Commentary. After almost 10 months in government, this majority has shown both potential and limitations, which must be the object of discussion.

How to explain the mass appeal of Conte’s government

On Friday, May 1st, an appeal signed by teachers, doctors, bartenders and frontier priests in support of the “yellow-red” government was published on il manifesto’s website. None of us could have imagined that it would go on to garner such enormous interest among the readers and fans of our newspaper, with thousands of signatures added to the list.

How can such wide support be explained? Probably on account of the support of a large part of public opinion for the anti-COVID actions taken by the Conte government. Indeed, it is likely that without this social-political backdrop, the appeal would not have had such a strong resonance.

The signatories of the petition are accusing the almost unanimous media attack against the manner in which the tragic health emergency in the country has been managed. On the contrary, the signatories acknowledge the “prudence” and “common sense” of the actions taken.

Let’s make a clear distinction: the criticism of the media attack, conducted for self-interested purposes and with certain characters (from Renzi to Salvini) who positioned themselves front and center, does not mean that we cannot and should not discuss the economic and social priorities and the legal instruments enacted, as the thousands of signatories explicitly invite us to do.

Nor does it mean that the Conte government is the best government possible. Indeed, we are exercising our right to criticism, and to proposing alternatives, in our pages every single day.

Last year, we fought a battle—a very tough one—to avoid going to the polls and handing the country over to the fascists and the right wing. There was only one alternative: a PD-M5S government, extended towards the left with LeU and towards the right with Italia Viva.

After almost 10 months, this majority has shown both potential and limitations, which must be the object of discussion.

But we must do so while keeping in mind that a crisis today would have one of two consequences: either a national emergency government supported by the powers-that-be (i.e. the project being pushed forward with the support of the media world) or early elections.

But there is also a large swath of the country that is telling the government to keep going. And we wish to—and must—take it into account.

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