Italy's Renzi Promotes Renzi-ism As Alternative To Trump-ism, Le Pen-ism, Grillo-ism

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Shedlock via,

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi announced today that he would call a PD party congress, effectively putting his role as party leader into question.

In his speech, Renzi stated “Some people wanted a party congress to find an alternative to Renzi-ism. It needs to be done as an alternative to Trump-ism, Le Pen-ism and even Grillo-ism.”

Recall that Renzi resigned as prime minister following a landslide defeat of a referendum he sponsored. He did not have the decency to disappear, instead he called for early election with him as party leader.

Italy is in the midst of a 4th consecutive technocrat prime minister, with Paolo Gentiloni now heading the government.

Renzi has now concluded early elections in June would give an advantage to Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement, so he first wants a party congress to affirm his leadership. He also seeks parliamentary rule changes that would benefit him in any coalition movement.

Renzi’s Gamble

Please consider Renzi Gambles on Leadership Contest to Unite Party.

Matteo Renzi has triggered a leadership contest in his ruling centre-left Democratic party, opening up a tussle that he hopes to use as a springboard for a comeback at Italy’s next general election.


He said the party needed to unite around a platform that would confront surging populism across the world, rather than be consumed by infighting.


“Some people wanted a party congress to find an alternative to Renzi-ism. It needs to be done as an alternative to Trump-ism, Le Pen-ism and even Grillo-ism,” he said, referring to the US president, leader of the French National Front, and founder of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement.


During the party leadership battle, likely to be fought in April or May, Mr Renzi is expected to be challenged by one of a group of left-wingers who consistently criticised him for his centrist policies and domineering style during nearly three years in office.


New elections are not due until February 2018, but both Renzi and some leading opposition figures have been pushing for the national poll to be held earlier in order to clarify the will of the people.


This has raised the possibility that an Italian election could join the list of consequential elections in Europe this year, alongside the Netherlands, France and Germany. But Mr Renzi’s decision to call a leadership contest this spring means that any early Italian election would probably be pushed back to the autumn.

Rules Changes

The above article did not discuss rules changes but Eurointelligence fills in the details.

Renzi is pressing the Gentiloni government to pass the electoral reforms quickly – essentially an extension to the Senate of the new system for the chamber of deputies, minus the bits challenged by the constitutional court. Crucially, Renzi wants a majority premium not only for parties but also for coalitions. We infer from this that Renzi could be seeking a majority premium for a hypothetical alliance with Forza Italia, hoping that both parties would together surpass the 40% threshold. Renzi, however, favours everybody running individually, and then forming a coalition afterwards. In this case the majority premium would be irrelevant since no single party in Italian politics comes close to 40%.


Needless to say, there is opposition to Renzi’s plans within his own party. The mildest opposition is from the new prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, who expressed doubts whether it would be possible to form such a coalition. He said Italy might end up like Spain last year – without a government for a long time (we think that would be that most benign of all scenarios). Another establishment politician who has already voiced his opposition to Renzi’s planned coup is Romano Prodi, still influential in Italian politics. He wants to wait until 2018, and favours Giuliano Pisapia, the former mayor of Milan.


La Repubblica recorded a negative reaction also from the Left of the PD, unsurprisingly, amid reports that Massimo D’Alema and even the fiercely loyal Pier Luigi Bersani are considering splitting away from the party.


Europeans are used to the idea that Grand Coalitions are the ultimate solution to an electoral impasse. But we find it hard to see how this could work in Italy. We are not even sure that such an alliance would necessarily have a majority. And would Berlusconi support Italy’s membership of the eurozone? He himself would be neither in government nor in parliament, as he is barred from holding office until 2018. So this raises the question of how stable such a construct would be.

Complicated Political Mess

This is a complicated mess. Berlusconi wants election in 2018 so he would be able to run. Renzi wants an election this year as does Beppe Grillo. But Renzi also wants to squash opponents of Renzi-ism first.

This may push back elections to August. Alternatively, the president may just decide to wait until 2018. A delay until 2018 is to the benefit of Berlusconi, and a delay also runs the risk of splintering PD with more infighting even if Renzi were to remain as party leader.

Given PD is the only major party that wants to stay in the Eurozone, coalition math favors Grillo.

Renzi struggles to get out of the box he is in, but it looks increasingly difficult.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
BorisTheBlade's picture

Renzi struggles to get out of the box he is in, but it looks increasingly difficult.

The box of technocratically-run government was tight as it was and now it's shrinking. Populistically-run govenment, on the other hand, will have mandate and support from the majority. Grillo or not, Renzi is toast unless he switches camps.

