Five Star Movement

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Five Star Movement
MoVimento Cinque Stelle
President Beppe Grillo
Deputy President Enrico Grillo[1]
Secretary Enrico Maria Nadasi
Directorate[2] Alessandro Di Battista
Luigi Di Maio
Roberto Fico
Carla Ruocco
Carlo Sibilia
Slogan One is worth one
Founded 4 October 2009
Headquarters Via Roccatagliata Ceccardi 1/14, Genoa
Newspaper beppegrillo.it
Membership  (2014) 87,656[3]
Ideology Populism[4]
E-democracy[5]
Environmentalism[6][7]
Euroscepticism[8][9]
Anti-establishment[10]
Degrowth[11][12]
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament group Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Colours Yellow, Red and Black
Chamber of Deputies
91 / 630
Senate
36 / 315
European Parliament
17 / 73
Website
www.movimentocinquestelle.it
Politics of Italy
Political parties
Elections

The Five Star Movement (Italian: MoVimento Cinque Stelle [moviˈmento ˈtʃiŋkwe ˈstele], M5S) is a political party in Italy started by Beppe Grillo, a popular activist, comedian and blogger, and Gianroberto Casaleggio, a web strategist, as Movement of National Liberation on 4 October 2009, day of St. Francis of Assisi.[13]

The M5S is considered populist,[14][15] anti-establishment,[16] anti-corruption,[17] environmentalist, and Eurosceptic.[18] Grillo himself provocatively once referred to his movement as "populist" during a meeting held in Rome with M5S senators.[19] The party also advocates direct democracy,[20] free access to the Internet,[21] the principle of "zero-cost politics",[22] degrowth,[23] and nonviolence.[24] The "five stars" are a reference to five key issues: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, free Internet access, and environmentalism. On foreign policy, Grillo and several party members strongly condemn all recent western military interventions (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria) and Italian policies.[25][26][27][28] Its members stress that the M5S is not a party but a "movement" and it may not be included in the traditional left-right paradigm.

At the 2013 general election the M5S won the second most popular votes for the Chamber of Deputies (taking in account also the votes from abroad),[29] but obtained just 109 deputies out of 630 due to an electoral system which favoured parties running in coalition.[30] In the European Parliament the M5S is part of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group.

History[edit]

Meetups[edit]

On July 16, 2005 Beppe Grillo offered supporters of the proposals submitted to his blog to adopt social networks, such as Meetup, to communicate and coordinate local meetings. Coordination of activists through meetups had already been adopted in 2003 by Howard Dean during the campaign for the primaries of the Democratic Party of the United States.[31] This is how the first 40 "Friends of Beppe Grillo" meetups started, with the initial aim, according to the same Grillo, to "have fun, get together and share ideas and proposals for a better world, starting from one's own city. And discuss and develop, if you believe, my posts".[32] Within the meetup one creates thematic working groups on topics including "Technology and Innovation", "Press-communication", "Ethical consumerism", "Currency study", "No incinerators".[33][34] It is from these experiences that Grillo was asked to stand for the primaries for the selection of the Prime Ministerial candidate of the centre-left coalition The Union, that were scheduled for October 2005.[35]

On three occasions -17 December in Turin, 26 March in Piacenza and 16 to 18 June in Sorrento- the representatives of the "Friends of Beppe Grillo" meetup held national meetings in the presence of Grillo. In these circumstances, proposals mostly regarding environmental issues were discussed, such as the replacement of polluting incinerators with systems applying mechanical-biological waste treatment.[36]

During the fourth national meeting held in Genoa on February 3, 2007, Beppe Grillo announced his desire to provide local Meetup activists an autonomous space within the shows of his tour.

On July 14, 2007, the representatives of some civic lists participating in local elections the previous spring met in Parma to establish a national coordination between "associations, movements, organizations and civic lists practicing, promoting and experimenting direct and participatory democracy", and share a document of intent that, amongst its main objectives, included the establishment of proposal and repeal referendums, the direct election of the Ombudsman, the institution of participatory budgeting, a "bound" mandate for public administrators and open primaries.

