Robert W. Merry, writing at The American Conservative, lays out the meaning of the decisive vote Italians have taken to protect their borders, and their economy from European Union mandates. In this anti-EU push, Italy joins Britain, Hungary and Poland; other EU countries where citizens have already acted to protect their sovereign rights. Merry writes (abridged):
Italy is wrapped up these days in the efforts of its two strongest political parties to forge a coalition government. Presumably they will succeed, though whether the resulting civic structure will have any staying power remains an open question. But in terms of the broad political trends in Italy, Europe, and the entire West (including the United States), it doesn’t really matter much. Whatever happens with the emerging Italian government, Italy has set itself upon a new course. It’s the path of populism, fueled by many things but primarily by the West’s immigration crisis.
The blame for such a turn of events … rests with the elites who most vehemently despise populism. If it weren’t for their failed leadership, there wouldn’t be any serious populist wave at all.
But there is—in Britain with Brexit; in America with Trump; in Hungary with Orban; in Poland with Mateusz Morawiecki; and now in Italy with an emergent populist coalition that has the distinction of being of the Left as well as of the Right. The coalition-building effort emanates from the March 4 elections, in which no party garnered the required 40 percent of the vote to qualify for leading the nation without coalition partners.
Of all the issues roiling Europe these days, none generates more political force and energy than the immigration crisis—representing a direct threat to the very definition of the West as well as its cultural coherence and health. The globalist elites don’t get it, even now, but their days are numbered. It is noteworthy that the two political institutions seeking a coalition government in Italy represent some 69 percent of the March 4 vote. That’s a lot of populist sentiment, and the elites may be able to chip away at it if the coalition stumbles, but they won’t be able to reverse it. The country is set upon a populist course for years to come.
Read more here.