Ahead of the Sept. 25 elections, the Machiavelli Center has compiled a list of 13 basic principles to which future MPs - at least those who care about the fate of the nation - should adhere. We subsequently asked you, our readers, to select from those the 6 priorities. Thanks to your thousands of votes, we arrived at a shortlist.

Now, with one day to go before the polls open, we would like to bring you the six points again, going to look at how well the parties' programs agree with each of them. Here are the results - but first a few methodological clarifications.

For each party, we have indicated the salient proposals on the topic under discussion. You will also find a reference value, indicated according to the scale A+ (full agreement with the principle we expressed), A (strong agreement), B and B- (general agreement, with some omissions or discordant proposals), C (neutrality), D (discordance). Remember that, as much as it may appear at first glance, this is not a "report card" on party political programs. They include many other points, even revealing ones, in addition to the six considered here; moreover, the programs are often concise and general, making exact and in-depth analysis difficult. On certain issues, such as the defense of the national interest in politics, we have limited ourselves to recording statements of principle, without going into the substance of the resulting practical proposals on alliances, Ukraine and contingent issues. Finally, we have taken for granted what is written in the programs, without questioning the sincerity of the promises and ignoring positions, feelings or attitudes that are known but not formalized in the programs themselves. Therefore, take these assessments as merely indicative and, in no case, as an endorsement for one or the other party.

6. TRADITION AND NATIONAL HISTORY

Some anti-national doctrines unfortunately have long been successful in Italy, but now are also adding anti-Western doctrines that are already running rampant in the English-speaking world. They portray the West and anyone with white skin as inherently evil, "systematically racist"; they impose, often by force, to cancel our history and repudiate our tradition.
We must contrast this drift by suppressing violent demonstrations against monuments. Above all, we must counterpose the "cancel culture" with a positive rediscovery of pride in our nation and civilization.
This must be done through educational and cultural policies, as well as laws against vandalism and for the preservation of historical memory, urban heritage, landscape and toponymy.

Position of parties:

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: C
Plans to strengthen Italian cultural institutes abroad.

FORZA ITALIA: C
It provides a generic commitment to protect the country's artistic-historical-cultural-landscape heritage. It also talks about spreading Italian language and culture around the world. There are no references to cancel culture or promotion of national identity and pride.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: A
It plans to counter cancel culture and iconoclasm against the symbols of our identity, although it does not outline concrete measures. It proposes the "creation of a new Italian imaginary," including historical re-enactments and narration of great Italian figures, especially in schools.

ITALEXIT: C
The cultural issue is treated only from an economic perspective.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: B
Culture and cultural assets are described as identity factors, roots to be "proudly defended and protected." The League proposes to promote "non-aligned" culture against "the falsehoods of political correctness" and to invest more in promoting and spreading the Italian language around the world. With regard to schools, the League proposes to stop "propaganda" by requiring the explicit and free consent of parents to any initiative involving the area of values. Cancel culture and anti-Western ideology are mentioned only in relation to the U.S., a context in which the League is committed to supporting the Italian community.

MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: D
Culture is understood as a means to "peacefully cope with the changes" imposed by the "ecological transition" and to "rebuild" the community on a new basis (concept of "cultural transition"). Provides for strengthening Italian language and culture abroad. Traditions are considered only in relation to historic workshops.

NOI MODERATI: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: C
It provides for "remembrance policies" linked, however, only to the exaltation of anti-fascism and not national history tout court.


5. FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND SPEECH

Among the most threatened rights are those of thought, expression and speech. We must oppose any law or initiative that aims to reduce the spaces of free speech, whether it does so in the name of combating "phobias" or undefined "hate speech." The state must guarantee this freedom not only passively but actively. No company, starting with the social network that de facto manage the public debate, can impose restrictions on employees and customers that are contrary to constitutional rights.

Position of parties: 

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: D
It plans initiatives to counter "hate speech" and a law against "homobitransphobia."

FORZA ITALIA: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: B
It plans to oppose censorship in social networks. There is a generic reference to the protection of constitutional freedoms, but those of speech and expression are not explicitly mentioned.

ITALEXIT: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: A
The program provides for the protection of freedom of thought and expression in universities: debate must be free and always open, even if it may "offend" someone. In practice, a legislative measure is proposed that would prevent universities from sanctioning for violation of the ethical code, conduct that falls under free expression of thought. The League is also committed to opposing measures such as the Zan bill that would deprive freedom of opinion and speech. There is a lack of reference to social networks.

MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: D
Plans to pass a law against "homobitransphobia."

NOI MODERATI: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: D
It hints at a "genuinely free, open and plural sphere of public debate," but in the context of combating "conditioning, interference, disinformation" and "artfully orchestrated campaigns by foreign groups and powers"-words that recall the arguments of those promoting censorship measures. The claim that "citizens must have access to correct and untainted information" presupposes censorship intervention to determine which information is correct and "pure" and which is not.


4. DEFENDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM GENDER IDEOLOGY

Gender ideology is a threat to our children and society. The Left tries to inculcate in the youth pseudo-scientific theories that, exploiting their psycho-physical vulnerability, can lead them to traumatic pharmacological and surgical paths. Children must be protected from premature sexual messages, from doctrines that emotionally and psychologically destabilize them. Schools and the National Health Service must not facilitate the pseudo-scientific fad of "gender reassignment" among the very young. Women must also be protected from the transgender agenda, which in the name of gender fluidity takes away those spaces that were exclusively reserved for them: from bathrooms to locker rooms to sports competitions. Finally, both women and children are victims of surrogacy, that is, the barbaric practice of snatching a newborn child from its mother's womb and handing it over to its buyer: this new "slave trade" must remain illegal and those who resort to it abroad must also be punished.

Position of parties:

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: D
Plans to pass a law against "homobitransphobia."

FORZA ITALIA: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: B
Includes opposition to surrogacy. Does not mention gender ideology, sex change among minors, space reserved for women.

ITALEXIT: A
It is opposed to the introduction of gender theories in schools.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: A+
Plans to protect young people from "sexual identity deconstruction," "gender indoctrination," and "sex change." Condemns surrogacy by proposing to make it an international crime. Intends to defend the family from ideologies that "aim to redesign the concept of the family unit." It promises to oppose gender ideology in multiple social sectors (schools, sports, prisons, public records), protecting women in particular. Countering gender in schools will come through the monitoring of teaching projects, civic education, teacher training, and ministerial documents.

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MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: D
Plans to pass a law along the lines of the Zan bill and extend marriage and adoption to same-sex couples. Wants child recognition for parents who have used surrogacy abroad. Plans to facilitate sex change pathways and alias careers for transgender people.

NOI MODERATI: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: D
Envisions the approval of the Zan bill and the extension of marriage to same-sex couples.


3. BOOSTING BIRTHS

Among the problems that most afflict Italy is denatality; we are now one of the countries with the fewest children per couple. Thus, on the one hand, the proportion of elderly people to be maintained is increasing compared to fewer and fewer Italians of working age, and on the other hand, a point is offered to those who want more immigration. We need to put in place policies to provide socio-economic support to couples who want to have children, but also match these policies with cultural efforts. After decades of anti-natalist propaganda, it is appropriate to return to telling young people how wonderful it is to have children, rather than instilling in them the idea that babies are a "burden" or an "obstacle" to their fulfillment.

Position of parties:

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: B
Planned measures include enhancement of single allowance, reimbursement of educational expenses, daycare bonus.

FORZA ITALIA: B
It provides for socio-economic measures such as family quotient, ISEE reform, etc. No cultural measures are mentioned, and no special emphasis is given to the problem of denatality.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: A+
Birth and family support is at the top of the program. Socio-economic measures such as family quotient, increase in the single allowance, and increase in daycare centers are planned. On the cultural level, communication campaigns on fertility are planned. It also proposes increased prevention of abortion.

ITALEXIT: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: A+
Provides for various socio-economic support interventions for families and birthrate (family quotient, full deduction of school expenses, income tax exemption for mothers of 4 or more children, housing vouchers for young couples with children, etc.) along with a cultural intervention (communication campaigns on the risks of denatality, re-evaluation of the social role of the family).

MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: B
Provides for socio-economic measures for the birth rate: home purchase subsidies, increase in the single allowance and other tax measures.

NOI MODERATI: B
Socio-economic measures such as increased single allowance, increased deduction for school expenses, increased parental leave pay are envisaged.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: C
It plans supportive policies for the family, including to address the problem of low birth rate, but only mentions improving the single allowance.


