A new contender in Italian politics shows a promising first election in the February 2013 election. In a play for power that features familiar faces such as the pope-backed Mario Monti and former disgraced Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the Stop the Decline party offers a libertarian-focused platform that promises to reduce taxes on Italians by 5% over the next 5 years.
The party has received notable attention recently in its perceivably credible roadmap to achieving its goals of reducing Italy’s growing massive debt. Stop the Decline represents a compelling case study in its entrance into Italian politics. Its adept use of social media has been particularly effective in getting the party noticed. In addition to its novel use of technology, its founding economists are imports from the United States including Michele Boldrin of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Sandro Brusco of Stony Brook University in New York State; and Andrea Moro of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
Despite the momentum the party brings to the election, it has also had its share of controversy. Stop the Decline’s candidate for prime minister, Oscar Giannino, earlier in the election resigned the party’s leadership, yet remained the prime minister candidate, after he was caught lying about his academic credentials from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His claim of having a masters degree in “Corporate Finance and Public Finance” turned out to be fabricated. In fact, Giannino did not even attain a bachelor’s degree. However, this controversy pales in comparison with what Italian voters are used to. The exit of Berlusconi amidst his allegations of corruption are still fresh on the minds of Italian voters. Ironically, the former prime minister is predicted to perform better than Giannino, whose party is still trying to establish its platform and its mission with Italian politics.
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