Let us seize the occasion of the elections not to feed evangelical indifference, but to prepare ourselves to be spiritually alert and culturally equipped.
It could be argued that the end of the Draghi government was anomalous. But one could equally argue that the Draghi government itself was anomalous.
Thus, an anomaly ended a previous anomaly by highlighting the anomaly of the Italian political system. Three intertwined anomalies.
Let us look at them in quick order.
If we consider the current emergencies (war in Ukraine, energy crisis, inflation and economic recession, among others), that needed a government in full possession of its powers; that the legislature would have ended in March 2023 in any case; and also the fact that Draghi enjoyed a certain esteem in many (not all) international circles; then, a stable government would have been beneficial to the situation at this critical moment without jeopardising the constitutional cycle of elective democracy.
If the 'general' interests of the country had been at heart, the Draghi government should have come to a natural end next year. The early end is due to the anomaly that the interests of struggling parties have prevailed over the general interests of the country.
For different reasons, the 5-Star, the League and Forza Italia could not get to the end and then come up with a campaign other than the Draghi agenda. Each for their own partisan interest, they 'had' to reposition themselves to keep their hands free for the elections.
Their particular interest prevailed over the general interest and this led to the anomaly of the ending.
It is also true that the same parties (5-Star, Lega and Forza Italia) were the ones who opposed the election of Draghi to the presidency of the Republic no more than 5 months ago with the argument that the government was doing well and should go ahead ...
In fact, that opposition then revealed how there was a score to settle with Draghi that he has now been made to pay in full.
On closer inspection, the Draghi government was the bearer of its own anomaly. Draghi was called by President Mattarella to form the government at a time when the parties were unable to express a coalition with any political logic.
After the 5-star-Lega government and after the 5-star-PD government, parliament seemed unable to express a shred of perspective. Mattarella then called in a 'non-politician' like the former president of the ECB.
In his speech to the Senate last week, Draghi said he was called 'by the Italians'. In reality, it was Mattarella who called him: the Italian people have watched helplessly the sad spectacle offered by their ruling class.
Draghi formed an 'anomalous' government as a result of his appeal to all parliamentary forces, which Fratelli d'Italia shunned. A stacked government with 80% of the vote, in which reds, greens, yellows and blues are present, is politically anomalous.
Only the President's personal authority managed to conceal it to some extent.
The Draghi government has been the bearer of its own ' unnaturalness', which has not been able to sustain itself for long; it has been an artificial and forced structure that has not resisted the reactivation of the particular interests of the parties.
Those who defend Draghi's government must not forget this constitutive anomaly that has made it a very fragile jumble from the first day to the last.
There is a third anomaly that the end of the legislature has highlighted in even clearer terms.
It is the strange nature of the Italian political system: a wagon of almost a thousand parliamentarians plus thousands of other bagmen and collaborators who make and unmake the fabric of the government without having a grip on it.
Every now and then, when the confusion becomes paroxysmal, an external leader is called in (first Monti, then Draghi) to put the internal diatribes in order, only to be ensnared in the viscosity of the system to be sucked in for good.
The new elections on 25 September, although necessary out of respect for the Constitution, will not be decisive.
With the same sick system and and the same institutional (in)culture, there is a risk that it will be another roundabout merry-go-round. The clock will be reset, but without resolving the fault, the clock will stop on the first lap.
Three points. First, for women and men of evangelical faith, the first responsibility is to pray for the authorities. What better time to pray during Sunday worship between now and the 25 September elections!
Secondly, evangelical culture has outlined a framework to think differently about the future of the country. Although dated, the document "For the good of Italy" (2008) of the Italian Evangelical Alliance retains a freshness that can provide useful insights.
Third, let us seize the occasion of the elections not to feed evangelical indifference, but to prepare ourselves to be spiritually alert and culturally equipped. One way to do this is to use the "Vademecum for Elections" (taken from Studi di teologia No. 34 ) to encourage group conversations.
Leonardo De Chirico, evangelical pastor in Rome. This article was originally published in Italian online at Loci Communes, an italian evangelical online magazine.
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