Conservatives in Italy — a country that was neither colonized by Great Britain nor staged a massive civil disobedience campaign centered on hot beverages — are trying to form their own “Tea Party,” using Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge as a central organizing tool. US News & World Report has more:
A group called Tea Party Italia, inspired by the tea party movement in the U.S. and by Norquist’s pledge, created a similar taxpayer contract it is pushing ahead of the country’s general election next month. The pledge says politicians won’t raise taxes and will work to reduce the country’s debt, which the Associated Press reports hit a record $2.64 trillion in December.
But getting politicians to sign on to the pledge might prove more of a challenge.
“Candidates in the U.S. want to sign this pledge because they have to do a difficult and hard campaign,” he says. Italian candidates, on the other hand, are chosen by the party and don’t go through a campaign season. “So it’s very difficult to find [politicians] that believe in our ideas in Italy.”
Norquist penned a letter to the group earlier this month endorsing the “Italian taxpayer protection pledge,” a move that could make it significantly more difficult for the country to retire it’s $2.6 trillion debt. Conservatives in other countries, from Japan to Israel, have tried to emulate similar tactics as well.
One reason why Norquist may be looking overseas for support is that his power is waning back home. Norquist’s pledge contributed to dozens of GOP losses in 2012 and Republicans subsequently abandoned him in droves during the fiscal cliff negotiations.