Allan Takes Aim Blog

Italy has the Grillims: Australia should have The Grafters

Posted on: 1 March 2013

Italy has The Grillims: Australia should have The Grafters

Never heard of the Grillims?  I’m not surprised. This is a group in Italy that has surprised Italy’s political professionals and in the process given Italian democracy a new voice. And regardless that it was formed only a few months ago, the Grillims – its official name: the 5 Star Movement –attracted 8.689 million votes at the recent election. Not only was this the highest number of votes gained by any party so, too, was its total of 154 parliamentary seats that beat long established parties including the party led by Silvio Berlusconi.

More surprising, the founder and leader of the Movement – Beppe Grillo, a former comedian-   did not stand as a candidate. Indeed, the movement’s candidates came from groups of unemployed University Graduates, teachers, and elder care workers. The fact that this cosmopolitan group of candidates amassed 6.689 million votes could serve as a warning to many political parties elsewhere in the world: Australia included.

From what I can gather, the Grillims’ policies, unlike those of established parties, are also cosmopolitan. Clearly their cosmopolitan views rather than views confected by political marketing men, appealed to voters.

On the other hand perhaps voters also elected the Grillims because they realised they were not party apparatchiks but individuals whose thoughts resonated with them on many levels. Only time will tell if they were right or wrong.

Perhaps another secret of Grillims’ success was because voters, disaffected by the political charade of parliaments that seem to promise so much but only deliver enough policy before an election to convince voters that things had changed for the better, finally had had enough and showed they were fed up being taken for mugs by voting for the Grillims. That the Grillims were first cab off the rank to show they meant business is to be applauded.

Though probably too late, perhaps before the next Federal election a group of political disaffected Australians will form a group similar to the Grillims (the Grafters is the name I have in mind although I am open to suggestions) and contest a number of seats? Wouldn’t Labor, Liberals and The Greens be shocked to the core if the Grafters won some seats?

Personally, I’d be delighted not only because it would put the fear of hell into party hierarchies and candidates who think they have the right to govern. It would also have the knock on effect that, before the next election, voters would be amazed at would be MPs and Senators seeking them out.

However, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t move from Federal to ACT Politics and the current Lliberal brou- ha- ha about who is the legitimate candidate for the Senate at the next election.  A few hundred years ago it would have been a duel at dawn for the contestants, one wannabe senator and the current senator deprived of his position in a challenge mounted by a party colleague. But as we are supposed to be civilised the duel took place in democratic fashion at the ballot box and, as I understand it, according to the laid down rules.

Apparently some supporters of the loser do not agree with this system and have mounted a challenge to the decision. From a personal perspective I doubt even the scriptwriters responsible for TV‘s worst sagas could have written a saga with such a bad plot. And while Labor has the same kind of duels they are better at covering them up.  Hasten The Grafters!

Blog: Allan Takes Aim; web:;


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