V-Days[edit]

V-Day in Bologna, in 2007.

On 14 June 2007 Beppe Grillo launched the idea of Vaffanculo Day (Fuck-off Day), or simply V-Day, a day of public mobilisation for the collection of signatures required to submit a law of popular initiative that seeks to introduce preferences in the current electoral law and to prevent the nomination as Parliamentary candidates of recipients of criminal convictions or of those who have already completed two terms in office.[37] The meeting was held in Bologna.

The choice of the name of the event, V-Day, had a threefold reference: the first to the landing operation (D-Day) of the Allies in Normandy during World War II, to symbolise how Italian citizens would "invade" bad policy; the second to the motion picture "V for Vendetta" (whose symbol is also referred to in the logo of the movement) which the movement refers to often with its principles of political renewal; the third to the interjection "Fuck you" given to bad policy.

V-Day, which continued the "Clean Parliament" initiative promoted by Beppe Grillo since 2006, took place in many Italian cities the following 8 September, the date chosen to evoke the state of confusion besetting the state, as at the September 8, 1943 Badoglio Proclamation. On that day 336,000 signatures were collected, far exceeding the 50,000 required for the filing of a law of popular initiative. For the occasion, Michele Serra coined the term "grillismo"[38]

In the wake of the success, exceeding the expectations of the organisers,[citation needed] V2-Day was organised for April 25, 2008, a second day of action aimed at collecting signatures for three referendums. On 29 and 30 September 2007 in Lucca, several members of the meetups and local civic lists, in the initial wake of the discussions started on the net and in the wake of the previous meeting of Perugia, define the policies for the establishment of civic lists. On October 10, 2007 Grillo gives guidance on how to create the civic lists.[39]

Five Star civic lists[edit]

The flag of the Five Star Movement.

On 3 December 2008, Grillo announces the symbol of the Civic Lists at Five Stars for the local elections of 2009. Logo in the "V" of "citizenship" is a reference to V-Day[40] In Bologna, 17 February 2009, a gathering of civic lists discussing the future of the movement and the subsequent elections, in particular, Sonia Alfano consulted with the activist base of the movement about his possible candidacy for the European Parliament as an independent candidate on the Italy of Values list.

On 8 March 2009, the first national meeting of the Five Star Civic Lists was held in Florence. Here Beppe Grillo had the Charter of Florence, bone joint 12-point program of the various local civic lists in the afternoon, about twenty local groups present their ideas and experiences. In April Grillo announced a letter of Nobel Prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz in which he declares to look carefully at the experience of local civic lists promoted through the blog[41]

On 29 March 2009, Grillo announced that in the upcoming European elections he would support Luigi de Magistris and Sonia Alfano, figures close to the movement as independent candidates in the lists of Italy of Values, together with the journalist Carlo Vulpio, also close to the movement[42] On 11 June and De Magistris is Alfano, candidates in all five constituencies are elected to the European Parliament, resulting in the first and second preferences 419 000 143 000. In the same election, as stated by Beppe Grillo, 23 councilors are elected Civic Lists of Five Star, especially in the municipalities of Emilia-Romagna in central Italy[43]

On 9 September 2009, it was announced the launch of the "National Movement Five Star" inspired by the ideologies of the Charter of Florence[44]

Along with Gianroberto Casaleggio to the Emerald Theatre in Milan, 4 October 2009 Beppe Grillo declared the birth of Five Star Movement and ran a programme.[45]

2010–2012 regional and local elections[edit]

During the 2010 regional elections the M5S obtained notable results in the five regions where it ran a candidate for President: Giovanni Favia gained 7.0% of the vote in Emilia-Romagna (6.0% for the list, 2 regional councillors elected), Davide Bono 4.1% in Piedmont (3.7%, 2 councillors), David Borrelli 3.2% in Veneto (2.6%, no councillors), Vito Crimi 3.0% in Lombardy (2.3%, no councillors) and Roberto Fico 1.3% in Campania (1.3%, no councillors).[46]

At the local elections on 15 and 16 May 2011, the Movement occurs in 75 of the 1,177 municipalities in the vote,[47] including 18 of the 23 provincial capitals called to vote. In the first round the Movement enters its representatives in 28 municipalities (for a total of 34 elected councilors) and often resulting in some important decisive ballots[48] The best results are in the cities and towns of the center-north, especially in Emilia-Romagna (where the list gets between 9 and 12% in Bologna, Rimini and Ravenna) and Piedmont, while in the south rarely exceeds 2% of the vote.