Ghordius's picture

Boris, do I get you right? populist = support from majority? is that your definition of populist?

if yes, then I'm sorry, your definition does not apply to any european country that I know, and we are definitely talking about two different things while using the same words for that

in a country like Italy or any other continental european country, the very electoral laws make is nearly impossible for one party to reach majority, and coalitions of parties are the norm

is your definition of populism against Parliamentarism and multi-party coalition building? in that case... there are different words to describe that

some of them were invented in Italy, where also the first "Populares" political faction made it's first debut some 2'000 years ago. Italy could claim you are trying to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs

wildbad's picture

just keep on going as you have been.

these idiots are swimming in circles. they still don't understand that there has been a fundamental shift in political conciousness and it is growing fast.

these little slimey febrile word tricks no longer work. in the absence of a real alternative plan Renzi and his ilk are floundering to remain relevant in a world where truth and transparency reign over deception and hidden agendas.

good riddance

Ghordius's picture

"they still don't understand that there has been a fundamental shift in political conciousness and it is growing fast"

and this shift is everywhere, and in the same strenght?

I see a lot of febrile wishing going on. paired with a kind of revolutionary "it will happen everywhere, just because"

come on, wildbad. just show your banner, state your agenda. can you? except that "change must happen"?

you have to be able to spell out the change you are wishing for, otherwise you are just following a charismatic leader that promises you a sunny upland... somewhere, beyond that horizon

I'm all for truth. are you, too?

Anasteus's picture

Renzi's new revolutionary -ism is about to get status quo fully restored and keep it running.

Ghordius's picture

there is something about Mike Shedlock's pieces that always grate my nerves, when he writes about Europe

"Recall that Renzi resigned as prime minister following a landslide defeat of a referendum he sponsored. He did not have the decency to disappear, instead he called for early election with him as party leader. "

yes, Renzi sponsored a referendum. it was about a constitutional change, mind. and de facto it was the n-th attempt to reform in some way the double-chamber parliamentarism that Italy has. for criminy, several Italian political leaders tried to do some reform, there, including Berlusconi

so? technically, a PM can be the sponsor of a referendum as well as a Speaker or any other MP. he did not have to resign as PM because of that. even Cameron was not expected to resign because of Brexit

disappear? why should he disappear? the "loser" of a referendum can still be seen as the leader of a sizable minority in the country, in this one issue

yes, Renzi did resign as Prime Minister. no, no Italian would expect him to resign as the leader of the PD party. and in this case, even his leadership of that party will have to be reconfirmed or rejected, so where is your beef?

or is it just a ride on the usual distaste of some from a foreign country for everything that reminds of the US Dem party? with a little "all europeans, all socialist" grumble on the side?

you show very little respect for foreign politics, Mr. Shedlock. fine. may I remind you that the Italian Parliament is often seen by Italians as sclerotic... while at least it attempts to have changes to the Constitution which your country kind of gave up even trying? when was the last time your Constitution was changed? before or right after you were born?

nope, Mr. Shedlock. methinks the lack of decency is on your side, writing about foreign politics while using domestic sensibilities which don't apply

your US red-team vs blue-team extreme duopoly is unique. don't project that situation onto others

I could write a similar piece showing that Cameron "disappearing" back into better-paid PR work after Brexit was indecent, too. he brought Brexit... and then left the mess that resulted, with all the open questions that were never answered on how to do such an immense change... to others

onedb1's picture

Brexit a mess ? Have you seen the latest UK economic data ? Want to compare them ? At least Brexit is the free will of the British people. If we are in a mess you are in a basket case . There is no mess other than in your mind.

I detest Renzi and all that he stands for and all of his supporters. I'd rather a so called populist - the term used originally as 'populus Romanus' indeed as you state , 'for the ordinary people' than Renzi, am sorry he is no Augustus or Caeser but an ignorant Walter Mitty . Barely educated and a pathetic stooge. You sound a bit like Davide Serra. Wouldn't be surprised if that is you writing this drivel. Long Monte Dei Paschi again ? lol . Renzi and his cronies should hide in shame.

Ghordius's picture

ok, besides the distaste I get from some twists and spins, Mr. Shedlock has some interesting insights, here

"Europeans are used to the idea that Grand Coalitions are the ultimate solution to an electoral impasse"

that's true. but I think this impasse will vanish. too many Grand Coalitions have kind of logorated the center of politics, and that's a kind of natural result of things

at the end, democracies founded on republican constitutional principles need some rejuvenation in the political leadership

I know, it's a red rag here (not that anybody reacting to that red rag can explain why), but IMHO the recent case in the EU Parliament is going to set a new norm, for a while

in the EU P, the Grand Coalition between the center-left and the center-right was scrapped on behalf of a new alliance between the center-right and the right

no, nobody will tell that over tea or coffee. particularly not the British Tory MEPs which are now part of this coalition with the Polish right party

as a reminder, PM Cameron took the Tory out of the center-right EPP. PM May now took them back into the new/current "ruling" coalition just further on the right. yes, it's hilarious, if you think a bit about it

rondellio's picture

The most astonishing fact about the EU parl is its impotence.  For 20 years it has failed in its basic function which is the control of supply.  It is incredible that a "democracy" should function with accounts that the auditors refuse to sign off.  But of course a significant number of MEPs themselves have stolen money under the expenses system.  Perhaps they feel it wld be indecent to raise the subject in these circumstances.

