Sicilia all’addritta. The 1959 elections, the autonomism and its narratives
Since 1958, the main actors of the Silvio Milazzo government were a group on politicians coming from the Christian Democracy (Dc), including the president of the region himself, fringes of the island’s conservative right, and even left-wing factions. Such groups were kept together by a fiercely autonomist political discourse in contrast with the «Fanfanian» Dc. Such an autonomism included the many tensions passing through the Sicilian society. It absorbed issues and projects coming from several actors of the local and national scene. By including the Communist Party (Pci) within the perimeter of government, it appeared as an attempt to move beyond anti- Communism. The emergence of a second autonomist catholic party, and a Dc facing the challenge of being in opposition for the first time, made the 1959 Sicilian elections exceptionally relevant. Accordingly, the communication and propagandist effort of the main parties was massive. On the one side, to favour a deep transformation of the Sicilian party system, Communists and Social Christians revitalised – although in different ways and with different ￼￼goals – the regionalist and in some cases even micro-nationalist symbols and languages. On the other side, the Dc sought to normalise the Sicilian events by emphasising the successful performance in government and by capitalising from the traditional and radical anti-Communist mobilisation.
Keywords: Autonomism; Elections; Sicily; Development