tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg December 6, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: we begin with china -- donald trump's unprecedented call with the taiwanese president has put u.s.-china relations into sharp focus. it was the first time since 1979 american and taiwanese leaders have spoken in a break from diplomatic practices. trump said it was a routine congratulatory call, but on sunday night, he criticized china's military and economic policies in a series of tweets. in china, an editorial warned the united states risked a confrontation with beijing. meanwhile, the obama
administration says national security official spoke with their counterparts to make sure of u.s. commitment to the one china policy. joining me now is ian bremmer, president of the eurasia group a global risk assessment firm, and richard haass president of the council on foreign relations. his forthcoming book is called "guess what: a world in disarray." i'm pleased to have both of you here. i begin with you, richard how , serious is this? how did it happen? how will it play itself out? richard: it is pretty serious in the sense that the call broke ground, unfortunate ground that hadn't been there since the late 1970's. the mere fact that this exchange took place was inconsistent with the choreography of this elaborate relationship. i think what made it worse, charlie, was the follow-up. you alluded to two tweets and an article in the "washington post" that said this was not
improvisational. there was some planning, this was intentional and the incoming administration was full party to it. the initial chinese reaction was quite muted. the subsequent chinese reaction has gotten stronger because it was not accidental. how serious is this? potentially very. i do not mean in the sense of a short-term crisis but so much of what the united states is doing in the world is predicated on a nonconfrontational relationship with this country called china that has 1.3 billion people. this choreography with taiwan has allowed it. it is basically a fiction that allows the u.s. to maintain a good relationship with china and a basic but informal relationship with taiwan and therefore allows us in principle to establish this enormous economic relationship and deal with regional challenges like north korea, global challenges like climate change.
by putting in play the one china policy which is a bipartisan policy for four decades, it raises questions about whether this relationship will continue to have large elements of cooperation. there is an entire school of thought among so-called realists that the relationship between the great powers today, the united states, and the rising power of the day, china, is destined to be confrontational. athens and sparta. the united states and china have defied this and we have defied it for decades. the question is might this production begin to gain traction? if so, the century becomes a different century. charlie: the chinese have said in recent days that taiwan is the single most important issue. richard: the word existential is not just wrong. the chinese see taiwan as a threat. if taiwan ever becomes independent, it sets a precedent. that means other parts of china
could start to spin off. this is something they cannot and will not permit, particularly against the backdrop of lower economic growth. this issue has the potential to capture nationalist fervor. this government, the anticorruption campaign is a reaction to it. this is something they cannot show any softness on. their legitimacy depends on maintaining a decent economy, but even more, it is maintaining the integrity of the country called china. charlie: we have this mini crisis now. how will it play itself out? what will have to happen now? what are the choices out there? ian: i am with richard in that i think this is serious. i don't think it's serious that we have to have a crisis just because he picked up the phone. they do recognize that that act as itself as president elect, as unusual and unconventional as it is in the context of the big relationship and an unusual
president-elect, they can live with that. but there are a lot of other messages being sent. additional tweets right after saying the chinese are taxing our goods coming in and if we do not tax there is the chinese , are expanding their military and manipulating a currency. he did not say it was not a big deal, he doubled down on it. charlie: he said all of those things during the campaign. everyone of them. ian: he said a lot of things during the campaign. the question is what will he do as president-elect now that he has a team around. the chinese government, their view of trump when i met them all of a week ago was, we don't know this guy, but he's a businessman. he's not going to be criticizing us on human rights or our domestic, internal policies. if he is a hard negotiator, we are hard negotiators, too, but we can deal with that. --thermore, there were the
if you saw xi jinping when he gave his speech a couple of weeks ago, that was the one speech at that summit -- obama did not give a speech there. he said we are the ones that's going to lead and drive globalization if the united states is not. this is very different than the china richard and i have been talking about for years, that they are small, they are not ready. this is a china that sees there is a lot of room for them to actually -- charlie: do they believe, regardless of this incident, that there is a power vacuum in in the united states or in the world? ian: they can't fill all of it, but they do certainly understand that with the trump administration driving a spike into the transpacific partnership, they understand american allies in the region are very disconcerted.
