Europeans, we “dance” the proportional dance. In Calabria, internal struggle within the centre-right and unknown abstentionism


By John

On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June we will vote for the renewal of the European Parliament. An electoral event, that of the European elections, little noticed by ordinary people, by that average Italian who sees Europe as very distant, who does not perceive the importance of the European vote. Partly due to an overly provincial vision of political, social and economic life still too anchored to internal dynamics, partly because our local politics does little or nothing to interact with citizens and voters on issues related to the June vote.

The risk of abstentionism is very high. But if the electoral appointment does not arouse enthusiasm for Italians, for the parties, however, it is a very important test. At a national level it is the first real important test for the government after the political elections of September 2022 which crowned Giorgia Meloni. But also at a regional level, and in this case our focus is on Calabria, it is a very important appointment, a sort of “coupon” also for the center-right government led by Roberto Occhiuto. Although two very different electoral competitions such as the European and regional ones cannot be compared, it is however a fundamental event for many sides in the field. Parties that are in government in the region and that are in opposition have the opportunity to strengthen in one case and recover in the other. Our attention is directed around two very interesting variables at play: abstentionism and the electoral competition entirely within the Calabrian centre-right. In fact, voting is done with a pure proportional system, with a national threshold of 4%.

The internal struggle in the center-right

With a proportional system, alliances disappear. And then there will be room for the internal struggle between parties and in Calabria, it will probably be a fight to the last vote between Forza Italia, Fratelli d'Italia and Lega. The Azzurri have nominated the vice president of the regional council Giusi Princi. In recent months there had been talk of a possible candidacy of the Agriculture councilor Gianluca Gallo, king of preferences in the last regional elections with over 21 thousand votes. But in the end Gallo kept the bar straight and decided to stay put in his place. Governor Occhiuto knows he is playing an important game both in the context of regional politics and because as deputy secretary of the party he wants to demonstrate that Calabria can be one of the first, if not the first, regions in terms of consensus for Forza Italia. However, compared to 2021, Occhiuto has lost two important regional councilors: Giuseppe Mattiani (in the province of Reggio Calabria) e Katya Dear (in the province of Cosenza) both passed with the League. Supporting Occhiuto in this European election round will be Gallo, Caputo and Straface (candidate for mayor in Corigliano Rossano), in the province of Cosenza. And then the various Comito and Talerico (returned to Forza Italia after being in the Misto group) in the central area of ​​Calabria (Catanzaro-Crotone-Vibo). In the province of Reggio here are the various Cirillo, Crinò and Giannetta (in addition obviously to the consensus linked to the deputy and regional coordinator of the party Francesco Cannizzaro). The one who doesn't want to watch is the League. The candidacy of the president of the regional council, Filippo Mancuso, is creating quite a few problems for Occhiuto, especially in the Catanzaro area and its province. Salvini's party, with the candidacy of the deputy Simona Loizzo, is ready to play its cards and the arrivals of Mattiani and Gentile could give a great hand in the Piana di Gioia Tauro area and in the Cosentino area. Then there is Fratelli d'Italia: the strongest party in Italy at the moment (according to current polls and the numbers from the latest political elections) is betting everything on the driving force due to the candidacy of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. In Calabria the regional councilor is also a candidate Luciana De Francescoand, above all, the outgoing MEP Denis Nesci who is aiming for re-election in Strasbourg. This is why the internal game within the centre-right is all to be played with the three parties ready to give each other a hard time. Below, here is a summary of the forces at play with respect to the last European elections of 2019 (the comparison must take into account the fact that five years have passed, a very long time span in politics), the regional elections of 2021 and the political elections of 2022.

European elections 2019

Salvini Premier League: 22.61% (164,915 votes)
Forza Italia: 13.32% (97,135 votes)
Brothers of Italy: 10.26% (74,835 votes)

Regional elections 2021

Forza Italia: 17.31% (131,882 votes)
Brothers of Italy: 8.70% (66,277 votes)
Lega Salvini Calabria: 8.33% (63,459 votes)

2022 political elections (House)

Brothers of Italy: 18.98% (136,746 votes)
Forza Italia: 15.64% (112,643 votes)
League for Salvini Premier: 5.72% (41,195 votes)

The abstentionism variable

Among the aspects that will need to be considered the most is that linked to abstentionism. Electoral competitions see citizens' electoral participation increasingly diminished and the data is increasingly alarming. Here is the data relating to electoral participation in the three most recent elections (European 2019, regional 2021 and political 2022).

European elections 2019

In the European elections of 26 May 2019, there were 1,771,206 voters in Calabria. The Calabrians who went to vote were just 779,192, equal to 43.99%.

Regional elections 2021

In the regional elections of 3 October 2021, there were 1,890,732 voters in Calabria. The Calabrians who went to vote were 838,691, equal to 44.36%.

2022 political elections (House)

In the political elections of 25 September 2022, there were 1,496,834 voters in Calabria. The Calabrians who went to vote were 760,354, equal to 50.80%.