Italians voted no to reform; because they dislike Renzi; because they didn’t want him to have more power; because they wanted to protest; because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Because just as Brits and Unitedstaters before them, they would rather vote for their pet issues than for what their country desperately needs.
Perhaps Renzi could have sold it better, perhaps he should have taken it easier; but then he knows reform is urgent, and simply wasn’t prepared for the level of stupidity so many other countries have fallen for.
What follows? More of the same: governments that last on average a little more than a year; an economy in dire straits; unemployment; whole cities in the hands of the mafia; a feeling that Italy isn’t really part of the EU.
In general this is a problem democracies everywhere must solve.
Is it the EU’s fault? Time for more hand wringing? Or time to undo the tendency, and ask people small issues which cannot be construed to be anything else.