And how is that the EU parliament cannot introduce legislation, a function implicit in the word parliament.  

The relation between the EU parliament and democracy is that of a eunuch sighing at the sight of a beautiful women. 


forgottenozonehole's picture

Just wonder, why ZeroHedge waste time for that italian wanker.

Bahamas's picture

Renzi's uncle, Bovoli, is amongst the founders of Berlusconi commercial TV empire. Renzi is a marketing product handled by Berlusconi and Verdini masonic circle.

zippy_uk's picture

Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal - same old, same old - lots more initiatives to play for time but no solutions.

When the UK leaves the EU, and starts powering economically away (as per exiting the ERM and ever since) all these other countries will start to look on enviously. That's when all these problems get solved - all in one go....

Ghordius's picture

good for you, zippy

Britannia, lead us to the sunny uplands. we'll be envious, we'll be green, and we will follow the lead, amid applause

just one question, though... at what point in reality would you be willing to revise your opinion?

note that PM May has all but scrapped the whole notion of having access to the Single Market

note that there are already voices of concern about the viability of the NHS without foreign workers

I frankly don't see that "powering economically away"

what I see is a huge Act of Parliament incoming that will take all EU regulations currently applying in the UK (including the British "goldplating")...

... into British Law

so what I see is less trade, less financial services... but the same amount of regulation, albeit with many "green/environmental" parts falling off, soon

perhaps you could help this Continental to understand where you saw those "problems", and how you think that Brexit will "solve" them

in short: I hope you are right, but I don't see how

zippy_uk's picture

Ghordius - I see you are short sighted. 

Probably the gold plated EU is great blinkers you are wearing.

I see low/no growth in the EU for decades

I see the UK, with the most global language on the planet with relationships with growing countries developing quickly

I see a queue of countries already lining up to trade with the UK

I see the pound setting a level to neutralise any regulatory issues to competativeness

I see EU countries looking to talk to the UK directly about trade regardless of what the EU officials say

I see more trade, more growth and absolutely no looking back or regrets

+ we get our democracy back. 

You can tell how well the EUrocrates are handling this because they are all hiding in the toilets shitting thenselves.

rondellio's picture

The greatest problem is the emotional attachment to the EU project.  

Anyone with a heart wld lament the immense suffering inflicted on the people of southern Europe and anyone with a brain wld be astonished at the incompetence of the EU to solve the Greek problem.  

By anyone of course, is meant any one who isn't an EU nationalist or an opulent EU bureauctrat. 

mary mary's picture

First, get rid of the Euro.  You can't have national sovereignty without a national currency. 

Second, compete.  You can't compete when you are giving all your profits to emigrants. 

Third, make peace with Russia.  Russians are no more bogeymen than Germans or French or Italians.  The problem is Soros and his enablers.

Only free markets work. There is not a dime's worth of free market in the EU right now.  Indeed, the EU is Communism.  Admitting you have a problem is the First Step.  Of course, those who created the problem and profit from the problem are not the ones who are going to admit there is a problem.

StopBeingParanoid's picture

Say whatever you want, but there gotta be alternatives to fascism (media control, autarchy, ultranationalism, etc... you name it). In France Macron is rising fast with a pro-European program, probably the only hope against that retarded LePen. In Italy it seems that Renzi is the only one who could contrast the hyper-retard 5S movement (these guys can't add 2+2, it's an announced economical trainwreck). 
Regarding the US: there's a small chance Trump turns out to be like Reagan, but I wouldn't bet on it. So, for when the moment comes to substitute him (or Pence) in 2020, Paul Ryan will be the Rep candidate and he will be running against a Dem candidate who will be the stateside version of Trudeau (the role is that one, we just have to figure who's the person). 

AlbertthePudding's picture

Bungaman looks almost normal after these guys

homonohumanus's picture

I believe more and more all of that it is all bullshit, the leftish, under covered hardcore marxists, are just cheating everywhere. They are winning everywhere by relying on migration and plain cheating then you always have "opinion leading" people in family and elsewhere (friends groups) which make it looks like it is representative, they are well backed by the media. They are levergaing the "minority rule" using unknowing agents from within our proxi groups... that is damned bright...
They have pull the conservative toward their pOV more annd more as it is tough to keep up with their promise especially when "central banks" allow for communist wonderland type of policies through the printing press...

I'm sure we can almost all attest here about how it goes in family dinner when you have somebody that has the "monopole of good heart" and you come to confront his or her POV, violent reactions from the persons rapidly backed by others...
We all the traits. Common sense did not disappear or went down that much, they simply cheat and have (unknowing) intolerant relay within us, we call them "gauchistes" I'm not sure th exact translation is "leftish".

dark fiber's picture

I am actively promoting too little-ism too late-ism throughout the EU and when I look at our situation the US too.  Who's with me.

Stan522's picture

The Genie is out of the bottle... First Brexit, then Trump-mania and soon Le Pen-ism... Renzi-ism is just a re-polished Liberal turd that is being roundly rejected across the world....