Douglas Carswell

23 DEC 2012

Anti-politics in Italy

Last week, Italy's Corriere della Serra ran a feature on my new book, The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy. I've been taken aback with the response.

Amongst those getting in touch was something called Movimento 5 Stelle - or the Five Star Movement.

What is Five Star? I'm not sure, to be honest. 

Spear headed by popular blogger Beppe Grillo, Five Star seems to be part online popular protest movement and part experiment in direct democracy. Perhaps it is what would happen if Guido Fawkes were to start running candidates?

Like Germany's Pirate Party, Five Star might turn out to be another flash-in-the-pan manifestation of popular disenchantment with old school deferential democracy. Having selected via online primaries a hundred or so parliamentary candidates for Italy's pending elections, Five Star may get nowhere. It will be intriguing to see how their candidates perform.

Yet here is a thought; why do we have political parties?

First and foremost, to aggregate votes and opinion.

But what if the internet allows us to aggregate votes and opinions without the need for conventional political parties? 

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The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy

"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

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