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the doodling tic b. had was really distracting, and made him look half-there, as if his scribblings were more important than the debate itself.

prodi had a bit of peperoncino in him, and the long pauses he usually needs to gather his wits were reduced. a touch more ginko bilobus and he'll have a chance!

b's floods of numbers were impressive in an autistic sort of way, but i think the public is tired of being power-pointed into thinking the country can be run like a bigger 'mediaset', while the 'carovita' (cost of living) is patently ever higher as reflected in their bills and food prices.

biggest problem for prodi if he wins?

how to stop the different factions of the unione from wasting energy and authority with internecine squabbling, and harness the will to go forward without replaying the old pattern of italian politics, where people yell and scream, and the same-old cr** goes on as ever, corruption, inefficiency, half-baked ideas, and a terrible habit of churning out decrees to add to the insane mountain of laws italy is already overburdened with.

rumour has it that the average number of laws in a european country is 6-9000, while italy has over 350,000!

de gondi, do you know this to be true?

berlusconi tried all his favourite tactics, but they need his own fawning tv stations to work 'properly', and his petulance and disregard for the rules made him appear immature and 'prepotente' (arrogant).

most disturbing was the lack of any questions about world energy, and italy's woeful tardiness in working to make alternative sustainable power a reality here, as germany and spain 'steam' ahead.

apart from one quick question about iraq, all the debate was about domestic issues.

i know one's mess at home is always a priority, but this lack of discussion about the big wide world beyond italy's borders seemed parochial and self-obsessed.

thanks for a great summary, de gondi, it captured the essences of the two protagonists perfectly.

hopefully hannah will chime in...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 12:09:25 AM EST
Thanks very much for the follow-up. Italy has far too many laws but I'm not sure it's 350,000. I think it's about half that but still far too many.

They did talk about Iran. It was the only question B answered within the time limit.

Alternative energy sources is part of the Union program.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 01:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry to sound "clintonesque", but it depends on the meaning you give to the word "law".
The Italian judicial system, similarly to the French one, requires precise description of everything, as the discretionary power of judges and weight of previous judicial decisions are very low. This is, believe it or not, partially a side-effect of being a "revolutionary" state... Mussolini squandered any credibility an "italian tradition" might have left. It was also an effect of the oldest judicial system on earth... we had proper judges and juries in Rome when other countries were still ruled by tribal law.
by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 04:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rumour has it that the average number of laws in a european country is 6-9000, while italy has over 350,000!
You know? People (including me) made a whole lot of fun of Minnessota when they elected Jesse Ventura (a former pro westler) governor, but the guy was anything but a dimwit. One of his best proposals was that the legislature should spend one year out of every 4 pruning away outdated or unnecessary laws instead of writing new ones.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 05:11:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it would take a hercules....

them stables sure could use a good sweep.

i agree being a wrestler is an excellent qualification.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 07:29:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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