they don't know they can count on the united states the way they had hereto for. just today, xi jinping announces going to go to davos. for the first time. that is western globalization, why would they show up there? trump is going to be inaugurated while davos is going on. this is a very interesting time for the chinese to show they are the ones writing the checks. they are the ones that driving multilateral architecture, the new secretary-general to beijing, treating him like the head of state, saying of the u.n. is the most important multilateral organization in the world and we are going to do everything possible to support it. could you imagine president-elect trump saying that? from that perspective, china sees room to run with this administration, and these are not coincidental things. charlie: your reaction to the
terms of this vacuum or for the chinese to say we are prepared from the beginning? we have always talked about peace and prosperity, now we are talking about peace, prosperity and influence. richard: there's a lot to this. the transpacific partnership and trade deal. the fact it did not happens means the third leg to this stool got knocked out. there was a campaign about america first. their view is the united states is less inclined, which they already thought after iraq and afghanistan, that the united states was less likely to play a role. they have seen the comments about distancing ourselves from allies. they see this as something of an opportunity. china has always been an art mixture of a developing country and a major power. we will see a slight shift and that emphasis less of a , developing country. to some extent, they have begun
to arrive. and a little more of a major power. the real question is how they exercise their power and do they integrate into an international order based on principles we can embrace or do they have a very different idea about how things in asia and the world ought to operate? to the extent the united states is not active, they are more likely to define it in ways we do not like. if taiwan becomes a big issue, the danger than is the ability of the united states to work with china on what be the most pressing national security issue facing this administration, namely north korea, the chinese ability to work with us dwindles and a nationalist reaction likely to come out over taiwan will limit the ability of their government, xi jinping, to work with us on a policy goal that matters. charlie: does trump follow any of this? richard: at the risk of being insulting, no. this is not somebody who spent his years in this business. charlie: but he's got people around him. he has to be briefed on these kinds of things during the
presidential campaign. richard: that's the bigger question -- to one extent, how much of this is an ad-hocracy. however messy governments are, this one is fully consistent with that. one of the things you are careful about is not getting yourself into certain situations. there's nothing wrong with telephone diplomacy, bush 41 use it to great effect to develop and invest in relationships. here, i get the sense that people around the president-elect had an agenda which was to take this situation that had been finessed between the united states, china and taiwan and basically make it more explicit, to cease finessing it and make it something more obvious. what i don't know is if someone told donald trump, before you do
this, understand the consequences. this is not the place we want to have a showdown, given everything from geography, the fact that taiwan exports a lot of its goods to the mainland, it's very far away. it is not a place you want to have a showdown. if you want these guys to help us on north korea, you maybe don't want to push them on this. what i don't see is that someone took a step back and presented this phone call strategically. that is the obligation of staff. if the individual himself is not at that charlie: when we talk point. about people who might have influenced him, who might have influenced him to take the call and who might have said no but didn't? ian: that's a level of detail -- i do not know. i literally don't know what the process is. campaigns and transitions -- as
you said quite right, you have people whose main preoccupation is finding staff. at the end of the day, personnel are policy, so that's the emphasis. that's one of the reasons you want to go slow on some of these phone calls. there's time for that later. the beginning question of every meeting i had in china is what is the new administration going to do? everyone is trying to read our tea leaves and they are as confused as we are as to what to expect. the second thing the chinese said is that they want a good relationship with the united states. they want a stable region in the world so they can continue to grow economically. they are not looking for fights. they would like to work things out with this administration on terms they find acceptable. my hunch is they are genuinely surprised by -- this was not something -- i've been going to china for over 30 years. this is the first trip i've ever taken where taiwan did not come up in any of the official
meetings. it used to be, every meeting, like station identification, 25% of every meeting, you were read the ritual talking points about taiwan. in this case, it did not come up. instead we talked about north , korea, we talked about other issues. the fact it did not come up was a major implicit statement that we had succeeded in putting this issue in a kind of box and everyone was comfortable with the choreography. now it's out of the box and this is going to become a major distraction. charlie: the failure of tpp was a major gift to the chinese, one of the biggest gifts we could offer because? ian: because american allies in asia had put significant political capital into actually getting this deal done with their own governments, their own parliaments, their own populations. the prime minister of japan, shinzo abe, hopped on a plane
