The same phenomenon seems to occur, nowadays, in all the democratic countries of post- industrial world.
In Italy, in France, in Germany, and now in the USA, tens and hundreds of millions people vote, and the difference must be weighed with a precision balance, for few hundreds votes.
But we are not in front of significance of governing by alternating political parties, so in fashion since the end of past century.
The phenomenon is really surprising: think how many probability coud have who intentionally would get such a result, even only in one country (in two or four countries it is simply incredible). And yet it happens. Quite from USA, the country indicated as the most valid model of the bipolar democracy, longer than a month, was broadcasted the comic show of counting and recounting the votes of the presidential election. But the farce changes into tragedy, for who has seen his savings burned by Stock Exchange in free fall, as one of the consequences of this performance.
Our culture is not used to seriously consider numbers, as we already had observed in other occasions. All the supporters of the return to "a natural world", and the nostalgic people of the good old days, when the mills were white, for instance, see any problems in a moralistic and absolutely adimensional way. They don't take care of the question that six billion people mean a very different weight, for the planet, than the one billion of about half century ago.
The ones that, instead, consider numbers, and is use to analyze a problem in all its dimensions, must think absolutely incredible (and here the hyperbole is deliberate and obliged) the results come out from the polls over the last few years, independently from number of voters, in different countries for culture and democratic traditions. European countries, Latin-Catholic societies, Protestant ones. Only common trait: they are post-industrial globalizing economy societies, what we called electronic society, in wich the old social classes are totally vanishing.
I think this trait to be a decisive factor, and that the only proposable logic explanation is that the principle of communicating vases applies to social phenomenology too, and not only to the physical one.
But what does it mean, in actual fact? At least the following:
a) All the political parties in action are extremely late in analyzing the social and economic-structural situation. They didn’t yet metabolize the passage from the industrial age to the electronic age, neither the vanishing of social blocs that held the right-left dialectic, in the old industrial society.
b) The above condition leaves political ranks devoid of propulsive ideas and ideologies.
c) The voters reacts with what has been called "detachment from politics", because they don't see their real problems represented, solved neither discussed, in Parliament.
d) The above conditions make people to vote against somebody, rather than in favour, bearing (impotent and angry) the insipience of all the available politicians.
Generally, a condition of dull ideological calm (or flat electroencephalogram, if you prefer), is going to happen, in the society. There aren't differences between programs of nominally opposing parties, there isn't real dialectic (i.e. dialoguing separation) between positions. That is like to say that the vases of politics are fully open and communicating and the liquid - i.e. the sap of votes, vital for democracy -- becomes steady, quite in parity.
So here they are the petty politicians bustling about to change electoral laws, in order to give a stable majority to the winner, even for one only vote. That is like to say that, to cure a flu, first of all you have to apply a cream to eliminate the redness of the nose.
If a real strong and innovative ideology of development, settling scores with real problems felt by people, will come in action, it will be as a powerful floodlight suddenly lighted. All the alchemists of proportional and majority systems, the bipolar and centrist gurus, the trade unionists and the sharp businessmen past to politics, the politicians past to Camorra and all the promoters of the old industrialist ideologies clearly will appear, ruthlessly enlightened, in their insipience and meanness.
We are cooking such new ideology: the astronautic new-humanism: come and help us!
[AA – TDF 1/2001 – 16/01/2001]