Reforms, Follini: “They usually wear out those who try to make them…”

Marco Follini’s point of view for Adnkronos

“Institutional reforms usually wear out those who try to do them. So it went to the bicamerals which were supposed to mark the passage -even- from one Republic to another. Then to Berlusconi, Bossi and their devolution. Then again to Renzi and his mayor of ‘Italy. On the other hand, the frenzy to change has produced more than a few failures. The fifth title, which undermined the relationship between the state and the regions at the time. The electoral law, reworked several times in the name of the convenience of party leaders. The reduction in the number of parliamentarians which ended up accentuating the crisis of the representative system.

In short, the gallery of errors (and some horrors) that we have gone through in recent years should suggest that we go easy on the intentions of institutional reorganization. All the more if those intentions are expressed from the command deck of Palazzo Chigi. In fact, the government always enjoys a certain advantage. And this government, in particular, can count on a large parliamentary majority, widespread popular consent and plenty of time. All favorable conditions, which should in fact suggest a certain caution, first of all to protect oneself.

Suggestion that will be returned to the sender, inexorably. Where appropriate, even with noble and generous motivations. Every government that has succeeded has in fact proposed to change the rules, or at least pretended to want to do so. And the strongest governments (Berlusconi, Renzi, now Meloni) have been the ones that have sacrificed the most incense on the altar of reforms. As if to consolidate their hold on the institutions by sealing it with the most solemn and demanding slogans.

Now, I don’t want to play too much of a ‘traditionalist’ by suggesting we do nothing about it. However, the fact remains that, as our constitutional history teaches, great designs are the offspring of great circumstances. And only a true and proper constituent assembly has so far shown itself capable of drawing up a shared charter and of finding a balance that has been able to last for years and years, going through even very difficult trials. Words in the wind, it will be said. And in fact they have been trying to take another path for years and years. Now making reforms the banner of one side against the other. And now pretending that everyone’s flags can miraculously align. Thus, each government has its own ‘minister for reforms’ to whom it entrusts the task of promoting a new writing. It began with Mino Martinazzoli, at the time of Cossiga. And we have arrived at Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati in our day. A long succession of attempts that almost always failed. Which don’t exactly sound auspicious in view of the construction site that has just opened.

The fact is that we should rather recover the ancient wisdom of Calamandrei who in his time warned that the government should be absent as soon as we spoke of institutions. He wisdom that in turn they disregarded everyone a little, albeit with the best of intentions.

In this case there is one more difficulty to put into the account. And it is that the Meloni government has set itself an all too ambitious goal, trusting that it will be able to pave the way towards the popular election of the head of state or government. Objective that has nothing subversive, mind you. But that crosses the clearest opposition of the other parties – without prejudice to the availability of Italia viva for the election of the “mayor” of Italy.

The writer has no favors for these innovations, which can unbalance even more the tiring and dangerous balance of our political system. But it is clear that if such far-reaching reforms are really aimed at, it would be all the more useful for the majority and the opposition to meet in a place away from that partisan spirit that has been seen hovering since the very beginning of these days. Otherwise we will end up at the crossroads between a great reform and a great conflict. And it’s easy to predict that the conflict will win out.”

(by Marco Follini)