Regional elections in Molise on 16 and 17 October 2011 had its own candidate for the presidency and its own list, the list received 2.27% of the votes and the presidential candidate the 5.60% of the vote, but no seats[49]

At the 2012 local elections the M5S did well in several cities of the North, notably in Genoa (14.1%),[50] Verona (9.5%),[51] Parma (19.9%),[52] Monza (10.2%),[53] and Piacenza (10.0%).[54] In the small Venetian town of Sarego, the M5S's candidate was elected mayor with 35.2% of the vote (there is no run-off in towns with less than 15,000 inhabitants).[55] In the run-offs the party won the mayorships of Parma (60.2%),[52] Mira (52.5%),[56] and Comacchio (69.2%).[57]

After the election, the party consistently scored around 15-20% nationally in opinion polls, frequently ahead of The People of Freedom and second just to the Democratic Party (see 2013 general election).

At the Sicilian regional elections of 2012 the M5S filed as candidate Giancarlo Cancelleri. The campaign kicked off with Grillo's arrival in Messina on 10 October swimming from the mainland.[58][59] In the election Cancelleri came third with 18.2% of the vote, while the M5S was the most voted party with 14.9%, obtaining 15 seats out of 90 in the Regional Assembly, in a very fragmented political landscape.[60] The election was however characterized by a low participation as only 47.4% of eligible voters effectively turned out to vote.[61]

2013 general election[edit]

Further information: Italian general election, 2013

On 29 October 2012, Grillo announced the guidelines for standing as party candidates in the 2013 general election.[62][63] For the first time in Italy, the candidates were chosen by party members through an online primary between 3 and 6 December.[64]

On 12 December 2012, Grillo expelled two leading members from the party: Giovanni Favia, regional councillor of Emilia-Romagna, and Federica Salsi, municipal councillor in Bologna, due to infringing the rules of the political party. The former had talked about the lack of democracy within the party, while the latter had taken part in a political talk show on Italian television, something that was discouraged and later forbidden by Grillo.[65]

On 22 February 2013, a large crowd of 800,000 people attended the final rally of Beppe Grillo before the 2013 general election, in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome.[66] On 24 and 25 February 2013, M5S contested all Italian constituencies: Beppe Grillo was listed as head of the coalition, although he was not an electoral candidate.

The vote for M5S in the Chamber of Deputies reached 25.55% of the vote in Italy and 9.67% for overseas voters, for a total of 8,784,499 votes, making it the second most voted list after the Democratic Party (which acquired 25.42% of the votes in Italy and 29.9% abroad, or 8,932,615 votes), obtaining 108 deputies. The M5S vote for the Senate was 23.79% in Italy and 10% abroad, for a total of 7,375,412 votes, second only to the PD (which garnered 8,674,893 votes), obtaining 54 Senators. This was a successful election for M5S as the party gained a higher share of the vote than was expected by any of the opinion polls. The M5S won 25.6% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies, more than any other single party. However, both the Italy Common Good centre-left coalition, centred on the Democratic Party, and the centre-right alliance, centred on The People of Freedom, obtained more votes as coalitions.[67][68] The M5S was the largest party in the Abruzzo, Marche, Liguria, Sicily and Sardinia.[49] The party obtained good results also in the regional elections in Lombardy, Lazio and Molise, where candidates obtained the third-largest share of votes, and the party won 9, 7 and 2 councillors, respectively.[citation needed]

On 21 March 2013 Luigi Di Maio was elected Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies with 173 votes. Aged 26, he was the youngest Vice President of the house to date.[69][70][71]

2014 European election[edit]

Contesting its first European election, M5S came in second place nationally in the 2014 European Parliament elections, receiving 21.15% of the vote and returning 17 MEPs.[72]

Beppe Grillo addressed the crowd in Rome, 2014.

