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Commentary. Italy is truly a political laboratory, and it is time for the left to present a serious and credible proposal to the public, not to arrive last, and give it a name and a face.

Italian politics is a shambles. The left must step up.

In the week that should put the brakes on the electoral law, a pact signed by Renzi, Berlusconi and Grillo, the Italian left is taking small steps toward building programmatic platform with those famous 10 points that other left movements in France, England and Germany are proposing in electoral contests across the Old Continent.

Labor, welfare and immigration are on the agenda for a section of Europe in opposition to the Macron-Merkel-Renzi axis, which is celebrating itself for having blocked the populist danger.

The demand for a left that can reclaim its voice, its role and representation in the Italian political landscape abounds in the wake of the vote that leaders, male and female, young or old, received on the European stage. There is a demand for an alternative perspective, capable of building a movement that asks citizens to participate directly in its formation. Not just with a like or with the rites of cooptation.

In Italy, the family of the left — Labor, libertarian and ecologist initiatives — look like an archipelago that survived the volcanic eruption of their electorate, with the widespread support of the 5 Star Movement, of Renzism, with the splitting off of a part of the Democratic Party, with the diaspora of Sel-Italian Left. If the threshold for the future electoral law will be 5 percent, the left faces a big hurdle that must be transformed into a goal.

To escape that trap and navigate offshore toward the vast demanding electorate, it cannot arrive unarmed at the perennial duel between Renzi and Grillo. This government that first cancels a referendum by decree-scam and then resurrects vouchers for companies, proves once more its neo-centrist nature.

And the Democratic Party, which is the pivot, goes seeking agreements and approval elsewhere, away from a labor world that has abandoned insecurity, becoming the bearer and bulwark of a tax policy that steps over to the left of Brussels, on the main residence tax.

Every day, a thousand disputes besiege Calenda’s Ministry of Economic Development; layoffs are back in style without just cause; public universities tighten their attendance caps because they don’t have enough teachers and classrooms in a country where 40 percent of young people are unemployed.

Economically, socially and culturally, the Italian desert is deep and certainly it won’t be reclaimed by a left that feels the effort to overcome a 5 percent threshold. Certainly, the intrinsic majority nature of the understanding which is developing for the smaller forces, foreshadows an uphill road. (Even overcoming the electoral threshold, it is likely the left will have a grandstand parliamentary representation and the claims for useful votes in the colleges will be strong).

Grillo, Renzi and Berlusconi seem inclined toward early elections. The three sides are working to lay the foundations of future majorities. With a Nazareno in style, who is in 5 Star mode with variable majorities. While a budget law is dancing in the heavens of purgatory because it is not clear which government will sign it.

A left coalition list is measured today with the ability, the will to interpret the social struggles with a strong part of the union, the CGIL, in tune with a Pope who speaks clearly to everybody about the economy and labor.

There is no shortage of cards to finally give representation, identity and future to those millions of people, both Italian and foreigners, who feel alone facing impoverishment, suffering social exclusion, the bombing of a subculture of hate and rancor, as well as a perpetual transformation.

There are good cards in a difficult game, which is rigged with several traps to be avoided. The prevalence of old reflexes, conditioned by the abundance of ideological positions, the perniciousness of a certain intellectual laziness, the temptation to add chunks of parliamentary groups, the aphasia in the choice of leadership.

Italy is truly a political laboratory, and it is time for the left to present a serious and credible proposal to the public, not to arrive last, and give it a name and a face.

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