Commentary. The Democratic Party was the clear loser in Sunday’s referendum. Among the winners, the 5 Star Movement and the left may have gained the most.

No wins and the left raises the flag of victory

According to Berlusconi, now Renzi should be ready for “l’Isola dei famosi,” the Italian version of “Survivor.” The prime minister has lost touch with the real world, and now he’s best suited for the realm of reality TV.

This is what Italy said with its rejection of Renzi’s reform, a political earthquake whose consequences extend far beyond Italy’s borders. After the splendid Austrian vote, it is a strong signal for all Europe; Vienna and Rome are sending a message of confidence in the institutions and parliamentary constitutions.

The total and overwhelming No victory is the result of a great popular participation, a turnout that goes beyond the boundary of the referendum to take on the characteristics of a political election. Sunday’s turnout, almost 70 percent, is close to the participation at the 2013 elections (when 75 percent of the electorate attended the polls), and indicated the strength of the opposition not only to the reform, but also to the government and the leadership that guides it. Renzi took note last night and announced his resignation.

We will have time and opportunity to thoroughly analyze the geography of this vote, but in the meantime it is clear that it topples not only the prime minister’s office but also his Democratic Party, which will have to find a way to manage the defeat. The right and Berlusconi, who have never been champions of the constitution, seized the political outcome they needed to remain afloat. We will have to wait and see if it will be enough to bring them together.

The outcome for the 5 Star Movement is more direct. It took advantage of the referendum to mobilizing in the streets and on social networks its most representative figures, from Grillo to young mayors and MPs, who have paraded in front of the cameras.

And, among all the winners, the left takes home the banner of moral victory. It is an important flag because the left, in a common campaign with all its associations, from the PNA to the CGIL, defended the constitution without ifs or buts.

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