ITALY ELECTION: The Populists Decimate The Political Establishment

Read TIME’s recent piece “How Anti-Vaxxers Could Help Decide Italy’s Election” and the editor’s August 2017 article in The Epoch Times entitled “Italy’s New Mandatory Vaccine Law Will Fuel a Populist Backlash.” 

A populist-led coalition and a populist political party have collectively amassed 70% of the vote in Italy’s Sunday election. The populist Northern League (Lega Nord) now leads a coalition of right-wing parties which in turn now have the highest share of seats in the country’s parliament. The populist 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle/M5S) now controls more seats than any other party. Last year, both Lega Nord and M5S unanimously opposed a new law mandating 12 vaccinations for Italian schoolchildren but did not have enough seats to defeat it.

Now they do.

In contrast, the once-dominant Partito Democratico that overwhelmingly passed the new law failed to even gain a fifth of the vote. Its leader Matteo Renzi has just resigned in humiliation. He previously resigned as prime minister in 2016 over a failed constitutional referendum. Now in 2018, populist leaders Matteo Salvini of Lega Nord and Luigi Di Maio of M5S are vying to run Italy.

Regardless of who the next prime minister will be, opponents of the mandatory vaccination law (nicknamed the “Lorenzin Law” after Italy’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin) now dominate the government. The prime minister must have the confidence of a majority of parliament. Yesterday’s election outcome just astronomically raised the likelihood that the Lorenzin Law will soon be discarded to the ash heap of history.

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