In the run-up to the 8th parliamentary term, M5S was lacking a European affiliation and sought a European parliament group. Initial negotiations were held with Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) co-president Nigel Farage and The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA).[73][74] However, on 4 June 2014, The Greens/EFA rejected Grillo's attempts to obtain group membership.[75] On 11 June 2014, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group rejected M5S as a potential affiliate in a statement citing M5S's perceived Euroscepticism and populism.[76] In an online referendum offered to M5S members on 12 June 2014, the choice of European parliament affiliation offered were Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), or to become Non-Inscrits.[77] Party activists voted by 78.1% to join the EFD group.[78] On 18 June 2014, it was announced that the EFD group had enough MEPs to continue into the 8th European Parliament term.[79] On 24 June 2014, M5S MEP David Borrelli was chosen as the group's new co-president and the EFD group name was amended to Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) for the upcoming parliament.[80][81] The EFDD group lost its official group status on 16 October 2014 after the defection of Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule, until Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz joined the group four days later.[82]

Ideology[edit]

In the Five Star Movement converge themes derived from ecological and anti-particracy promoting the direct participation of citizens in the management of public affairs through forms of digital democracy. The Movement wants to be a "democratic encounter outside of party and associative ties and without the mediation of directive or representational organisms, recognising to all users of the Internet the role of government and direction that is normally attributed to a few".[83] From the economic point of view, embraces the theories of degrowth supporting the creation of "green jobs" and the rejection of polluting and expensive "great works", including incinerators, aiming to an overall better quality of life and greater social justice.[84] The Five Star Movement proposes the adoption of large-scale energy projects, elimination of waste, sustainable mobility, protection of territory from overbuilding, teleworking.[85]

Politics returned to citizens as a "temporary service"[edit]

The movement bases its principles on direct democracy as an evolution of representative democracy. The idea is that citizens will no longer delegate their power to parties, considered old and corrupted intermediates between the State and themselves, that serve the interests of lobby groups and financial powers. They will suceed only by creating a collective intelligence made possible by the internet.[83]

The Five Star Movement, in order to go in this direction, chose its Italian and European parliamentary candidates through online voting by registered members of Beppe Grillo's Blog.[86][87] Through an application called "Operating System" reachable on the web,[88] the registered users of M5S discuss, approve or reject legislative proposals (submitted then in the Parliament by M5S group). For example, the M5S electoral law was shaped through a series of online voting,[89] like the name of the M5S candidate President of Republic.[90] The choice to support the abolition of a law against immigrants was taken online by members of the M5S even if the final decision was against the opinion of Grillo and Casaleggio.[91]

One of the most important rules of M5S is that politics is a temporary service: no one who has already been elected for more than two times at any level (local or national) can be a candidate again and has to come back to his or her original job.[83]

Auto reduction of salary and rejection of public electoral refund[edit]

Another feature of the movement is the so-called "zero-cost politics",[22] according to which politics must not become a way to make money and career. For this reason, the movement was founded in the symbolic date of 4 October, the day of St. Francis.[92]

Belonging to the Movement requires the autoreduction of salaries of the citizens elected: in some regions such as Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna[93][94] and Sicily[95] the elect allocate part of the salary for purposes relating to the 'political activity of the group (exposed cover, legal fees, appeals to the Administrative Court and the Council of State, etc.)[94]

Likewise the movement intends to reject campaign contributions, Grillo described the reasons for this choice 27 March 2010. In the regional elections in Sicily in 2012, as well as rejecting more than "1 Million Euro in electoral reimbursements", the sicilian MoVement has also decided to allocate the money saved by the reduction of the salaries of their elected in a fund for micro-credit to help small and medium enterprises, from Grillo always been considered the "backbone of Italy".[96]

