Now that TV mogul PM Silvio Berlusconi is gone – a ‘buffoon’, as the Guardian has called him – a ‘caustic comedian’ and blogger took his place as the new star of Italian political landscape. Thanks to a wise use of social media tools and web activism, the grass-roots citizens’ association Five Stars Movement leaded by comedian Beppe Grillo managed in fact to take over the northern industrial town of Parma in the last local runoff elections. The new elected mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, managed to spend only €6,000 for his campaign, and the Movement is now the second or third-ranked political force in various municipalities across Italy. Pizzarotti based his victory on the online fan base he first connected with back in 2005, via un-informal MeetUps and chat rooms on the Movement’s website. “A product of the hyper-democracy” that the ‘caustic comedian’ has been promoting through Beppe Grillo’s successful blog, as the New York Times writes, the Five Stars Movement promotes the idea that the new democracy shall be based upon a new direct relationship between the elected and his electors. The same philosophy is shared by one of ScribbleLive’s clients, the Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson, who uses the liveblogging platform to live chat with constituents and remove the barriers between him and his voters “The choice of Ottawa’s mayor is rewarding in terms of direct connection with citizens,” said professor Francesco Pira, media expert and author of the book ‘La Net Comunicazione Politica’ (The Web Political Communication’) on how the Internet is re-shaping Italian political landscape. “In Italy, we had delegated the right to make important decision to politicians for too long – decisions in which people should have been directly involved instead. Liveblogging tools are extraordinary to foster a culture of active participation.” Speaking from his studio via Skype, Professor Pira believes “the future lies in this new form of political activism and participative culture.” A new perspective that overcomes the old political top-down model “of imposing a program and ask voters to vote it based on TV spots and talk-shows.” “Italian parties had not understood yet that they have to become nodes of a network and interact with everyone. […] I heard that big parties are now starting creating digital training schools to deal with this new situation,” he added. Liveblogging tools can indeed help “political leaders to have a one-to-one relationship with their voters,” as hoped by another media expert, professor of communication and blogger, Giovanna Cosenza. “This one-to-one communication typical of social media has to stimulate a renaissance of politics,” she wrote on her blog – especially in a country in which confidence in traditional parties (to which Italians commonly refer as “the caste”) has dropped below 5percent, and people are hungry for alternative forms of doing politics.