and went to see trump and did not bring up tpp, but he's strong at home and popular. he doesn't have to worry about a new election anytime soon. he's going to pearl harbor. he could call a snap election and do better. but those other allies have been hit hard. they feel like they have lost. singapore, the philippines, australia, all of these countries -- i've heard this chapter and verse from foreign ministers and in some cases, heads of state of every one of these countries even before trump was elected. what are you doing? united states you got to make , good on these commitments what we've got no choice but to go toward china. charlie: i would be interested in it, if this had not happened is xi jinping consolidating his , power? ian: sure. charlie: is there increased or less opposition to him? becoming less nationalistic in
that effort? giving more power to the military? mistake xiggest jinping made in his early presidency was in the first year, some expansion of assertiveness very quickly on the military front in the south china sea that led to a bunch of american allies overreacting and being driven into america's arms. that was before xi jinping has started his anticorruption campaign in earnest, which began with the people's liberation army and move toward the provinces and state owned enterprises and now into central ministries. what we have seen consistently over five years is that xi is not just consolidating power, but building a long-term outtegic plan and building chinese influence, not just the communist party over its people
but in the entire region , economically and more broadly than that. richard: he has this fall, in october of 2017, the 19th party of congress. he wants to institutionalize his committeerestock the with loyalists. so to answer your question, he's becoming slightly more nationalist, but at the end of the day, his position is not going to rise and fall on chinese foreign-policy. it will rise and fall on the chinese economy making this transition. charlie: they are finding it more difficult than they imagined? richard: like most things in life, it's one thing to talk about and another to implement it. one of the reasons for the anticorruption campaign has nothing to do with corruption. it is to put a lid on it it is , to maintain political control during a difficult political and economic transition and he's taking very few chances. that is what we are seeing in china and why this terminology you saw used for the first time a few weeks ago about his being the core leader is meant to send
the signal that he represents the essence of chinese history and he's now the clinical center -- political center of this country. most china experts will tell you he has centralized more power than any chinese leader arguably since mao zedong. i do not think that is an exaggeration. to the end of continuing and -- the economic transformation of the country and he feels since the lubrication that came from high economic growth rates is no longer there, the only way china can continue to changes if political dissent is bottled up. the problem is, how can you get the creativity you need from the economy and the openness when you put on the lid politically? that is the contradiction that potentially could undermine his efforts and mean that china is unlikely to make this transition smoothly. ian: the important take away from that is that this is not a
leader that needs to gin up nationalism. this is not a leader that needs a fight on taiwan. one of the reasons why their initial reaction was a little tentative was ok, maybe he really screwed this up and we are doing well. longer-term, things are moving in our favor. charlie: why did henry kissinger go there? did he go over because there was an election here in the chinese wanted to get his thoughts there? ian: the guy is 93 years old and has been involved in every administration. he's very much in the mix and still very relevant and respected in china. he is still on top of the issues more politically and strategically and has spoken with trump. i have to think the decision by trump to take the call from the taiwanese president had to make kissinger lose his mind.
his biggest concern all this time is, this is the big danger, the big global risk of this new world order. charlie: at the last china development forum i went to, that was all they talked about. richard: the u.s.-china relationship is a stunning piece of diplomacy. we have one rationale -- anti-soviet system. the relevantness of that ended the cold war. now for two and a half decades the united states and china have continued to evolve a relationship with significant elements of cooperation despite these protections of gloom and doom. it's quite a diplomatic accomplishment. it is one that has gone through democratic and republican administrations. it has served both countries on balance. now is thewe see possibility that some of this is in play for the first time in a generation or that, for people two. like henry kissinger and the architects of this, anyone who is serious about american foreign policy and the way the
international system evolves, this has added a question at a time when there were already enough questions to keep us busy. charlie: there is a rise of populism in europe. we just saw the italian election. the people who gained some power because they were very supportive of the no vote, they -- the five star movement, they are very much anti-globalization, anti-euro and everything else. but in the broader sense, we had a different result in austria. we've got three or four big elections coming up in it's 2017. going to be the year of europe in terms of political activity. richard: we are already into it beginning with brexit. a 60-40 vote against the establishment, a real frustration over italian economic performance. we will have an election in france which won't go to the far right, to marine le pen. most likely.
