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Great Coalitions? The Opposite of Stability

No party has sufficient numbers to form a government in Italy after the elections, thus the race to form political alliances has officially started. Great coalitions have always been seen as the elixir for lasting governability. On the contrary, they show the total historical ignorance of the Italian establishment.

It’s not necessary to look at the last seventy years of political history and come up with factual evidence that, when the average government lasts less than one and a half years, great coalitions are not synonymous with governability. In Italy, the political ruling class has even been able to reach the so-called Historical Compromise, an agreement between the liberal Christian Democracy party and the Communist Party, but without obtaining the desired great success driven by all the initial enthusiasm.

Evidence shows that great coalitions soon become a political battlefield where parties with opposite views and backgrounds try to capitalize on sensitive and controversial topics by raising insurmountable barricades.

If we want to understand the effect of great coalitions, it would be sufficient to have a look at the process of integration that political parties have blessed in recent years.

Silvio Berlusconi (leader of Forza Italia), for example, integrated the party with the second electoral right-wing force in the country (National Alliance) and created the Party of Freedom. The coexistence between the two leaders did not last that long. More recently, the Democratic Party was hit by a divergence led by the historical and more radical wing of the party that converged into the new force Free and Equals.

Let’s take this example as a microscopic indication of the effects of great coalitions on a large scale, and then apply it to a government created as a consequence of agreements, which are basically expensive compromises on an electoral level.

Given that, we can now portray a clear picture of what kind of political outcomes Italy will face once again: divergence.

Great coalitions, which are the amplification of alliances on a large scale, aren’t at all synonymous with governability and stability as often emphasized by opportunistic or badly informed politicians and a few newspapers, but rather they are emblematic of a particular configuration of instability called paralysis.

When political parties with different points of view and different electoral targets sign formal and informal agreements in the name of stability and in the interest of the country, the temptation that the parties involved will create controversies on divisive topics is too risky and too high.

Political parties cannot be seen differently from a company whose marketing department has the duty to build up the client and turn him into a recurrent source of cash flow.

When you run a small business with very little publicity potential, the only rule you should aspire to is divergence. Historical data shows that a small company wanting to escalate its potential reach must break an axiom, a normalised truth given for granted that suddenly is found without fundamentals.

Divergence implies controversy, and controversy is necessary to appeal to two social and psychological triggers: the need people express to believe and to belong. Divergence is pure intellectual sabotage, a subtle strategic form that allows political parties to strengthen their borders in the process of creating a well-defined group identity of the electoral base.

To understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to have read Darwin’s theory of evolution or simply to have understood the most basic fundamentals of history studied in high school; a luxury that the Italian establishment has probably never allowed itself to do. No. Great coalitions aren’t the solution. Great coalitions are the problem.

In thirty years, the indulgence in the formation of great coalitions has turned the country from being the second nation for private savings in the world and the seventh economy on the planet to an almost dead body kept alive by therapeutic persecution and force of desperation.