Populism in Action’s Principal Investigator Daniele Albertazzi provided expert insight and analysis for the Politico EU article “Italy’s 5Stars wage war on themselves” (08/10/2020).
This news feature piece by Rome based correspondent Hannah Roberts interviews activists in the Five Star Movement to get a sense of the ongoing controversy within the party over how Davide Casaleggio, the son of Five Stars’ co-founder Gianroberto Casaleggio, is making use of the position and power he has inherited within the movement following the death of his father.
As the person who ultimately controls the party’s online decision making platform “Rousseau”, Casaleggio has extraordinary personal power, including over electoral candidate lists and internal votes, the rebels say. He also holds members’ personal data, including on how they have voted. Controversy as to how he is using this power has led a number of MPs and other elected representatives to quit the party, and prompted protests by activists and supporters at all levels of the organisation.
Commenting on the ongoing controversy in the movement Daniele Albertazzi reflects that this is a:
Defining movement [for the Five Star Movement]. A party cannot be managed by a private company. When they were setting up and growing it was easy to rely on a private company and the only way to achieve what they did in such a short time.
Now support is shrinking, they need to make some decisions about where they are going and who is going to take them there.