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Lorenzo Guerini, the number two of the Democratic Party and the political Commissar of the party on behalf of Matteo Renzi, after a particularly intense day which ended with the government obtaining the first vote of confidence on the Italicum, ensures that there will be no expulsion from the party, neither fractions and that the Premier gives his sincere thanks on Twitter “to the MPs who voted. There’s still a long way to go, but the time is now ripe”. As always. Today, the House will voice its vote of confidence on articles 2 and 4 (article 3 will not be debated on as the text was identical and previously had been approved by House and Senate.) And the Chairman of the Democratic Party, Matthew Orfini, hopes that the 38 dissedents “in the next few hours will reconsider their decision”. For Rosy Bindi there is no way out: “My decision is ‘no’ on the final vote too” which is to be held next week and will most likely be on a secret ballot.

Let’s sum up then: the Democratic Party, as we knew it, no longer exists. And there is no longer even a democratic minority. The NCD of Angelino Alfano risks breaking up too. In a nutshell, this is the new scenario which surrounds the ‘tenant of Palazzo Chigi. And it’s a scenario that he himself designed, choosing frame, colour, the subject and the object. Nothing has been left to chance. Since, at the end of this long and exhausting tug-of-war between Renzi and the rest of the world, which will end only after the secret vote on the overall text of the election law, whatever the outcome of parliament’s decision, the person to win, will be the current ‘tenant’ of Palazzo Chigi, “the little Duce” as the opposition refers to him.

If the election law does finally gain approval, Renzi will have the weapons to put everyone into a tight spot, from the Democratic minority to the opposition, including the 5Star Movement. And this is not all. With the approval on the Italicum, Renzi will tell Europe that Italy is still alive and well. If the measure should fall through instead, for an ‘encore’ of the 101 of Romano Prodi, Matteo can then blame all the traitors of the election law. They would be the ones who donot want the country to advance, they are the ones who want status quo. Obviously, the former and the latter version must be given its due and proper consideration.

Speaking of pure numbers, if the Italicum is approved then, it will leave behind a long trail of controversies, of grudges and bad humour that would threaten to implode the DP for definite. A divided and angered party is likely to sway the electorate. A thought that must have dawned on the Premier, especially when he has had to deal with the changed opinion of the newspaper La Repubblica, which is less and less inclined to follow the Premier. The so-called ‘La Republicca’ party, still has a lot of weight, and counts for the left-wing electorate. Having them against him could be a big problem, as it was for Bettino Craxi in the Caf, when the newspaper founded by Eugenio Scalfari termed the Socialist statesman ‘the Wild Boar’ and wa depicted according to the pen of of the cartoonist Forattini, in boots and a black shirt. In short, as Mussolini. With Renzi we are not yet at that, but there are already clear signs.

For the average voter, the fight and controversies over the technicalities of the Italicum, have understood little or nothing, yet another deadlock would be proof of the inadequacy of parliamentarians. And calling for elections, for Renzi would be a game. But there is another aspect, which is clearly not the third way, and which is connected to the Italicum. The Premier is putting everything t stake not because he particularly cares about the election law in itself, but because he’s pointing to the regional election campaign. Having weak candidates and candidates under enquiry the Premier has chosen to ride the wave of the referendum himself. Proof again of how Italian politics have changed. For better or worse, the next elections will tell the story. What remains is the bitterness of the Italians, who still in the depths of a crisis, donot live of Italicum. But this, for Renzi, is a completely different story ….

Translation provided by Marina Stronati

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