Who will lead the left?

11/24/2012 - 18:45

Tomorrow, Sunday, we have the equivalent of primaries - public opportunities to endorse one particular candidate to lead the PD, a centre left party in Italian politics. It isn't really just a party, it is the major party in a coalition of many other left inclined groupings which it has cleft to its bosom, but there are also other parties of the left which, probably depending on the leader of the PD selected after the primaries, might be inclined to align themselves - whereas other established allies migh decide to part company.So, as everything in Italian politics, it's about as clear as mud!The front runners are considered to be Bersani (currently leading the PD) who could be considered a very boring but safe pair of hands, Matteo Renzi who is an absurdly good looking relatively young man, proposing some ideas perceived as outlandish by bank loving Blairites and the like (on wages) who has made a name for himself running Florence, and Nichi Vendola, who has led the region of Puglia for some time, to considerable acclaim. This latter has some very simple ideas about wages (probably more achievable and arguably more useful for the lower paid than those of Renzi). Vendola is openly gay, and speaks fluent English, attributes which commend him to the international twitterati.The remaining two candidates are Bruno Tabacci and Laura Puppato. La Puppato (from Veneto) has a fair number of green credentials, has been admired by Beppe Grillo as an admirable form of politician, and runs a company involved in insurance. She is a relative latecomer to the race. Tabacci has a financial background, very conventional, and loads of non exec posts, and he does appear to have moved political parties with breathtaking frequency. He is from Lomardy.So - it seems unlikely to me that tomorrow any one of these candidates will get a clear 51% of the votes, so we will have to wait until the run off between the two most preferred on December 2nd.



Thanks Fillide for this clear explanation, especially since politics is such a major topic of conversation. I have lived in a few different countries and I find it always takes me a while to get my head around the politics of a country - especially the politicians. Italy seems especially difficult to understand... or is that just me?!

Renzi got the votes of the young and the north, Bersani the south and the old - so its the usual split.  The question for me, at the risk of sounding new labour in the early 90's, is that Renzi is the only candidate who is 'modern' enough to drag the party out of its 1960's mindset.  We live in an Italy where work contracts and labour relations are stuck in about 1965 - with the right to work, right to a house and all the other guff that other centre left parties have quietly dropped over the last 20 years.  Renzi represents the possibility of a centre left/centre party that a) could have a decent majority and b) shed the ex hard left, WRP types and actually modernise the country.  Unfortunately BErsani will win, cos he's a 'safe pair of hands'.  The left will fracture, Berlusonci will jump  back into the ring and nothing will change. 

In reply to by Ram

I entirely agree Ram, it does feel very like the UK labour party just pre-Blair, although this time the issues are less about how left leaning the candidates are - more about their age or youth and their history. We haven't seen the final figures yet, but it seems highly improbable that Bersani will pick up 50% + 1, so it looks as if we will see a run-off between Bersani and Renzi at the weekend. My assumption would be that Renzi should pick up the Vendola votes, although Vendola is disappointing me at the moment by playing old-style politics and remaining coy about his choice between the two. That is a bit stupid in my opinion, because if Bersani offers Vendola some irresistible deal it will come to nothing, because (IMO) a Bersani led PD is much less likely to win a general election than a Renzi led PD. (Assuming we ever get to a general election!)

    Would just like to add my thanks for Fillide's  explanation. I can't influence the outcome but it does help me to see a little more clearly what is happening in Italian politics at the moment. It would be great to see Italy moving away from the possibility of Berlusconi making a comeback.   Fabbriche      

In reply to by Ram

i agree with everything you said eccept that i don't think we will see a "return of the jedi" with berlusconi the prospect of Bersani as prime minister is bad enough anyway.......