Rosanna De Rosa: Voice of the People or Cybercratic Centralism? The italian case of Beppe Grillo and Movimento Cinque Stelle – Five Stars Movement
The italian case of Beppe Grillo and Movimento Cinque Stelle Rosanna De Rosa, University of Naples Federico II (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cedem 2013 Krems
Grillo, Person of the Year, 2004 Time Magazine 21 may 2012, after local election
A grassroots request for change the legislation consisting of three points: • no to anyone involved in criminal lawsuits standing for parliament, • no to re-‐election after two mandates • yes to direct election of candidates «we are tired of feel ashamed for you»
2008 local election: 30 local administration 7 borough oﬃcials elected
The Meetup platform is used as a meta-‐organization platform for 5SM groups and activities (Lanfrey 2012) One star for each of the cardinal points the Movement upholds: • environment • water • development • connectivity • transport
Most of them were born in the South of Italy but live in the North-‐East. The vast majority of them are white-‐collar workers or self-‐employed professionals in private ﬁrms, with a smaller group of university students. There are no unemployed members or people working on short-‐term contracts. 5SM activists would like to help Italy move forward but they feel blocked by a political class who are incapable of modernising themselves or the country, preferring to insist with conservative strategies. They appear very radical as regards public administration, the media, the jobs market. They also refute the idea of leaderism and anti-‐politics as media simpliﬁcation preferring to think of themselves as anti-‐bad politics (Orazi and Socci, 2008). Mp Crimi Mp Lombardi Mp Fico
2008 (local election): 30 local administration 7 borough oﬃcials 2009 (local election): 64 local administrations 23 elected as borough oﬃcials 6 elected as district representatives 2010 (local and regional election) 5 regions and 12 local administration 4 elected as regional representatives 7 elected as borough oﬃcials 2011 77 local administration 53 elected as borough oﬃcials 2012 103 local administration 173 elected as borough oﬃcials 4 elected as mayor
Genova over 15% Verona 9,5% La Spezia and Alessandria 11,7 % In Sicily, 5SM is the ﬁrst party with 18,20% of votes and 15 elected oﬃcials
The 5sM’s new political oﬀer emerges There is an empty space that a new form of representation could ﬁll Social Media has reached a critical mass of people Political corruption reached levels never so hight since Tangentopoli Meantime, Italy is starting to feel the crisis arriving In Europe, the country’s credibility have reached an all-‐time low Up to 83% of citizens do not trust political parties any more Traditional institutional equilibriums seemed to be wavering Both the right-‐wing and the left-‐wing appear swamped in internal debate Italian political scene had never looked so wobbly
BeppeGrillo.it Information ecosystem Participation environment Interaction environment Social Media System Permanent Campaign
The blog plays a central role in information, communication and regulation of groups The MeetUp groups are strictly local organisations making for the kind of in-‐depth knowledge of local issues Activists who decide to stand for election accept to campaign always and only on behalf of local issues Candidates are not allowed to stand for other elections while they are in oﬃce. The cult of the persona and careerist ambition are discouraged, because they want to keep the movement ﬁrmly focused on its principle of direct representation. The mandate stipulates that elected candidates need to account for their work every so often. The problem of political leadership at local level has been solved by making it answerable to, and mutually dependent on, the constituency it represents Decision-‐making therefore works on a proxy-‐voting system, facilitated by appropriate technological support. Any elected is a delegate of the movement
The 5S people is inspired by the liquid democracy model, based on proxy vote. Groups are testing platforms such as LiquidFeedback and Airesis, but it seems that Casaleggio and Grillo are thinking to something else
Parlamentarie The primary election that Grillo organised to select his candidates for parliament Tsunami Tour Grillo’ electoral Campaign 5S eParliament Streaming partisan relationships and parliament works Quirinarie The primary election to select the Head of the State 199 Route Campaign The number of lists presented to the 2013 local election (on 700 administration to be renewed)