germany, most of the conventional wisdom is the chancellor will win but with a much reduced political base. the european project, one of these great historical achievements, you think about the aftermath of world war ii and the european community, this idea that france and germany and europe would be so knitted together economically that war would be unthinkable, for the first time, that has come into play. it is one of these moments whether the issue is china or , europe, i feel we are living in history in ways that for decades, i don't know about you, but i never sensed. i never sensed we are living in history. i felt that there were givens, you get up in the morning, there was a cold war, -- charlie: you sense we are at an inflection point in the world structure? richard: there are fewer givens, fewer assumptions that hold. there are more things up for grabs. populations are more likely to
say we are going to take a different course without understanding quite what they are tossing out. i feel it in the europe and in the united states. ian: in europe, trump is truly and deeply problematic. it is an identity crisis issue. trump's support in europe and the people trump will support are these populists, nigel farage who campaigned for him from the u.k. and who led the brexit movement. it is geert wilders in the freedom party in the netherlands. and marine le pen. those are the deepest enemies of these establishment -- charlie: are they the people donald trump relates to? ian: it has gone both ways. we have seen it in tweets, we have seen it in her campaign stops, and if there is not just an end to the confrontation between the u.s. and russia, that, if it becomes warmer and
trump has given every reason he has an intention to at least try that out, that becomes a serious problem for nato, for poland, for the baltic states. the transatlantic relationship, the underpinning of history not happening in front of us every day, that relationship is now at its weakest at any point since world war ii. charlie: and russia stands ready to benefit as much as they can? ian: i cannot see why they would not. putin has no internal challenges. he doesn't necessarily need an american enemy he can just show , he's winning on things like syria and ukraine and with trump as opposed to obama. richard: russia and putin is a much more worrisome than china. even though xi jinping has consolidated enormous power there are still some checks and , balances. russia, by contrast, is not a real economy. it is an oil and gas economy and is not integrated into the region or the world.
putin has drained institutions in russia of their power. he has de-institutionalized the country. during the missile crisis they faced far more constraints than putin faces now. russia is a singular challenge facing europe at a time when europe is less united than it has been -- if vladimir putin wants to do something reckless in the baltics, there's no one who will say you can't do that and that will give us pause. charlie: when you look at the obama administration and the way they handled russia, have they not understood or had they not wanted to engage or is this putin being the way he was left them no room to make a deal? richard: it's probably two things. the obama administration arguably could have done more in the ukraine to help militarily. you also have to walk the clock back 25 years to the end of the cold war and look at several administrations beginning with
41 through clinton through w and so forth and say did the united states handle a defeated or how do we want to describe russia after the cold war? did we handle it the way we should have? there are debates about nato enlargement, american aid for russia and so forth, whether we showed them, whether we handled them right. i think historians are going to find that rich. nato enlargement took flight under the clinton administration and that's when that happened. charlie: but the wall came down -- richard: on of all days, 11/nine. you had the reunification of germany with nato and people were sensitive to gorbachev. in his aftermath, historians will debate whether the united states mishandled things or whether there's something about russian political culture which putin personifies which made any
american attempt to integrate and deal with russia a failure, that there was something about russia that was going to exist -- resist. a peaceful, democratic transformation. that will be the subject of many phd theses to come. ian: you don't want major global leaders to feel insecure in their international position. xi jinping does not. vladimir putin does. charlie: he must think he was winning. ian: he does now. russians were humiliated everywhere, not treated with respect by obama and his cabinet. you hear it every time you go there. and by god, they're going to do something about it. they did it in ukraine, they did it with syria -- they have been doing their muscle flexing militarily. charlie: if you want to do something in syria now, you have to come through us. ian: and trump is largely going
