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Italy - The wrong way round
The third fact which I find interesting is that the dream - or rather the nightmare as it seems to me and to many of you - of a two-party system has failed. The idea that Italy can be reduced by two big parties that represent everything and its opposite, without a coherent programme, without a common idea - the dream of Berlusconi and Veltroni when they were putting together an agreement in late 2007 - to divide Italy between them and drive out anything that didn't fit into these two hold-alls, to prune all the awkward branches of the hedge and leave just that one hedge, the PDL and the PD-without-an-L, as Grillo says: that dream has come a cropper. Veltroni has been out of politics for a while, while Berlusconi is on his third phase of decline. This always happens when he gets into power: first there's a period of collective idiocy while people still believe his sales pitch, after which, as soon as they notice the fraud that he's perpetrating, he immediately loses popularity. So what's the problem? The problem is that when his popularity has sunk and he loses the next election, unfortunately the centre-left wins, whose task it is, or so far always has been, to make people forget the mess that Berlusconi has made and to revive him from his ashes. This has already happened twice since 1994 when Bossi brought down the Berlusconi government, and Prodi won the 1996 elections, only to be driven out by his allies after he had brought Italy into the Euro. The same thing happened in 2001. Berlusconi governed for 5 years from 2001 to 2006, but right from the first year he began to lose local, provincial, national and European elections as well as the referendum on the Constitution. Then the centre-left managed to do itself such damage with pardons, Mastella, various splits and so on, that it managed to commit suicide within 18 months. This time we shall see what happens. It is clear that Berlusconi, who thought he could capitalise on the propaganda with which once again he had deceived the majority of Italians during his first year of government, has instead got a bloody nose. His only hope is that the Democratic Party may go back to its old habits of internal gossip, frightened by the small dose of anti-berlusconianism that it has been showing in the last months of the electoral campaign in order to mask the nullity of its opposition. We shall see. The fact remains that the two-party-state dream is over. The project to make the PDL a majority party, with no need of a coalition partner, has failed. Berlusconi has always spoken of his party trending towards 50% of the vote so that he could do without the League, but recently it has become clear that not even he believed in this. That's why he has been making advances to Casini. In any event, the blow that he suffered yesterday was much harsher than he had been expecting, since his party not only didn't reach 50%, nor 40%, nor even the 38-point-something that it got a year ago, and today finds itself with just 35.3% of the vote. On the other hand, the Democratic Party, with its "vocation to be a majority party", as Veltroni comically said, one year ago had 33% and today has just 26.1%, or just half of the votes that it would need to be a majority party. Inevitably, then, it has to ally itself with the parties that it disdainfully rejected a year ago - the parties of the left, and also Di Pietro who has made off with its underpants!
he's the man...

'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 Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 07:23:09 AM EST
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oops, i messed up the formatting, apologies.

'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 Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 07:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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