The Proﬁle of Parlamentarie Date: 3-‐6 december 2012 Number of candidates: 1.486 Number of Voters: 20.252 (out of 31.612) Number of possible choices: 3 Expressed votes: 57272 (potential votes were 60756) Male candidates: 87,15 % Female candidates: 12,85 % (only 192 out of 1486) Average age: 42 years Young candidates: 10% is less then 29 years old Professionals and Employees in Private Firms: 42,49 % Number of students: 2,49 This mini-sample shows that the 5SM does not fit the so-called “populist” people
A multiplier factor A gender factor A merit factor Age-‐group factor Rules that have inspired the formation of the list Female Young
18 december 2012: The Statute deﬁnes the electoral status of the movement Opinion polling agencies rank the movement up 20% About 300.000 registered people to the Grillo networks Meetup groups rose from 500 to over 1000 January: The Tsunami Campaign starts. Grillo meet citizens in over 70 squares Old and new media are used to amplify the campaign, to bridge online and oﬄine electorate (webTV) Young and students: the post-‐political electorate target-‐group to reach
Use of anti-‐language and going negative Re-‐mediation of communication Shared goals: giving people an objective to ﬁght for Organised communities Micro-‐mobilisation Social-‐empowering Unifying media and message Globalizing the network Creating a seamless environment
Vote intention on Social Networks Over 1.300.000 likes on Facebook Over 1.200.000 followers on Twitter Over 1.100 Meetup groups Number of mentions on Social Networks The web became the connective tissue, the megaphone and the organising principle behind a campaign that oﬀers seamless movement between diﬀerent reality spaces (online/oﬄine). It worked as an integrated whole with citizen-‐voters at its heart, hubs in a power network who themselves took on the job of stripping old politicians of their role and restructuring democratic processes, with parliament in central position.
The Movement got 8.69 million votes in total, 2.4 million in the South, 2.1 in the North-‐East, and 1.6 in the so-‐called “red regions” (Data Cattaneo Institute). In the Lower House, the 5SM comes second to the Pd, with 25.55% of the votes. In the Senate it gets 23.79% of the votes.
LiquidFeedback Airesis Either secret and open ballot Collaborative wiki User-‐friendly platform Proxy vote Non-‐secret ballots Schultze metod Open Source Proxy vote Which platform can support 5SM delegates within the parliament? • Goals: • Engaging activists in the decision-‐making process • Freeing “delegates“ by Casaleggio and Grillo Control • Ensuring internal democracy and eﬀectiveness • Introducing new procedures in representative institutions
Video streaming democracy is the new format adopted by 5S activists which has serious implications on transparency and control. The control chain and the no-‐conﬁdence stance are very closely-‐linked. The 5SM activists control the political classes and have seats within the institutions but the activists are controlled by the Movement, thus making the accountability process a more and more central question.
An online deliberative polling to select the head of State Little number, greater audience The debate spreads the web The process highlights the distance between will of people and partitocratic agreements The movement become the Lobby of People
The Grillo’blog is the central node of the movement Grillo and Casaleggio dictates the political line Grillo hold exclusive rights on the brand name Rule are established by Grillo and Casaleggio Negative and positive incentives are used to control the network Activists need to submit to both the Grillo’ blog and Local MeetUp Grillo’s Communication model is broadcasting Local organization are inclusive but selective at same time Local organization are free to manage themself Local organization chooses the issues to ﬁghts for They all share the idea of connected intelligence and wisdom of crowds The communication model of 5SM is netcasting
45% of M5S voters thinks that parties will become more and more weak 33% of M5S voters thinks that parties are destined to die 16% of M5S voters thinks that there is space only for movements
• Grillo’s 5SM is the tip of the iceberg of a complex phenomenon that emerges from the separation between legitimacy and trust, two principles which theories of democracy and representation had merged together in the form of electoral processes (Rosanvallon, 2008). • The electoral process can no longer be seen as suﬃcient reason for keeping aﬂoat a political class that fails to respond to citizens’ needs and, more importantly, fails to deserve their trust. • Grillo is then a product of a set of a unique circumstances: the political and economical situation, the party system crisis, the transformative power of new media, which now are enabling a critical mass of citizens to claim their rights, demanding transparency, eﬀectiveness and participation in political processes. • In this contest, the movement can be seen as a technological organization of distrust.
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