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Where is the No side’s credibility on referendum?

Where is the No side’s credibility on referendum?

06frontedelnoWhere is the No side’s credibility on referendum?

by The Honourable Joe Volpe, Publisher

TORONTO – Citizenship, the formally recognized membership card to a “national” organization – a country – is worth something only when it is respected or it is exercised, as in a ballot box.

The NO side in the current run-up to the Referendum on the Constitution has taken to seeing Italians living abroad as the mortal enemy to their interests. It is a strange and very short-term logic that sees the Diaspora as an enemy today but an indispensable ally tomorrow, in the country’s “made in Italy” international commercial branding.

I digress, but this diseased “thinking” is regrettably the stuff on which contemporary Italy’s visionaries prefer to “hang their hat”. The question from our perspective has been really simple: if the “rot” in the political infrastructure is due the outdated system currently in place, does it make sense to keep it as it is, or is it preferable to change?

One does not need a university degree to answer the question, but since we are on the topic, perhaps one of Italy’s downfalls is the dearth of resources placed in academic infrastructure or scientific research. As in Agriculture, you can only expect to reap what you sow.

Those who hold that we who live abroad might not have the academic/intellectual capacity to understand complexities of governance and the values of efficiency might want to reflect for a moment on the bases of their own credibility.

According to QS Top Universities world wide rankings, only ONE Italian university made it to the top 200, Politecnico di Milano, at number 183. The same organization listed no less than EIGHT Canadian Universities among the best 200 – six of them ahead of the Politecnico, four of them in the top 100 and three in the top 50.

Another such University rankings organization, Times Higher Education, similarly placed EIGHT Canadian universities among the top 200 – three among the top 50 and another three which placed higher than one of only TWO Italian universities who deserved mention, at numbers 137 and 190. The results were audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers an International auditing firm.

Speaking of audits, one of the more vocal critics now leading the accusatory chorus alleging electoral fraud and other proclivities for malfeasance on the part of his confreres in the Diaspora is none other than an editorialist for il Fatto Quotidiano. He had been convicted of fraud and abuse of power, in 2015. He served a four month sentence as a guest in a state prison.

It is where Alessandro Pace, a Constitutionalist magistrate, and head of the NO contingent threatens to send all Italians who voted from abroad, if the NO side loses. He will challenge the result in Court if the NO loses. That is more important to him than the message the 450,000 Italians who emigrated from Italy in the last 5 years are delivering by their exodus: the system he so religiously defends has failed them.

One is tempted to ask from which university he and the above editor or their team earned their degrees. Premier Renzi said it well: you do not need a Degree to see the obvious.

Some of us who have lived our lifetime in a federated state where change is a fact of life, and where democratic processes exist to steer that change, have difficulty fully grasping the vehemence and spite with which the NO position is now being advanced.

A case in point is the confounding position of one Massimo D’Alema who sent out a missive to the Diaspora urging them to vote NO because the reform is neither perfect nor Utopian. Oh, and for good measure, he added that he was done with Italian politics. He would return to his future in Bruxelles, no matter the outcome of the vote.

But Europe may be as good as dead if the Yes side is defeated. What then?

(Wednesday 23 November 2016)

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