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More views on Italian referendum result [Jacobin]

December 6, 2016

Current media framing of yesterday’s Italian and Austrian election results often presents a somewhat oversimplified breakdown: That the choice is between pro-EU liberal-democracy and anti-EU intolerant right-populism or nationalism. If that were true, it would be an easy choice. But yesterday’s two significant votes have some important nuances that defy that breakdown.

In the case of Austria, the centrist parties were completely eliminated in the first round, and the runoff had voters choose between a green and a nationalist. So right away, we can put away the narrative that There Is No Alternative to the centrist (really, economic-liberal) status quo, in terms of the general approach to government.

In the case of Italy, I am linking 2 articles for discussion from from a more or less leftist perspective.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/12/italy-constitution-referendum-reform-renzi-democratic-party-m5s/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/12/renzi-italy-constitution-referendum/

What I am hoping to get at, ultimately, is that there are multiple “alternatives”. A very important distinction to make is between nationalism in the reactionary sense, and the concept of sovereignty with the goal of upholding old-style social democracy (before the nominally social-democrat parties adopted the economic-liberal line).

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