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De Masi: ‘We have to vote for the lesser evil’

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Interview. Italian sociologist Domenico De Masi says voting for minor parties is the same as voting for the Lega.

written by Daniela Preziosi

Topic Italy

Also filed under interview

June 1, 2019

We spoke with Domenico De Masi, the Sapienza sociologist, about his previous support for the Five Stars and the future of the movement. He predicts that within the next eight years the Lega will have total power in Rome.

Professor Domenico De Masi, before the elections you signed a public appeal to vote for the La Sinistra list, after previously supporting the M5S. The list failed. Do you have any regrets?

I am a sociologist working on labor issues, so I’m glad that the “dignity decree” and the citizen’s income have been passed. Now, I hope the minimum wage will also be approved. And I have collaborated on a draft law for the reduction of working hours, a topic I care about deeply, and which is the most important measure to fight unemployment. I knew that many who were disappointed by the Five Stars would not have voted for the PD. So my appeal was, above all, one against casting a null vote.

Are blank ballots the real problem?

I am an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro, and I recently travelled there to meet with Lula in prison. There, in Brazil, the 27 million who did not vote or cast a null vote, mostly of the left, made Bolsonaro win and plunge the country into a dictatorship. All for reasons of “purity,” so they wouldn’t vote for the PT.

Is the focus on “purity” on the left also an Italian problem?

I’ll give you an example: in 2008 in Rome, many on the left didn’t........

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