In the general elections of 2013 the Five Star Movement claims to have rejected over €42 million of public electoral refund[97] (instead of all the other parties), supporting its expenses for the campaign with crowdfunding[98][99] through the blog. The remaining unspent of the collection, approximately €400,000, was donated to the earthquake victims of Mirandola, for the construction of a gym school.[100] However, many critics have reported that the party did not have the right to have refunds at all, because of lacking of a democratic statute required by law.[101][102][103][104][105]

In this context, the principle of zero-cost politics is formalized also with the political initiative of the so-called "Restitution Day" by parliamentarians belonging to the Movement: the first time about €1.5 million of their wages returned and paid into the Amortization Fund of Italian Public Debt,[106] and then €2.5 million returned every 5 month to a fund for micro-credit, set up on purpose at the Ministry of Treasury, in order to help small and medium enterprises, following the M5S Sicilian experience a year earlier.[107][108]

"Clean lists", elimination of multi-tasks and compliance mandates[edit]

Among the greater political battles of M5S is the ethical commitment, internally consistent since[109] to a greater simplicity and transparency as possible to counter the use to hold two or more positions[110][111][112] which show the intricate conflicts of interest between any organization, subsequently strengthened by public register[113] to avoid centralizations such as nepotistic and clientelistic.[114][115][116][117] In order to be Five Star Movement candidates, citizens must be without any criminal records (for this reason it requires "clean lists").[83]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

The leader of the movement, Grillo, on 15 July 2012, claims to be approving of same-sex marriage.[118] The declaration of Grillo was inspired by the discussion of the National Assembly on the subject.[119] In offering his support to gay marriage, Grillo broke a silence on the subject, which was interpreted by some as opposition, clarifying the full support of the movement to recognize such marriages.[120]

Criticism[edit]

Criticism of the M5S has centered on:

  1. its populist ideology and irrealistic economic proposals;
  2. its lack of internal democracy, due to Grillo's authoritarian rule;
  3. the verbal violence and vulgarity exhibited by Grillo and other party members;
  4. the party's support for conspiracy theories and scientific hoaxes.

Perceived support for conspiracy theories, pseudoscience and hoaxes[edit]

Some of the most prominent MPs from the party gained a reputation as conspiracy theorists, having shown support for several conspiracy theories, pseudosciences, and urban legends.[121] Most famously, there were claims that the 1969 moon landing was fake,[122] that the September 11 attacks were organized by the U.S. government,[123] that Osama Bin Laden wasn't actually killed,[124] that the American government "uses microchip implants to control the population",[125] that gay marriage is "sponsored by the banks to decrease world population"[126]

Grillo himself is known as a supporter of scientific hoaxes.[127] Most famously, he claimed that "AIDS doesn't exist"[128] and that vaccines are "useless" and "dangerous"[129] In July 2013, the M5S announced they were going to submit a proposition of law to make vaccines optional, arguing that "vaccinations may cause genetic mutations, tumours and allergies".[130] All these claims have been ridiculed.[127] [131]

Verbal violence and cases of cyberharassment[edit]

Beppe Grillo, with his extravagant communication style, was the first one to spark controversy and draw criticism. Since the movement's foundation, he has been referring to his opponents (mostly politicians) with colourful nicknames and direct insults, that he repeatedly used on his blog and in his public speeches. Most famously, he called Silvio Berlusconi a "psiconano" (psycho-dwarf), Matteo Renzi an "ebetino" (little idiot), and Pierluigi Bersani a "zombie". He also called president Giorgio Napolitano a "corpse".[132][133]

In August 2014, Grillo said that he'd "rather have" Augusto Pinochet than Napolitano, Renzi, and Berlusconi.[134]

After the 2015 Germanwings tragedy Grillo wrote a long entry on his blog where he compared Renzi to the plane's pilot, saying that "there are many analogies between them" and that "we must stop him before he crashes Italy".[135] The PD reacted by saying that Grillo's words were "horrible" and that they only created "pity and shame".[136] The newspaper Panorama wrote that Grillo "is not funny anymore" and it called him "a jackal".[137]

He also called conservative journalist Giuliano Ferrara "a container of liquid shit".[138] In May 2014, Grillo launched the "Premio Stercorario" (Dung Trophy), an online poll on his blog to elect the journalist who had "distinguished himself" for his "anger towards the Movement". After Ferrara won the poll, Grillo tweeted a picture of a dung beetle with Ferrara's face.[139]

