Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Italians (and) politics

It used to happen quite often back in the UK.
It mostly started with people asking questions about the latest declaration of Italian prime Minister.
Or about the latest colour of his hair. Or both.

The questions would always end up at the same point: why did people vote like that?
It was slightly embarassing for me: how can I explain to non-Italian people something I can't fully understand myself?
Is there anybody out there that can explain Italian politics and politicians without resorting to swearing? It's such a difficoult subject, I always struggle in finding the right words, even when I try to write about it in Italian. And it's a very disappointing subject, as I feel very let down my nowadays politicians.

I feel the lack of quality of ideas and people in modern politics  is even more evident and obvious now that regional elections are approaching.
Most of the attention of media is for now focused on the huge problem with People of Freedom electoral lists in Lombardia and Lazio. In Lazio the guy that should have registered the party electoral lists, but he left the queue to go and have a sandwich (a MacItaly, perhaps?). He came back too late so the lists were not accepted.
The sandwich immediately morphed into a evil catho-comunist opposition's plot to stop the other candidates. Yeah. Right.
In Piemonte, my region, things are not so messed up. Yet, I find the pre-elections weeks unbereable.
I'm deeply irritated by all the campaigns and promotional events, not to mention the sheer amount of ads, basically everywhere! Radio, TV, newspaper, streets, letter box. You name it, it has been spammed.

I can't recall clearly now, but back in England the electoral spam was not so heavy. Were the streets packed with ads and poster with smiling faces begging you for a vote, bringing along promises of a change?
Just thinking about it makes me feel so disheartened. I grew up with the idea of politicians being a mirror of the society they are elected to represent.

I look at them, left center or right it doesn't matter, really, and I just want to scream: "Hell No!!! I'm far better than that!" Because I refuse to believe that the majority of Italians are like that... it can't be, can it?

It's really not easy to explain how Italians are like and how the Italians deal with politics. If I could, I would write a book, sell it and become outrageously rich.
Alas I can't, so I'll have to keep be outrageously broke.
But I know a way to partially explain Italians to foreigners. I used it with some colleagues in the past and those who had been to Italy told me thay relate to it 100%.
It's a small cartoon by Bruno Bozzetto, describing the difference between Italians and Europeans:

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