Many of the countries of continental Europe suffer from a disgraceful 20th century political history and a default political position which is authoritarian: either communist collectivist or fascist corporatist. In this they are unlike the United Kingdom, whose default political position is representative parliamentary democracy expounding conservative, liberal, or social democratic views through its political parties; the installation of a dictatorship in the UK is neither likely nor facilitated by its mind set, constitutional form or institutions.
Italy provides a specific case of this broad-brush assessment. Italy's governance was dominated overtly by fascist corporatism between 1922 and 1943, and it has been branded ever since by a self-righteous and self-justifying communist collectivism from 1943 to the present day. Anti-communism has been made up of externally applied encouragement, a subterranean fascism under various other names, and governmental co-operation with organised criminality that derives from even before the 20th century and which, as a cultural rather than political phenomenon, is ineradicable. The collectivism wing of authoritarianism has flourished too with the considerable regional independence enjoyed within the Peninsula's weak central state and, in the second half of the 20th and in this century, with total commitment to a 'progressivist' European Union.
As a topping to this authoritarian mish-mash there is false history and consciousness actively reinforced by laws, schooling, media, and acceptable expression of opinion that fascist corporatism is 'bad' and communist collectivism is 'good' (though kept from national power by shadowy 'right-wing' forces). That both are disreputable and murderous destroyers of life chances and living standards and on a par with one another is a stance unacceptable to both. When the last elections returned as the largest parliamentary group a direct democracy, participatory movement, the rampage through the institutions and through the Italian Constitution by the collectivist, corporatist and criminal factions was visceral and immediate. Led by the outgoing head of state, a noted, historical collectivist-authoritarian, power was guided into the hands of a progressivist, European Union-acceptable leader.
Unfortunately today's reality (so often referred to by Rajoy of Spain) requires that Italy's economic depression be alleviated immediately. Not next year, not in the medium term, not with the expansion of employment 'opportunities' for the 'young', not by a continued credit denial to the SME, backbone of Italian industry, not by declarations from the European Central Bank about whatever it takes to defend the destructive disciplines of internal devaluation. And the default governance option in Italy as a continental European state is not voting Conservative instead of Liberal or Labour. The default option is Popular, its demise regretted by many more than are permitted by political correctness-speak to say so, demonstrably effective in instigating economic growth and, more worryingly, in arousing loyalty; its voters and its leaders are already in situ, as are its policies and its targets. The default option is fascism.
At the recent local elections half of those eligible to vote did not. This is not a stable-state in Italian political behaviour (and the assumption by the collectivist authoritarians that they have recouped their voters lost at the last general elections, and that the 50% absentee count is made up entirely of others, is as dishonest as it is silly. We didn't vote because the Five Stars didn't meet - or more accurately was prevented from meeting - our policy requirements and political demands. We had already deserted a communist-led Democratic party. ) The collapse of the PD vote was confirmed, not reversed.
Those missing actors in the democratic process have had their democratic faith savagely destroyed as the democratic process itself has been destroyed. There will now be a short intermission (to borrow a phrase) but the profound political instability in Italy, coupled with wilfully induced economic depression threatens the EU and Eurozone elites more now than before our election of a direct democracy movement instigated a collectivist coup.