The aparatchiks of the Partito Comunista Italiano, embodying the remnants of the Italian Democratic Party, are holding primaries this weekend to choose that small section of the Party lists not reserved to the Party Secretary for the February general elections. Of those conferred with a ballot (these are not democratic elections, merely a propaganda gesture and only those who got under the wire to vote in choosing the party leader are eligible at this day's fiasco) over 70% have declined to be instrumentalised in this way. Matteo Renzi's voters are saving their breath to cool their porridge for a genuinely democratic ballot on 24 February.
The communist faithful have duly turned out to select the ideologues and the dead wood that Renzi sought to consign to the past and the political cemetery. These numbers are devastating for Bersani's hopes of coming to power in alliance with his even lefter allies. Those of us who would have voted for a Renzi-led Democratic party freed of just the influences on display now will be voting for Monti.