October 6, 2006

A spectre is haunting Europe-the Democratic Party of Italy

[Ahem, perhaps the title is not very descriptive, and besides, I am actually pro-Democratic Party—just look at the heading "superstitious practices warding off ill-luck" if you want to get through it ...]

How a Labour Party member of the British parliament, and former minister for Europe in Tony Blair's government, sees the incumbent centre-left Democratic Party in Italy. By Denis MacShane on openDemocracy’s website.

The creation of the Democratic Party in Italy is a decisive - and exciting - turning point in the history of progressive politics in Europe. For the first time in Europe there has been a serious attempt to overcome the party political divisions, often sectarian, of the 20th century. The left's fragmentation and its indifference to the heritage of European liberalism has allowed a more flexible democratic right to reorganise itself at key moments in 20th-century European history and form coalitions sufficiently attractive to voters to win power over long periods.
Where then does a united Italian Democratic Party fit into the European and international party organisations? There is now a degree of incoherence in the organisation of left parties internationally. The venerable Socialist International exists and allows a grouping of all the democratic socialist parties globally. The difficulty with the SI is that it has never allowed room for the US Democratic Party, since the latter clearly is neither socialist, nor interested in affiliating.
In this vacuum, the highly ideological Bill Clinton - a man who knows what Willy Brandt achieved at the Bad Godesburg congress of the SPD and what Felipe Gonzalez did when he forced the PSOE to drop Marxism from its statutes - helped set up the Progressive Governance network with Tony Blair, Massimo d'Alema, Gőran Persson and Gerhard Schröder in the late 1990s.
The creation of the new Democratic Party in Italy - whose new name echoes the great US Democratic Party of Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton - is an important signal that Italian progressive politics is embarked on a new path.
The Party of European Socialists should welcome the Democratic Party of Italy without ambiguity as the realisation of the long dream of unification of all the forces for progress and reform in Italy. A double affiliation, at least in the first period, to both the PES and the European Liberal Democrats and Reformist Group (EDLR) should pose no problems.
Pan-European political organisation and party groups are still at an embryonic or learning stage. The Democratic Party of Italy can be an important force for the realignment of European politics and build bridges between Europe's parties of the left, as part of the effort to regain the ability to speak to each other and act effectively on the basis of unity and solidarity.


  1. Questo articolo dovrebbe far meditare: dimostra come gli schemi politici siano diversi in diversi paesi. È incredibile che vengano messi nello stesso calderone il socialismo continentale, il post comunismo, i partiti post democristiani (diventati improvvisamente "riformisti") ed il labour party inglese.
    Tra l'altro l'autore confonde l'ELDR con l'ALDE: i partiti che fanno parte dell'ELDR in Italia sono i repubblicani, l'Italia dei Valori ed i Radicali, mentre i "riformatori" della Margherita fanno parte dell'ALDE ma non dell'ELDR.

    Il "partito democratico" in Europa farebbe solo casino, essendo un ibrido di comunismo, socialismo e moderatismo tenuto assieme solo dall'antiberlusconismo. Per come percepisco io la politica i labour dovrebbero stare con i liberali, mentre i liberal inglesi dovrebbero stare con i socialisti.

  2. HA HA HA, The Democratic Party ! In Italy it's an illusion.

    Here in Italy the "democratics" are just like dictators, see what they have done with their "financial law" ! Taxes, taxes and taxes, and all this without reducing expensive cost of social services.

    The "democratics", moreover, are totally divided, one other fighting hard and the government here needs communists to govern Italy: this government has only few members more than opposition in the senate chamber.

    The opposition is very strong and the government is about to fall: all italians now are going to rebel theirselves and make strikes, Prodi is poorly cracking his coalition in short time.

    And we are about to celebrate the return of Berlusconi. The CDL (translated as "Liberty Home", the conservatives) has now 6 percentual points more than the left parties, and the advantage is rising day-by-day.

  3. Mi sembra una pia illusione. E non esistera' mai un PDI finché non saranno morti e sepolti tutti coloro che sono stati comunisti.Non sanno cosa vuol dire la democrazia e la liberta'. Per esempio la liberta' di espressione.
    Ciao Wind! :-)
    P.S. Lo sai che ora sono io che sono uscita da TV? Un po' per uno non fa male a nessuno....:-))