When Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) came on to the Italian political scene a few years ago, massive hopes were placed in them to finally bring change to the Italian government. An inflated sense of hope similar to the hope placed in Barak Obama--the kind of hope one desperately lays on someone when they have nothing to look forward to and nothing else to loose (please read my 2013 post "The Italian Spring?" for background information on this group).
A lot of promises and demands were made, and they came so close... They did spectacularly well in the polls and had a chance to form a coalition government, with the possibility of affecting real change. But due to arrogant (and anti-democratic) leadership, they lost it. Beppe Grillo's totalitarian refusal to play politics sacrificed what little say the party had and confined themselves to the obscure. The five seats they had so valiantly and impressively won proved insufficient to affect change on their own. And it damaged their reputation in the eyes of the public as well.
Grillo is not a politician, nor did he ever claim to be. He even said repeatedly that he had no intention of entering parliament, that he just wanted to incite change. Well, that he did, and he was brilliant at it. Living in Grillo's home region of Liguria, I saw one of his fanatical rallies and as crazy of a lunatic as he was, he made sense. And the degree of corruption and ineffectiveness of the Italian government certainly warranted his crazed antics.
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