to accept that logic. at least from what he has said so far. the thing i worry about most, chinaked richard before, got up russia with me and they , are worried about russia. they did not vote with the russians at the last un security council. they had the last three times. they don't like the fact that russia is becoming more revisionist and the chinese are investing all over the world, not just in countries like latin america, they are investing in all those countries around russia. those countries will increasingly see that china is the only way to go because russia is not a real economy and you can only go so far with the military and energy. over time it is not just the americans mishandling russia, it is the chinese. the power balance is really against moscow and putin becomes a potentially dangerous leader. i worry more about where the russians go over the medium to
♪ charlie: we now turn to italy. prime minister matteo renzi said he would resign after rejecting his proposals in a referendum. he argued his plan was stabilize the country and while the country to put in some reform. here's what the premise are said -- here is what the prime minister said to me in a "60 minutes" "60 minutes" profile, which aired here 10 days ago. if you win, if the vote is yes, the italian government will be more efficient, it will be less your craddick, and it will make -- less bureaucratic, and make the economy more competitive. mr. renzi: this is my strategy if ase, in this time, country is less europe or seccombe a way can't compete with other countries around the
world with more efficiency. why italian geniuses have to decide to leave italy because there is a system in which bureaucracy decides everything. charlie: you are saying there's a brain drain in italy. the smartest people are going to london, new york, beijing. mr. renzi: absolutely. charlie: if you win, that's what will happen. what if you lose? what happens? mr. renzi: i think if we will lose, the referendum will be a negative message for change. it's not the problem in case of loss. the system remains exactly that. the system remains exactly that with 950 people in parliaments.
with a lot of hospira red tame -- red tape. everything remains the same. charlie: i know you have heard this before. mr. renzi: but i think the discussion about changes very popular in italy because a lot of people think it is a risk. yes, it's a risk. charlie: they say if the vote was today, you would lose? mr. renzi: but i'm very optimistic because all the polls and last six months in the united kingdom, and the columbia -- i don't know. charlie: but you hope you can do what between now and december 4?
mr. renzi: my only strategy is explain that we have to vote yes. charlie: they say you have made this about you, not the prime minister and it has become a vote about you and that's not good. mr. renzi: yes, and now was my mistake in the first days of the campaign. and myself, i understand the mistake. i don't accept the people who say politicians have to refuse to admit mistakes. no. i'm a man. i can make some mistakes. mistake.was my but right now, the discussion is very clear.
charlie: 63 government in 70 years. mr. renzi: exactly. as a bureaucracy, everything is difficult, everything is complicated and my idea is simply give simplicity to italy. in two years, we achieve some results. jobs act with a change for markets. civil rights, with the law for marriage, and new initiatives against the directive of public administration, new strategies for investments. now, italy is one of the countries with more presence of the national investors. -- with the presence of international investors. this is very important. charlie: this is what you think will be the result of a yes vote? more competition, more investment, less bureaucracy? mr. renzi: yes. and if i can use -- with yes,
italy starts its future. in the last 20 years, italy discuss only about the past. the past is wonderful in italy. the most beautiful place around the world in my opinion, i'm sorry for other people around the world. this is an incredible place, but the past is not sufficient. we need a future because we are italians and italy is not all museums. charlie: it is not only museums but some people think italy is only museums and you say we will change that? some also say that you are the last best chance to change italy. you are the last best chance to ensure italy is a competitive nation in a competitive world and no longer a museum. last best chance. mr. renzi: i think italy is rich
of great hope around the country. i'm not the last best chance. there are a lot of best chances to change italy. there is a new generation that fought against the old generation who really could change this country. charlie: here is what some of my journalist friends have said to me. he's a man in a hurry, talks too much, has tried to do a lot in two and a half years, but they remind me your priest said to you god exists, but you are not god. [laughter] mr. renzi: it's true. he told me. it's very funny. yes, i'm the man in the arena.
