Beppe Grillo and his media manager Gianroberto Casaleggio claim that the Five Stars Movement is the first example of ‘web democracy’ or ‘liquid democracy’.
But what does this mean exactly ?
The main Grillo’s communication channel is his blog. He very rarely addresses traditional media like TV or newspapers, which he considers ‘part of the systems’ since Italian TV channels are owned by the State or by Berlusconi, while newspapers receive abundant State subsidies.
The members of the Movement are forbidden to address traditional media. Mrs Federica Salsi was expelled for attending a TV talk show.
Before the last elections, the Movement had its supporters choose their candidates through an Internet platform.
Grillo claims that he is only a spokesman for his supporters, while his critics say he is actually the master of the whole Movement.
Which is the truth ? It could become apparent very soon. For example, Grillo said that the Movement will not support a Government backed by the Democratic Party. The commentators on his blog are mainly criticizing this position, however. So what ?