The votes have just come in from the Parliamentary elections of 2013, and for those of you paying attention to Italian politics, the results are a mess. The liberal party, the PD, has proven itself incapable of capturing the imagination of new generations of Italian voters who are desperate for innovation and modernization in this land. The conservative party, the PDL, has done better than expected considering the fact that their leader is, once again, Berlusconi. But they are not showing off any great numbers either. The tens of smaller parties have done, collectively, lousy, showing that Italians no longer have the stomach for coalition governments where every cock has its chance to crow.
The surprise winner, though not such a huge surprise, is the newcomer, the left-leaning but not particularly dogmatic 5 Star Party, which has ridden the wave of popular discontent with Italian politicians. It is a hopeful party, based on a number of principles that reflect the precise reason why the populace is discontented in the first place: no criminals allowed to run for office, no bargaining with the other side just to keep a seat in Parliament, reduced salaries for representatives, environmental protections, and modernization (primarily through the use of the internet) for the behemoth sloth that is the Italian Public Sector.
But the result is a logjam, a Parliament that is divided with no chance of cooperation between the parties and with no one who has a majority. The major players are already talking about another round of elections, which is frustrating (not to mention costly) for an Italian people that is facing economic decline and no future growth.
And so the boat sails on, no one at the helm.