, 18 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1/ There's hype among Italian left due to election of @nzingaretti as leader of Partito Democratico. Took a year for party to elect leader (unforgivable mistake) but Z. is a competent administrator & has a solid background as left winger. Hype understandable.

2/ Looking beyond honeymoon: some reasons for optimism & for caution (for those wishing PD to succeed).

Caution: PD faces similar challenges of all centre-left parties, i.e. deciding whether to attract "Losers of Globalisation", Guardian-reading urbanites, or both, & how...
3/... understanding changing nature of work & political communication, acting on new & old forms of poverty/exploitation, adapting to individualisation & breaking down of communities, dealing with migration, defending some key principles of liberal democracy & more
4/ While Z. may well set on a unambiguous left wing course, there's no reason to think party factionalism will come to end once honeymoon is over. Centrists within party will pull cover towards their side of the bed at the first sign of weakness.
5/ Factionalism original sin for an organisation that tried to bring together very different political cultures with the only objective of defeating a certain Silvio @berlusconi, & without providing a credible synthesis between their ideologies.
6/ Partito Democratico never became more than the sum of its parts.

Problem won’t disappear now. Centrists "will be back", just as "true leftists" would - had a centrist won these primaries.
7/ Salvini will now depict Z. as friend of illegal migrants. Worst thing Z. could do (but signs are that he won’t) is to let his opponents always set agenda & just desperately deal with their initiatives & tweets.
8/ Reasons for optimism - if you are on PD's side:

if it absolutely had to be another man, then Z. has good hand to play.
9/ For a start, his opponents are going to face considerable difficulties after EU elections, due to economic crisis (signs unmistakable); M5S shrinking in polls & subnational elections –making govt experience very costly for them. They'll try & fail to exact more out of Salvini
10/ “differentiated autonomy” another prob for govt – as it will be decided at some point whether autonomy comes with more resources for northern regions – hence upsetting M5S’s supporters – or no new money – hence upsetting Lega’s
supporters. You cannot, & will not, have both.
11/ Moreover, Z. is willing to speak to those who have left PD to vote M5S in 2018. In my view, he's right. PD reps sneering at people attracted by idea of a Citizen’s Income in areas in which there are NO jobs...
12/ ... (and where if you are young, esp. as a woman, your ONLY chance is
migration) was always a surreal spectacle to watch. If you wanted a sure way to be framed a s ‘friend of the bankers’, that was it.
13/ Recovering M5S voters is realistic strategy – volatility
sky high in the country, they have gone & they may come back.
14/ Dedicating his victory to #strike4climate marchers was a good first stept, a sign Z. may want to focus on what really matters (survival of planet anyone?) & try to control the agenda – rather than letting others always be in charge of it.
15/ It is also sign Z. may be willing to focus on new generations (PD needs to give hope to young people in a country of & for old men). But new generations have been crushed for decades by both left and right.
16/ Promising action on climate change obviously wouldn't be enough. Let's see the party's plans for these generations.
17/ Finally, if Z. is tempted to facilitate fresh elections in the short term (which he may feel compelled to do if govt falls), party will be badly bruised again. But
if he is in it for the long term, moment is definitely right for PD, despite challenges being profound.
18/ It's probably "make or break" time for the PD right now. But at least it has a few good cards to play. /END/
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