European electoral list 2014: the italian carnival 

Article published on April 25, 2014
Article published on April 25, 2014

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Italy is prepar­ing for the Eu­ro­pean Elec­tions on 25th May 2014. On 7th April the elec­toral list of can­di­dates com­pet­ing for a po­si­tion in Brus­sels was of­fi­cially an­nounced. Some won't make it all the way, but it doesn’t mat­ter; they’ve al­ready left their mark. Let’s go on a voy­age of dis­cov­ery among the more un­usual ones. 

80 were ad­mit­ted in 2009, this time ‘only’ 64 have been an­nounced. We're talking about the lists of­fi­cially pre­sented at the Vim­i­nale Palace for the Eu­ro­pean Elec­tions on the 25th May. As every­body knows, Ital­ian pol­i­tics doesn’t do things by halves, and so let’s find out all there is to know by tak­ing a look at the next can­di­dates for an MEP seat in Brus­sels.

Along with the main po­lit­i­cal pow­ers, turn­ing up for the event with tra­di­tional nomen­cla­ture and a few fresh names, there are sev­eral new ones ready to leave their mark, not nec­es­sar­ily in terms of votes, but cer­tainly from a sym­bolic or ‘artis­tic’ angle. A var­ied sam­ple of - to put it lightly - bizarre party lists and names ar­tis­ti­cally adding a dash of colour to the most anti-Eu­rope Eu­ro­pean elec­tions in his­tory.

Whether it was due to the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of sig­na­tures re­quired to reg­is­ter on a list, the de­sire for change or sim­ply Spring, the mo­saic of 'new en­tries' is, to say the least, ab­surd. Dif­fi­cult to con­tact, often lacking tele­phone de­tails or an email ad­dress, or maybe just re­luc­tant when it comes to tra­di­tional forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it can't be said that they lack cre­ativ­ity. 

we want the lib­eral catholic holy roman em­pire of eu­rope 

Let's start with the Poets of Ac­tion move­ment (Mo­vi­men­to dei Poeti d’A­zio­ne). For a few years now, it has been clear that Eu­rope is lack­ing bite and 'po­etic pas­sion', but this party, founded in 1994 by Ales­san­dro D’A­go­sti­ni, holds up a so­ci­ety where 'poets and artists can be­come the lead­ers of a pop­u­la­tion just as con­quer­ors, kings and rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies once did in his­tory' as a so­lu­tion for the crisis and austerity society.  The new Re­pub­lic of Plato dis­em­bark­ing at Brus­sels, just so we un­der­stand one an­other. And if is a pub­lic­ity stunt, we ap­pre­ci­ate it; hec­tic mod­ern life could do with some rhyming verse, after all. 

Pro­ceed­ing fur­ther into the gallery of masks we come across the 'Lib­eral Catholic Holy Roman Em­pire' (Sacro Ro­ma­no Im­pe­ro Li­be­ra­le Cat­to­li­co) from Mi­rel­la Cece, who has given a lot of thought to the re­surrect­ion of the old Eu­rope of Charle­magne by taking the road lead­ing from Rome to Bru­sse­ls, (pass­ing through Aa­chen, the mod­ern­-day Aqui­sgra­na). There's also room for Italy's tor­ment, with the list 'Forza Ju­ve-Bun­ga Bunga Usei', a free as­so­ci­a­tion singing the praises of Italy's most pop­u­lar foot­ball team and one of the pre­ferred pri­vate 'sports' of a for­mer leader, who is cur­rently mak­ing am­ends with a com­mu­nity ser­vice sen­tence. On its em­blem a lit­tle fig­ure 'kick­ing away' the Euro stands out. Nowhere to be found and so de­clined. 

Be­yond cre­ativ­ity, it is not the only anti-eu­rope and orig­i­nal elec­toral list. In ad­di­tion to Mat­teo Sal­vi­ni's Lega Nord, on whose em­blem is writ­ten in huge writ­ing 'Basta Euro' ('No to the Euro'), there are other minor lists such as the 'Re­cu­pe­ro Mal­tol­to' party (give back the ill-got­ten gains), (for some the exact amount of the 'ill-got­ten gains' is dif­fi­cult to quan­tify) and 'No Euro - Lista del Gril­lo Par­lan­te' (No to the Euro - List of the Talk­ing Cricket), the nice lit­tle an­i­mal nudg­ing the con­science of the Ital­ians who have read  The Ad­ven­tures of Pi­noc­chio; that is, all of them. Noth­ing to do, how­ever, with the Beppe Gril­lo trib­ute, al­though founder Renzo Ra­bel­li­no at­tempted 'the elec­toral name game' once or twice. Someone still remembers when, in the pol­i­tics of  2008, Giu­sep­pe Gril­lo and Pe­ri­cle Bar­lu­sco­ni (that's right, with an 'a') pre­sented as can­di­dates. There's also room for a list which is sym­bolic, to say the least: 'Chia­mia­mo­lo per il Pie­mon­te' (Let's call him for Pied­mont). Let's call who? Maybe the 'lamented' Vit­to­rio Ema­nue­le II who uni­fied the King­dom of Italy? 

The old elec­toral pol­i­tics mar­ket­ing strat­egy for at­tract­ing those poor pen­sion­ers en­dures, how­ever. It can­not be de­nied that the na­tion with the low­est birth rate in Eu­rope is age­ing and that, nowa­days, it is any­thing but a coun­try for young peo­ple, but even then, three po­lit­i­cal for­ma­tions with they key word 'pen­sion­ers' are still too much. From 'Pen­sio­na­ti' ('Pen­sion­ers') to 'Pen­sio­na­ti e In­va­li­di' (Pen­sion­ers and the Dis­abled) up to 'Pen­sio­na­ti con­su­ma­to­ri' (Con­sumer Pen­sion­ers). With­out a doubt these are the most mod­ern of the group.

No 'fakes' please

To fin­ish off the paint­ing here is Francesco Miglino's Par­ti­to In­ter­net­tia­no (In­ter­net party), un­reach­able by tele­phone, quite rightly. The tele­phone is ob­se­lete. Its em­blem could not be any­thing that other than the 'W' of World Wide Web in­tersected with an @.  And the move­ment places its trust in the 'Great Mother', the 'Net', and the 'res­olute­ness, the em­pa­thy of In­ter­net users', in order to 'break the con­spir­a­cies of the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal-fi­nan­cial struc­ture which mas­ters re­sources, and re­place sub­servient po­lit­i­cans'.

There is even a 'fake', or at least this is how the noble fa­ther of the move­ment, Ma­ria­no Ferro from Sicily, has de­fined it, who has lodged a com­plaint and claims to be the sole owner of the em­blem.  It is the 'For­co­ni' (The Pitch­forks), a protest move­ment which has, in the past, paral­ysed some Ital­ian re­gions on more than one oc­cas­sion. If we had to vote for the 'imag­i­na­tion award', the 'Lib­eral Catholic Roman Em­pire' would win with­out a doubt. This Eu­rope 'worked', in its own way. It is dif­fi­cult to hold back a smile. At one of its most crit­i­cal mo­ments, Italy is prepar­ing to meet the most im­por­tant Eu­ro­pean elec­tions in the his­tory of the EU as it has al­ways done: With the care­free cre­ativ­ity of the artist.