charlie: teddy roosevelt said the man in the arena deserves the credit. mr. renzi: the man in the arena tried to change things. after a time when the politicians were very able but very unable to change the country because we changed a lot of governments but we don't change the country. i'm not interested to change about government, i'm interested to change the conditions for the people. so yes, i talk a lot, i try to compete with older colleagues and older people and other countries. but this is the only way for this italy at this moment. charlie: the referendum was regarded as a test for the european union and the no vote
was seen as a repudiation of establishment politics, propelling the rise of populism across europe. in austria, the green party andidate one over his opponent. my guest reviews lee served as ambassador to nato and i'm pleased to have him back on the program. where have you been? ivo: i've been in chicago, watching how good integration can create a good city but watching what is going on with europe with great unease. charlie: why unease? ivo: starting with brexit and accelerating over time, we see a wave of populism and nationalism and golfing the continent. the vote in italy, although there were specific issues at stake and not everyone voted against the referendum can be seen as a populist, it was beating this wave of unease with the establishment, with the
european union, with the elite, a great deal of anxiety that has turned to anger, leading people to take a stand and say we want change, we want to do it differently, we don't like the way we have been doing it. charlie: the great irony is here is a prime minister trying to change italy and make it more competitive. he faced accusations he was trying to get too much power for the prime minister's place and into the executive wing of government, but he was the establishment because he was prime minister but he was trying to change the establishment. then people come along and voted no because they wanted to change it more. ivo: that's right. he was trying to work within a system that many people believe has failed. he tried to put forward some important ideas of reforming the senate and other parts of the
government in order to make government more responsive, more effective, more able to meet the needs of the people. but i don't think the details were important. what mattered is people wanted to say enough is enough. this is not working and we don't like anybody who is in power. they would vote against anyone who is in power, so in the populists get in in a year or two, they will have a problem because the problems that are there are big and the economy that is not competitive, you have people who suffered quite a lot, the youth vote overwhelmingly went against him. these are people who are underemployed are unemployed or still living with their parents and they don't have much of a future and they are saying we want a change and they are willing to take on faith anyone who offers a solution.
whether it's nigel farage in great britain or donald trump in the united states, they are going to go with the guy, and it is always guys up to this point, who are offering a quick, easy out. charlie: why was austria different? ivo: in some ways, austria was not different. 47% voted for an extreme right-wing leader, so it was a close election. interestingly enough, the person that one did run on a pro-eu ticket and post a stark choice. i think when you compose a stark choice, you'll see a great division. sometimes you will find the non-populist win as they did in austria and others, you will find the populist win as they did in great britain. the next big test is france where we have two candidates, one of whom is almost certainly going to be marine le pen who is the populist candidate running against the presumably conservative candidate and it's
going to be 50/50. who's going to get above that margin? the thing we are talking about as we are talking about nearly 50% in the country's saying we want something different, we want to find a new way of doing business, and we want to go against not only the establishment but the institutions that have been part of the european order and part of the national order for 30, 40 to 50 years. ♪
charlie: is it also part of your concern that some of these authoritarian leaders, some of these leaders who have been on the scene for a while and have never been able to command a majority have values that are not in the great tradition of the western values of europe and the united states? ivo: there is a certain tendency to use an us versus them mentality and appeal to the majority in most cases, to blame immigrants, to appeal to more a sick xenophobic array since -- more basic xenophobic or racist instincts. this social compact, the integration that used to be part of the way we thought in western societies we ought to govern ourselves is breaking down and
you get a much more divisive kind of politics that you see in france when it gets to the issue of muslims. you see it in the netherlands where moroccans, in particular, are being targeted as a potential minority that is the reason for the problem we're having. in italy, it is the large influx from folks across the mediterranean coming from sub-saharan africa. people who look different or practice a different religion are used as a scapegoat as reason for the problem we are defining. charlie: is it possible these western countries, if the movements are successful will pull away from the united states? ivo: i would worry more about people turning inward and we enter a nationalist movement in most of these in european countries. you are already seeing this in poland and hungary where there's
an increasing willingness to take stances that are very much against that are very much against the kind of mainstream western values we have seen, and anti-european union and in some ways, pro-putin, to feed opposition to the european union. i worry about a europe increasingly composed of individual nationstates who no longer need to cooperate to ultimately put one nation against another and put the kind of conflict we had before world war i and world war ii, where the actual use of military forces seen as a way to resolve disputes. that is what the european union and the european project was about to eliminate, to have france and germany, to erstwhile enemies that fought three wars come together and work for the mutual prosperity of french and germans.
