The Five Star Movement And Its Political Revolution Driven By The Internet
The internet has never been connected before as much as in this decade. Tons of Entrepreneurs are using it, trying to build the next big thing, dozens of investors are using it to check their stocks, journalists, employees, bloggers, bankers and even bakers are using the internet; but there is someone who is using it more than the others and it is trying to use the power of the internet to become more relevant and known. It’s the Five Star Movement, an italian political movement, which is the second political power in Italy.
When the first tech blogs were started, Beppe Grillo, an italian comedian, decided to start his own blog with the help of Gian Roberto Casaleggio, who still runs his tech consultant company. By first talking about politics and ideas, the comedian was able to gather thousands of people on his own blog. Thanks to this crowd of citizens who read the blog, Beppe Grillo started his first political fights. By growing day by day the blogger understood that these people had the need to gather in different places and not always on his own blog, so several meetups groups called “Amici Di Beppe Grillo” (Beppe Grillo’s Friends) were created in Italy.
That was the first step toward the creation of a political movement, born on the internet. The nicknames and the comments became people who started sharing their views about the world thanks to the meetups spread all over Italy. From that point and thanks to several events, the two cofounders of the blog understood that what they created could become a political movement.
The Five Star Movement was born on the 4th of October, based on a set of principles. One of the pillars of this movement is still the web and in its program we can actually see how important it is. The idea of building a direct democracy led by the web is at the basis of the movement; with the belief that in 2013 we are actually connected to the internet and we can, with a matter of clicks, take decisions to change the shape of our country altogether.
Further following the idea of an e-democracy, there is the concept of digital citizenship, which wants the internet to be free and accessible at the birth. Instead of having personal IDs, we will get an “email address”, which will ensure the access to the internet. The constant use of the internet has made this movement popular on the web, which is the only tool used to spread ideas and to build a main brain, formed by thousands of individuals, who think and write.
Despite the rejection of the presence in TV Shows and the rejection of the common and italian way of doing journalism, the movement has found an home on the internet. With the only use of the web and with a strong presence on the territory, the Five Star Movement has become the second political power of Italy.
However what is remarkable is the way the Five Star Movement chose its representatives for the National Parliament. While the other parties chose their representatives without elections and the democratic party did a primary on the territory, this movement was on the web. For the first time in the history of the internet the Five Star Movement chose its representatives thanks to a Web-based election.
With just three clicks each voter has been able to choose three people. All the members of the Five Star Movement could vote and choose who they fought could have deserved a place in the National Parliament; with 20 thousands voters, the best people were selected. From now on, these people are going to run the electoral campaign toward the 24th of February, when the national elections will take place.
It’s remarkable to see how the internet is changing our lives at the speed of life, but what is important to underline is that the internet has enabled us to share ideas. The Five Star Movement is one of the thousands of examples of movements that were founded on the internet; but it is the first time ever that an internet movement will sit in the parliament with an expected 20%. This means that everything is possible and when people start to think and share ideas, no one can stop them.
This young movement, which is just three years old, has a lot of steps to do in front of it; but with the help of the people that work as volunteers in it, nothing will stop it. Crowd Sourcing is the next big step that we have to face, even when we want to drive a country; given the possibilities that the internet gives us, most of italians have understood that it’s the right time to build the first direct democracy of the third millenium, just with the use of an extremely fundamental tool and thousands of brains ready to share their thoughts.