On March 5, we will very likely find that Italian voters have delivered the country over to populism. This term is vague and should be used with great care. We could say that the “populists” are those who are at odds with the principles of democratic government: checks and balances, human rights, and the respect for minorities.
In Italy, populisms are plentiful, and if we look carefully, there are at least three types: the crypto-fascist and racist populism of the Lega Nord and FDI, the digital-esoteric populism of the 5 Star Movement, and the TV-business mogul populism of Silvio Berlusconi.
Some would like to forget the last one, but for the past quarter century Berlusconi has always had his own chapter in the ever-increasing international literature on populism.