This shows just how far away the Five-Star Movement is from being a traditional political party - by any standard. And there's some more stuff:
- Large part of today's meeting was live-streamed and available to everyone online;
- At the meeting, each of the 163 parliamentarians-elect was given the opportunity to introduce him/herself to the others, and explain what his/her background and areas of interest were;
- The MPs and Senators-elect are all considered 'spokesmen' and 'spokeswomen' of the Five-Star Movement;
- The 163 today chose their faction leaders in both houses of the Italian parliament by a simple show of hands. The faction leaders will only hold the post for three months, and are to be replaced after that.
Whatever one thinks of the Five-Star Movement, it was quite impressive to see so many Italian MPs in their thirties (or even twenties) in the same room. Finally some fresh air in Italian politics, some might say. We still don't know what the Five-Star Movement will do next. Grillo made a quick appearance at the very beginning of the meeting today, saying that the Movement will only vote for the laws which fit with its manifesto - but he said that several times before.
It remains to be seen how this enthusiastic but inexperienced lot will react when the new Italian parliament convenes - on 15 March, or a bit earlier - and talks on the formation of the next government enter their decisive stage. The time for post-election celebrations may already be over for the Grillini. The question is: will this innovative approach to party politics hold (think party discipline) when things get serious?