“The reasoning I made with the microphones off took an ideal world as a reference. Today I would not be available to sign a law for the reintroduction of public funding to the parties in this country, because even the reaction to my reasoning shows that this political ruling class is not ready”. Words of Stephen Patuanellithe group leader of the Five Stars movement in the Senate, a few hours after the release of an article of Corriere della Sera which reported his reasoning in favor – very briefly – of the public financing of the parties. Galeotta was a chat between Patuanelli and the journalist of Courier Francesco Verderami, last Wednesday, in the antechamber of a Rete4 broadcast. Now the grillino group leader specifies a thousand times that “it is a personal position” but perhaps it is not enough. Joseph Conte wrote a post on facebook in which he specified that “the M5s is and remains against” giving public money to political forces. When he answers the phone Patuanelli he is in Trieste, where back in 2005 he had registered on the platform of Meetups for Beppe Grillo to then land in Rome: senator, group leader at Palazzo Madama, Minister of Economic Development of Count II and of Agricultural Policies with Draghi. He knows that a storm is looming on the horizon and that it will probably blow from within his own party rather than from outside. “Conte was right to confirm the historical line of the Movement,” he says.
Look, did that sound like the case when we’re discussing minimum wage?
My exit was completely accidental, casual, but convinced even if it appears to contradict our historical line. You see, public funding actually still exists, even if it’s not called that. The 2xmille is public money, but last year 16 million came from that source which is the free choice of citizens for all the parties in the parliamentary arc. It is clear that in a system where the financing remains essentially private, a property policy is favored whereby the Berlusconi on duty arrives who puts 60 million a year into his party and makes the difference over all the others. Is this democratic? And then there is the direct contribution of the elected which is equally public.
And to whom does he say that he got on the chariot of “caste”?
I say it is not so. Perhaps the very last lines of that piece in the Corriere allude to the underlying problem: I have experienced it over the years.
Each elected person finances his party. It happens at the time of the application, in which the commitment to pay a fee is sealed and then regularly, every month. And look, I say this precisely because politics without money cannot be done, but pretending that there isn’t a problem with how it is financed is like putting your head in the sand because then the problems emerge: there are no more party schools that form the ruling class, the offices in the area remain closed.
And how should public funding be reintroduced?
I look at the European model, where the parties are financed but the administration of the European Parliament puts inspectors who are third parties and don’t give anyone any discounts, so everyone regulates. Differently from what happens in Italy, especially if it’s all self-financing or private financing. How many events have shown us the flaws in this system, among lobbyists, politicians in the pay of interested entrepreneurs, public decision-makers smelling of a conflict of interest? Can we at least say that this system fuels practice or at least the suspicion that politics without public money works to grab it elsewhere?
And what would you say to a historic militant of the M5S?
The role of the Movement has been fundamental in raising citizens’ awareness of waste and political responsibilities. contrast to public funding of parties but in my opinion wrong. Remember the first electoral campaign in 2011 in the municipality of Trieste, we spent €6,000 in all to campaign and we did nine and a half percent, but that didn’t prove that a national electoral campaign can be carried out with only those resources. So much so that we have gone towards the verticalization of personal parties with people who fall in love with the current leader, from Salvini to Renzi, pumped up by expensive campaigns concentrated on the front man rather than on the entire party chain, from the militants of the local federation to the national structure, where there are no resources to build a new and widespread ruling class throughout the territory.
No second thoughts?
The reasoning I made with the microphones off took an ideal world as a reference. Today I would not be willing to sign a law for the reintroduction of public financing of parties in this country, because even the reaction to my reasoning shows that this political ruling class is not ready. And in any case I believe that the needs of the country today are very different, I would like to have the same attention that I have had in these hours when I speak of the minimum wage.