2. CONTROLLO DELL’IMMIGRAZIONE

Current migration flows are overwhelming and uncontrolled. The Italian ethnic group itself is in danger of soon becoming a minority in the country. Immigration is often controlled by organized crime, and extremists and terrorists also move through it. The multicultural model (already failed abroad) is going to create within Italy non-integrated communities that do not identify with our nation and reject its culture. Migration policies must drastically reduce the numbers of arrivals, crush the illegal ones, require that newcomers - if not intending to return one day to their country of origin - assimilate into the Italian people. Citizenship must be the culmination of this process of assimilation/acceptance into our people (so no to ius soli, ius scholae, ius culturae or similar). ius soliius scholaeius culturae o similari).

Position of parties:

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: D
Considers that the demographic problem can be solved through immigration, proposing only to regularize the flow. It envisions compulsory Italian language and culture courses for immigrants, regularization of working illegal immigrants, ius scholae and citizenship for foreigners who graduate in Italy.

FORZA ITALIA: B-
It provides for fighting illegal immigration, with assisted deportations and cooperation with countries of departure and transit. There is no mention of assimilation or integration.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: B
Proposes combating irregular immigration through a landings blockade, naval blockade and cooperation with North African states. There is no mention of immigrant assimilation, limiting itself to a mention of "fostering the social and labor inclusion of legal immigrants."

ITALEXIT: B-
It declares itself against "welcoming at all costs" and "wild immigration," although the only proposals are about fighting crime in our country. There is no mention of assimilation and integration.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: A
Illegal flows are called a "national emergency," to be countered with concrete measures such as the reintroduction of Security Decrees and cooperation with Libya. Opposition to ius soli and similar measures, as well as amnesties of illegal immigrants, is stated. Immigrants are required to respect Western rules, culture and principles. The model of multiculturalism is rejected in favor of "paths of integration" that respect Italian identity and tradition. The goal is thus placed in "respect" rather than "assimilation," although many of the proposed measures may tend toward the latter goal.

MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: D
It plans to approve ius scholae. Migration policy is focused on inclusion and integration. It still intends to reduce flows through countering traffickers and interventions to benefit countries of origin.

NOI MODERATI: C
There are no mentions of the subject.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: D
It plans to approve ius scholae. Welcoming is the guiding principle of migration policies; there is a categorical rejection of naval blockades and port closures. Intends to abolish the Bossi-Fini Law to increase legal migration flows and contract out the management of flows to an agency involving the church, labor unions and NGOs.


1. NATIONAL INTEREST

We are aware that in foreign policy there are commitments and pacts that once made must be fulfilled; net of these, foreign policy will have to follow the north star of national interest.

By this we mean that all choices that increase the strength, security and welfare of the Italian people will have to be taken, and those that diminish them will have to be avoided.

Position of parties:

AZIONE-ITALIA VIVA: D
Proposes federalization of the EU, abolition of unanimous voting in the Council, legislative initiative of the European Parliament, common foreign policy.

FORZA ITALIA: D
It aspires to a common EU foreign policy and full transition to majority voting in the Council. It also provides for the mandatory redistribution of immigrants to EU countries.

FRATELLI D’ITALIA: A+
It states that foreign policy should be focused on protecting the national interest and defending the Fatherland. A reform of the EU in the sense of a "Europe of Fatherlands" is proposed.

ITALEXIT: A
The regaining of national sovereignty, getting rid of the "external constraint," is at the top of the program, even if declined only as a precondition for the country's economic revival. It opposes globalist ideology. It interprets Article 11 of the Constitution in a pacifist sense.

LEGA SALVINI PREMIER: A
A "leading" international role is proposed for Italy, and there is a reference to protecting the national interest in the Mediterranean, albeit in a subordinate position to the idea of a mediating role for Italy. In the EU, it calls for respect for the sovereignty and exclusive competencies of states; it plans to defend unanimous voting in the EU Council. It aims to fully restore a liberal international order (a term that implies the subordination of states to supranational rules and institutions) and supports multilateralism with the role of the UN at the center.

MOVIMENTO 5 STELLE: D
Italy's foreign policy must serve the realization of the ideological project of "new humanism" (environmentalism, egalitarianism). The program includes strengthening EU integration with fiscal and banking union and majority voting in the Council. Sees the EU as a geopolitical actor serving ideological projects (human rights, sustainable development).

NOI MODERATI: C
Mentions the defense of national interests but within a framework of prevailing alliances and greater European integration.

PARTITO DEMOCRATICO: D
Poses the EU as the beacon and privileged seat of our international action. Proposes majority voting in the Council and integration of security and defense policies. The EU should promote globalization.

 

(To view the programs analyzed for this article: Azione-Italia Viva, Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy, Italexit, Lega Salvini Premier, Five Star Movement, Noi Moderati, Democratic Party)