza Italia there is the risk of doing even worse. Because in 2008, Forza Italia was still a strong player, it had governed well (that of 2001-2006 was the longest and most stable government in republican history, if nothing else) and the promise of a liberal revolution was still believed by its constituents. The Forza Italia of 2021, on the other hand, must first of all answer the question: what is left? What is the identity of this residual party, a quarter of what it was in 2006? He no longer speaks of liberalism, evidently no longer believes in the liberal revolution, is divided on personal and ethical issues, has a foreign policy that has been, in just three years, pro-Russian, pro-US and pro-EU. In a period of strong choices, such as the one we are experiencing, what will he choose?

The League is an even more mysterious subject, it would send any serious political scientist into crisis. Throughout her long life she has been, in order: regionalist, federalist, independentist, devolutionist, conservative, nationalist. Now she also presents herself as moderate and pro-European, in her own way. Even if we were to think of a merger project with Forza Italia, which League would join the other center-right party? Already the transition from Padania's independence to Salvini's nationalism was a triple political leap. A league member of 1997, if he woke up today, would find a party unrecognizable and moreover engaged in another stage of its continuous transformation.

For this reason, the merger between Lega and Forza Italia, barring miracles, is destined to remain "cold", without a soul, without a future, at least until their two political leaders decide clearly and definitively what their own identity is . Would it have voters? Maybe yes, but only if you are willing to have a really short memory and not ask too many questions. Anyone who is rational, and votes right, would certainly like to see another future. It would take a serious work of convergence on the programs and ideas of two political subjects who have made, for better or for worse, the history of Italy over the last 26 years.

Just to give two examples: the League could seriously consider Gianfranco Miglio's ideas, which also include the revolt against the centralist predatory taxman. On the other hand, Forza Italia should seriously take into consideration the liberal revolution program of 1994, which also includes fiscal federalism. Both parties should restore a healthy skepticism – Thatcherian, we would say – towards the EU, which does not at all mean an impossible anti-European sovereignty, but a safeguard of Italian independence in the European community. It would be very constructive, in a confused and identity crisis EU, to unite and revive two parties that, knowingly or not, were born from the death of the two ideological blocs and from the liberation of central Europe from the communist yoke. There would be a lot of work, above all on a political and cultural level, to contribute to the birth of such a subject. But does anyone care?

The post The Lega-Forza Italia cold fusion risks stealing consensus rather than adding them together appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Thu, 10 Jun 2021 03:58:00 +0000.