Double Life – Elections

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini

Here we go again: the Italian elections are approaching, and my Italian ear is close to deaf. I have plenty of good excuses: extremely entertaining local politics which never fail to reach higher level of noise and cause scandals, and let’s not forget war games gone bad with Syria or Iran this past weekend.

Still, as a good Italian abroad who still loves the original country, I have the right to vote. And the way I was brought up, voting is called a “right” but it’s really a duty, so now I have a problem. In a matter of days, my mailbox will receive the visit of a white envelope with my name on it, sent by my ‘other’ government. Inside, a page long explanation on how to mark my vote clearly, insert my vote in a smaller envelope without my name on it, and then insert this one envelope in a medium sized one, if I remember correctly this time with my name as a sender.

I never put too much attention to these technicalities, and I usually am very confident in my vote. Still, the second I receive that envelope I long for the quick Israeli voting method, where you receive a simple postcard, go to the place written on it, pull a small piece of paper with two or three Hebrew letters in large font, slip it in a box and go home.

Being an Italian abroad complicates slightly the procedure, but this is nothing compared to the environment in which the elections are taking place. All I see on social media is people screaming, either in fear of the new fascists growing with no control whatsoever, or in rage in the center-left (center, much more than left) one against the other. Not a nice picture, not even given the melodramatic tones we are all used to when it comes to Italians and politics. So my ears go deaf, my eyes refuse to read, and I will have to vote based on very generic principles once again.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.