March 27, 2013

Rating Italy's Five Star Movement

Is the nation's internet-birthed party a political game-changer?
The leader of the 'Five Stars Movement', Italian comedian Beppe Grillo, addresses supporters during the closing day of Italian electoral campaign, on the Piazza San Giovanni in Rome, 22 February 2013. (Alessandro Di Meo/EPA)

In the face of austerity cuts, corruption and high unemployment, European parties running on anti-establishment platforms are growing in popularity. In Italy, the fledgling Five Star Movement has shaken up the country’s politics. Completely based on the web, the young candidates were all chosen in online primaries. Running on a platform of anti-corruption, free access to the internet and direct participation by the public, they have become the largest single party to be voted into parliament. But with accusations of fascism and claims their leader is more of a despot than a democrat, can the Movement survive to fulfill its promises? Is this the dawn of a new political trend in Europe? Join the conversation at 1930GMT.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Michael Calingaert
Visiting Scholar, Council on the US and Europe
The Brookings Institution

Federiga Bindi @Fedbindi
Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations
John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies

We also speak to Marta Serafini (@martaserafini), Lorenzo Mannella (@loremann) and Valentina Fulginiti (@StrugglesItaly) in our Google+ hangout.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts below.