that structure is starting to break down. it started with brexit where the u.k. said that's good for you guys, but it's not ok for us. you see these growing populist movements that say the european union is the problem and we need to have more power internally to address the problems we face and you use nationalism as a means to get to that end. you go back to the age of the nationstate which in europe, you surpass that with the supranational institution called the european union and that union falls away and states look at their interest from a purely national point of view, that we don't like you and we need to resolve our differences no longer through negotiation, but possibly through the use of force. that is a future that one year ago would have been very
difficult to see as possible. i fear we are at a state where this is no longer impossible. charlie: is it a threat to the eurozone and eventually a threat to the european union? ivo: i think so. there's the possibility that, for example, if marine le pen wins in france, i'm not saying she will, but she's going to get a lot of votes and if she were to win, there's a serious possibility she would have a referendum on ending french participation in the eurozone and that the end of the eurozone. we could see this already happening in italy after the referendum if the five-star movement takes charge. they will have a referendum on exiting the eurozone. if one goes, they all go. it's one of the reasons greece is not allowed to get out of the eurozone. without the eurozone, once
integration reverses, the spiral of disintegration might go quite quickly. the end of the eu, a year ago, no one would have thought possible, but it's at least something one has to worry about. charlie: that's one of the consequences of the italian election and how massive it was, 60-40. ivo: 3/5. it's a big number. as i said at the outset, some people voted against the referendum because they did not like the particular solution. the last prime minister came out change the constitution. the last prime minister came out against the referendum saying this was not the right way to i think renzi made an error putting the referendum in his own future at stake saying if you vote this down, you are voting against me in the same way david cameron did.
there's a real question, are referenda the best way to resolve these big questions or should one use regular elections? in britain, it was shown if you have a referendum, you don't know what the out come is. particularly if the vote is for status quo, which you don't like or something better, which we don't have to define, which is what the brexit vote was about. in this case, it was status quo and the status quo is painted as the referendum. renzi was making the argument that in order to continue making progress, you have to change the system and people said we want to change the whole thing and voted against it. having the referendum to solve these complicated decisions may not the best way. charlie: the interesting thing is you had people who might want
some change in terms of the efficiency of government but did not want some change in their own lifestyle. the idea of change had a certain appeal in terms of an idea but in the end, they didn't want it. the five-star movement and those people didn't like it because they didn't go far enough in terms of turning the system upside down. ivo: i think you have it exactly right in the problem with having a yes or no vote, where complicated issues, different argumentation to have to a binary choice. one of the reasons we have a representative democracy, where we elect congressmen or senators is because we don't want to make
those choices and have them done by 40 people. we want to make a government that makes those choices and if we don't like the government, we will throw them out and have another election four years later. this is the danger of moving toward these direct forms of democracy. on some issues that are very clear where there's a clear yes or no, it might make sense but on big issues, like the constitutional structure of the country, and to decide that on a yes-no basis where there are so many issues that come into play, that may not be the smartest way of solving our challenges and to address them in a direct way. much better to vote for a political party more like the one that has the values that you, the voter have, rather than another set of local parties. that is why we have had a representative democracy and it has worked well for a pretty long time and these referendums are creating a division in the countries that leave no one
better off and become rallying cries for a whole variety of anxieties and anger that exists in our society that isn't very helpful. charlie: what does this do to the idea of migration and diversity? ivo: it makes migration and diversity more difficult. integration is a more difficult thing to do when you have a deeply divided society. you see it here at home and you have seen in europe. after the brexit vote, the government made very clear that an end to open borders was the necessary price to pay in order to implement the will of the people and we increasingly see the reaction to migration and refugees and the mobilization of public opinion against people who are different from us. creating the difference between
ofand creating the kind angry politics and divisiveness in our societies. charlie: the creation of fake news. ivo: the propaganda with the creation of fake news sites, perpetuating in russia today, russian sponsored networks, it's all part of this larger picture that is emerging of the disquiet that is feeding people's anxieties. when people are worried about their future and are concerned about what the direction of the country is, they are more susceptible to demagogue it politics of the kind we are seeing. charlie: the president of the chicago council of global affairs, thank you again. thank you for joining us. we will see you next time. ♪