Grillo's general communication style has often been called "vulgar" and "verbally violent",[140][141][142] and it's been criticized by many prominent Italian politicians,[143][144] most notably Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said that Grillo used a language of "desperation, verbal violence, anger".[145]

There also have been several cases of cyberstalking from some M5S supporters. The targets were rival politicians, or former M5S politicians. In each case, hundreds of insults and death threats were posted at the same time on the politicians' Facebook pages, or on M5S-related pages.[146][147][148][149]

The most notorious case happened when Grillo published an entry on his Facebook page, with the question "What would you do if Laura Boldrini was in your car with you?" which generated hundreds of comments, many of which with sexist, violent, or rape-related content. Boldrini received support from both leftist and right-wing politicians.[150][151][152] The comments were deleted after almost 24 hours. The M5S staff wrote that "most comments were written at night when we couldn't check them".[153] However, some journalists argued that Grillo most likely knew his supporters would react that way.[154] The police subsequently launched an investigation.[155]

Another victim of cyberharassment was journalist Corrado Augias. After Augias criticised the M5S in an article titled "The warriors of insult",[156] a local M5S member posted a picture of a book by Augias in flames.[157]

In April 2015, the M5S mayoral candidate in Giugliano (Naples) sparked indignation when he wrote on his Facebook page "I wish the fucking PD electors were on the plane", referring to the Germanwings tragedy.[158]

Lack of internal democracy[edit]

With the 2010 Italian elections, some parties highlighted a contradiction between the voluntary collective action in the struggles of civil society and openness in political representation[159][160][161] Also in 2010, there were tensions between the movement and Italy of Values.[162]

Beppe Grillo (on the right) with Giovanni Favia (on the left), who was expelled from the movement in 2011.

In March 2012 the city councillor in Rimini Valentino Tavolazzi advocated a national meeting on behalf of the movement,[163][164] gathered about 150 participants, praise and harsh criticism even by those few politicians who were present at the convention,[165] with harsh stance in the content of the meeting about the "conditions of Regulation M5S" because it was discovered to be in conflict with the statutes of its Civic Party of origin "Project for Ferrara". The was[vague] officially revoked the use of the logo[166][167] and received the ban from taking any position on behalf of M5S, was perpetuated as a legacy of controversy also internal democracy.[168][169][170]

Since 2007 Grillo criticized the extent of the cost of the policy by entering the Statute of moving an article which provides for the reduction dell'onorario for deputies and senators[171] Based on this policy, the benefits perceived by the member of parliament must not exceed €5,000 gross per month, while any extra will be returned to the State with solidarity allowance (also called end-term). According to the regional director of the Five Star Movement Giovanni Favia, the deduction of €5,000 gross salary of parliamentarians is, however, contrary to the principles of the movement, as it would result in a reduction of only 2,500 euro net. In an interview which was published in several newspapers in November 2012, Favia estimated at €11,000 ero per month the fees prescribed for a member of M5S, even though it does not explain how it got to deduct that amount because it necessarily includes reimbursements and per diem is not flat, employees that is, costs and expenses which vary from member to member.[172]

Following the exclusion of the same Giovanni Favia and Federica Salsi for expressing views about the lack of internal democracy, the party has been expelled from several criticisms and members of the same party[173][174] The expulsions were made unilaterally by the owner of Beppe Grillo and symbol, as per regulation, took place without prior consultation with members of the movement.[175][176][177]

Another criticism frequently by the same movement activists and former activists, such as Federico Pistono, social entrepreneur and the former member,[178] about the absence of any form of effective participation on the web[179] There is currently a tool for collective writing of the program and the proposed law. The forum is considered inadequate for the purpose[180][181] Through his blog, in September 2012, Grillo said that a portal to participate via the web was already under construction[182] The triggering was scheduled for the end of the year 2012, but at the time of the elections of February 2013 it was not yet realized.

