“We few, we (in) happy few”: the self-referentiality of the election campaign

“We few, we (in) happy few”: the self-referentiality of the election campaign
“We few, we (in) happy few”: the self-referentiality of the election campaign
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There is a strange paradox running through the current election campaign. If on the one hand all the polls indicate that almost one in two voters has not yet chosen who to vote for – a percentage so large that it could disrupt all the forecasts, even if only a part of those undecided then went to the polls – on the other it seems that no party wants to speak to those undecided and that, indeed, all efforts are concentrated exclusively on one’s own – often small – electorate of reference.

The last in order of time, to choose this path of speaking only to his supporters, was Marco Rizzowith his famous post of jubilation for the death of Gorbachev.

Beyond the opportunity to uncork champagne for the disappearance of anyone, what is surprising in that communication is the extreme self-referentiality of a message that turns out to be unconvincing, perhaps even for Marco Rizzo’s own fans.

Gorbachev, in that message, is pointed out as the culprit of the collapse of the USSRtherefore a person to be condemned also post mortem. One could argue at length about the accuracy of this analysis – also considering the fact that Boris Yeltsin formally liquidated the Soviet Union and not Mikhail Gorbachev – but, although I understand that the figure of Gorbachev can arouse little sympathy in those who, like Marco Rizzo, continue to feel proudly “communist”, I also wonder how many, in his own party, share these theses.

Perhaps few, given that even one of the leading exponents of the Communist Party, that is Micaela Quintavalle that at the administrative offices of 2021 she was indicated by Marco Rizzo as the party’s candidate for mayor of Rome, despite the electoral campaign in progress, has decided to publicly distance himself from the post of the secretary of the PC.

A certain embarrassment is also felt in the other movements that are part of the coalition “Sovereign and Popular Italy“, The one with which Rizzo is a candidate for the next political elections: from the sovereignists of”Reconquer Italy“, to “Italy again“, To the group of”Civil Action“Which is headed by Antonio Ingroia. All movements that do not come from the history of the Communist Party and that, therefore, do not always share the vision of the past indicated by Marco Rizzo.

Therefore one wonders why, the leader of a list that has long boasted precisely of having brought together very different people and political histories, at the first opportunity, in the midst of the electoral campaign, starts with an extremely divisive type of communication , which speaks only to a part of its supporters, excluding all the others.

Above all, excluding the possibility of presenting oneself in a welcoming and convincing way in the eyes of a potential electorate, which certainly cannot be limited only to members of the PC and must be able to embrace at least a slice of that 30% -40% of undecided reported by all the polls , if he then wants to have a satisfactory electoral result and real political weight.

In short, Rizzo’s communication ends up speaking only to “his”dividing the world between an “we” – “we few, we happy few” Shakespeare would have said – who understand things and know how much “evil” Gorbachev did to the world, against “them” who did not understand, not they understand it, nor will they ever understand it and with whom, therefore, it is not even worth talking.

One of the various paradoxical aspects of this type of communication is that, if “Sovereign and Popular Italy” says it wants to present itself to Italians as the “antisystem” party par excellence, in reality its communication choices end up being practically identical to those of most “Governist” of the parties vying for the next policies: the Democratic party.

Even Enrico Letta, in fact, has chosen a campaign entirely focused on “us against them”. We, the righteous who make the right choices. Them, the evil ones who do not get one. A Manichean campaign, of good against evil, of red against black, of good against evil. Without half measures. All in the face of the “wide field” initially sought by the PD.

In fact, how “wide” can a field be that stigmatizes anyone who does not share, even on a single marginal point, the ideas of the PD? A party that – according to its media campaign – on every little thing, even the insignificant one, asks to choose in a clear, irrevocable way, without the possibility of mediation, of doubt, of compromise. Even on how to season the amatriciana.

Also in this case, therefore, it is a communication that is not addressed to the undecided, but only serves to gratify and galvanize “our”, that is, those who had previously chosen to vote for the PD or its allies. Again, given the polls, one wonders why one initially renounces to broaden one’s audience of consensuslimiting itself to titillating the ego of that minority of Italians – according to all the surveys – who today prefer the center-left to the center-right.

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Once again we speak only to “we few, we happy few”.

It must be said, however, that both the slogans of Enrico Letta and the posts of Marco Rizzo have had a great media coverage. In the name of “good or bad as long as we talk about it”, the campaign of the PD and that of Italy Sovereign and Popular could therefore appear decidedly successful, given the thousands of comments and memes that they have provoked. Those who think this, however, do not take into account the specificities of a political campaign, which does not follow the exact same rules of advertising for a brand of cured meats or diapers.

The most obvious example of this specificity is perhaps Mario Adinolfi, the former PD parliamentarian, animator of the Family Day, but, above all, the undisputed king of political provocation via social media. His tweets and his posts – always very “out of line” – are systematically re-launched and commented on by millions of Italians. But does this also translate into consensus for him at the time of the vote?

When Mario Adinolfi shows up in the elections, those millions of comments and shares seem to vanish. The lists that Adinolfi, from time to time, proposes, never exceed the quota of zerovirgolapocoin any kind of electoral competition, until the sensational flop of Ventotene, that island where Adinolfi, in June, had run for mayor, obtaining the record share of zero votes.

So – but I can be wrong – compared to the strategy chosen by a Letta or a Rizzo, at the moment I think the lower-profile campaign decided by the various center-right parties is enormously more effective. While it too is not without flaws, at least it tries to speak to a slightly wider audience of potential voters. Then, of course, he does it with a thousand mistakes in communication strategy.

For example, that Silvio Berlusconi who, every day, posts a program “pill” on Facebook or TikTokseems to have pulled many of his “new” ideas out of some dusty drawer, which has been closed since 1994 and which, wearily and excessively “vintage”, follows the spirit and style of 1994.

The League, on the other hand, asks its potential voters for a profession of faith: “I believe” is its slogan. A request for preventive trust, thrown in a bit like this, regardless of everything and which I believe not many voters are so willing – even rightly – to grant it with their eyes closed.

In the end Brothers of Italy, who wants to prove ready to govern. And in fact “Ready ”is his slogan. That written like this, under Giorgia Meloni’s big face, makes us think of a slightly Fantozzian phone callmaybe made to Ursula Von der Leyenor to some other European leader, perhaps imitating the Swedish accent: “Meloni, is that you ?!”.

The fact remains that no party, at the moment, seems to want to try to “call” – with or without a Swedish accent – to that half of Italians who have not yet chosen who to vote for. As if those votes were now given up.

Yet, if someone really tried to get those votes, and maybe they succeed, they might end up winning the elections.. Polls or non-polls. But this electoral round, who knows why, seems to be done in the purest and noblest Olympic spirit, the one indicated by the baron Pierre De Coubertin: “the important thing is to participate”. At least that’s the way it is, judging by the communication chosen by all parties.


The article is in Italian

Tags: happy selfreferentiality election campaign

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