Swords, rivals and what future for Italy?

So, what now, what will an Italian Government look like, how will it function, and can it be trusted to deliver?

On March 23, the Italian parliament will reconvene, house speakers will be announced, and glimmers of the incoming coalition revealed.

Everyone is hoping for clarity, but the voting process itself has been difficult to understand, votes have gone missing and some of the proposed partnerships seem so unlikely they take the breath away.

Five Star Movement (M5S) and Lega, anti-establishment and Eurosceptic, attracted half of the popular vote — perhaps.

But no majority.

So now it’s left to a sort of speed-dating exercise populated by a selection of opposites that definitely don’t attract. And I can’t say that the offspring of whatever uncomfortable alliance is the outcome will be any more `easy on the eye’, or any more willing to make collaborative progress when it comes to starting out on the road to Italy’s restoration.

Like second hand car dealers there will be hustle and horse-trading and closed-door meetings. One has to wonder — for whose benefit?

Are these parties striving to find the best solution for Italy, or are they looking for any foothold, however tenuous and in whatever ill-suited company, for power?

A cobbled-together government comprising parties that want leadership at any price does not have the best interests of Italy at heart.

I am reminded of Solomon’s approach to extracting the truth from embattled rivals for the greater good.

Two women came to the king with a dispute over who was the rightful mother of the child they were fighting over. Both women had given birth, one baby had died, and both now claimed parentage of the remaining baby with accusations of theft of the living child.

King Solomon said, “Get me a sword.”

He outlined his plan: “Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half to the other.”

One of the women said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.”

The other responded, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!”

The king said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.”

So those with the best intentions, those who will fight for the best outcomes not for themselves, but for a cause, person or country they are passionate about are what Italy needs now. Are we sure that’s what Italy is going to get out of this coalition. Or is someone running for a sword?