On 28 January 2014 Giorgio Sorial, a deputy of the M5S, accused President Giorgio Napolitano to be an hangman who repressed the oppositions.[183] [184] Prime Minister Enrico Letta immediately defended President Napolitano charging the Five Stars to be extremists.[185] The following day Angelo Tofalo, another deputy of the movement, during ended his speech at the Chamber of Deputies shouting boia chi molla! (coward who gives up!) a famous motto used during the Fascist era.[186][187] Often movement's members, especially its leader Beppe Grillo, have been accused to be too vulgar and (verbally) violent.[188] [189]

After a Five Star Movement demonstration inside the Chamber of Deputies against a law approved by the government,[190][191] which caused a brawl between the M5S, the centrist Civic Choice, the far-right Brothers of Italy and the centre-left Democratic Party[192] and the following insults to the President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini,[193] on 31 January 2014 Corrado Augias, a famous Italian journalist, stated that the violence used by the M5S reminded him of fascism.[194] The following day a militant activist of the Five Star Movement burned some books of Augias and loaded the photos in his Facebook profile, because according to him "Augias offended the movement".[195] This episode was readily taken up by major national newspapers and heavily criticized by all the public opinion, due to some similarities with Nazi book burnings.[196] Beppe Grillo criticized the fact saying that the person who uploaded these photos didn't represent the Movement.[197]

Electoral results[edit]

Italian Parliament[edit]

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2013 8,689,168 (#1) 25.6
109 / 630
Beppe Grillo
Senate of the Republic
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2013 7,285,648 (#2) 23.8
54 / 315
Beppe Grillo

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2014 5,807,362 (#2) 21.2
17 / 73
Beppe Grillo

Regional Councils[edit]

Region Latest election # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
Abruzzo 2014 143,779 (#2) 21.4
6 / 31
Apulia 2015 275,114 (#2) 16.3
7 / 51
Aosta Valley 2013 4,773 (#6) 6.6
2 / 35
Basilicata 2013 21,219 (#3) 9.0
2 / 21
Calabria 2014 38,345 (#8) 4.9
0 / 30
Campania 2015 387,327 (#3) 17.0
7 / 49
Emilia-Romagna 2014 159,456 (#3) 13.3
5 / 50
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2013 54,952 (#3) 13.8
5 / 49
Lazio 2013 467,249 (#3) 16.6
7 / 50
Liguria 2015 120,147 (#2) 22.9
6 / 30
Lombardy 2013 775,211 (#3) 14.3
9 / 80
Molise 2013 20,437 (#2) 12.2
2 / 21
Piedmont 2014 396,295 (#2) 20.3
8 / 50
Sicily 2012 285,202 (#1) 14.9
15 / 90
South Tyrol 2013 13,877 (#6) 5.8
1 / 35
Trentino 2013 13,877 (#7) 2.5
2 / 35
Tuscany 2015 200,771 (#3) 15.1
5 / 41
Umbria 2015 51,203 (#2) 14.5
2 / 20
Veneto 2015 192,630 (#4) 10.4
5 / 51

Leadership[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • De Rosa, Rosanna (2013). Voice of the People or Cybercratic Centralism? The Italian case of Beppe Grillo and Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement). CeDEM13: Conference for E-Democracy an Open Government (Edition Donau-Universität Krems). pp. 89–102. 
  • Lanzone, Maria Elisabetta (2014). The "Post-Modern" Populism in Italy: The Case of the Five Star Movement. The Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives (Emerald Group). pp. 53–78. 
  • Musiani, Francesca (2014). Avant-garde Digital Movement or "Digital Sublime" Rhetoric? The Movimento 5 Stelle and the 2013 Italian Parliamentary Elections. Social Media in Politics: Case Studies on the Political Power of Social Media (Springer). pp. 127–140. 
  • Sæbø, Øystein; Braccini, Alession Maria; Federici, Tommaso (2015). From the Blogosphere into Real Politics: The Use of ICT by the Five Star Movement. From Information to Smart Society (Springer). pp. 241–250. 
  • Tronconi, Filippo (2015). Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement. Organisation, Communication and Ideology. Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4724-3663-4. 

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