Italian elections are approaching and Italy is – once again – the forerunner of new trends in political communications. The image of the “tycoon” in politics, which is now represented completely by Donald Trump, was introduced more than 20 years ago by Italy. Do you remember the famous “discesa in campo” of Silvio Berlusconi? With Berlusconi’s return to politics, it is interesting to notice a shift in his style, from a buccaneer-like political communicator, the epic self-made man continually attacking the evil “communists”, to a calmer – even soft – communication style: the “good old savvy man”, trying to restore some order to the Italian political labyrinth. While the Five Star Movement and Democratic Party fight over issues like fake news, Berlusconi speaks about themes that matter to Italian voters; real issues such as welfare, tax cuts, and a new liberal revolution.
But Berlusconi’s new style of communication is not ephemeral; it reflects a new phase in Italian politics, replacing the failure of the so called “rottamazione” of Matteo Renzi. That’s why, after Renzi’s tumultuous years, the Italian people are asking for a calmer and more relaxed style of leadership, one that can restore some sense of serenity to the country. Berlusconi fits the Italian needs perfectly; an experienced elder statesman, whom many perceive as being unjustly persecuted by the justice system, who avoids stressing every political argument, and who has kind words for the popular Premier, Paolo Gentiloni.
Berlusconi, after the 2011 ousting from the Senate, is easily getting back in the political arena. And with his target to be the first party of the center-right coalition, and surpass the Northern League, we can still get a surprise from this 81-year-old.