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Big-government takes another hit: Brexit factor strikes Italy

More news that the little people are fed up. A big 70% of Italy’s voters turned out to turn down the referendum. The Italian PM will resign. Like Brexit and Trump, the opinion polls got it wrong underestimated the size of the “No” vote, predicting the No win with a 6% gap, which ended up being a 19% for Italians in Italy. (Italians living overseas voted very differently — 65%  for Yes). The proposal was to reduce the power of the Senate and of the regional governments. The Euro has dipped.

The global anti-establishment backlash has claimed another scalp in a result that will send shockwaves through financial markets and European capitals today.

Opposition was spearheaded by Beppe Grillo, a comedian and Eurosceptic founder of the populist Five Star Movement. He accused Mr Renzi of trying to wreck Italy’s system of checks and balances to push through laws favouring big business.

Renzi was elected as an anti-establishment man, but clearly wasn’t that at all:

Renzi, 41, took office in 2014 promising to shake up hidebound Italy and presenting himself as an anti-establishment “demolition man” determined to crash through a smothering bureaucracy and redraw the nation’s creaking institutions.

The referendum, designed to hasten the legislative process by reducing the powers of the upper house Senate and regional authorities, was to have been his crowning achievement.

Chris Kenny calls the current political climate correctly when he points out that Brexit and Trump show that Tony Abbott would have won here in Australia if he had been PM running against Shorten in July.

Donald Trump’s election triumph buttresses the argument that Tony Abbott’s overthrow was unnecessary — that he would have won this year’s election. It gives weight to the claim his poor midterm polling was meaningless and that his known strengths were electorally compelling.

Those of us who have long made this case believed that, for all his faults, Abbott’s strong positions on border protection, national security, climate caution, union corruption and budget discipline would contrast sharply with Labor. The political/media class, however, declared Abbott an embarrassment and barracked for a coup.

“Populist” is what we call it when the people vote the wrong way:

After the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the No vote is likely to be interpreted as another victory for populist forces and a potential stepping stone to government for Grillo’s Five Star.

But the campaign was not just about popular discontent with the state of Italy. Many Italians of a similar political bent to Renzi had deep reservations about the proposed changes to the constitution.

Though the election yesterday in Austria went the other way with the Greens leader clearly beating the right-wing Freedom party leader who had nearly won the election in May. The President of Austria is a largely ceremonial role.

h/t ROM


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