Sunday, 16 December 2012

Voting in Italy

Italian electoral rules in general elections (il Porcellum) are such that  55% of the seats in the Lower House will be assigned to the coalition party that comes in first, regardless of the number of votes obtained.

At the moment polls are giving the Democratic Party/Solidarity, Ecology&Liberty coalition some 34%, 10 points and more ahead of nearest rivals Beppe Grillo's anti-party 5 Stars movement, followed by Berlusconi's People of Liberty at 15%.  A notional Monti party is at 15%.  There is a long tail of also-runnings but Angels don't do nerdy.

It should be all done and dusted.  But it's not despite frantic appeals for calm, steady as she goes, we are serene in our expectations, from the Left and extreme Left  (to the point of insanity) PD-SEL.  Il Corriere notes this morning that almost half the  electorate of the Democratic Party, 44%, intend to vote for a Monti coalition if  available.  There are unmeasured numbers of voters stumbling about in the electoral fog without the least idea of what to do and the Church is standing ready to direct them to Monti. Both the People of Liberty party and the Future and Liberty party are tainted by their leader (Berlusconi) in the first, and by their origins (the former Fascist party Alleanza Nazionale) in the second.

Italians vote:they don't chicken-out and abstain.  60-70% of them loathe what progressive Comrade Bersani and his apparatchiks are, still, against all the evidence of the 20th century; and when it comes to the wilder shores of  Solidarity, Ecology and Liberty they might well be inclined to take up arms.  The North has had more than enough of the Mezzogiorno,  nor will they accept alliance with Berlusconi's morals, political or otherwise.  

Somehow Monti must find a container for the thing contained, in this Thurberesque tale, for which a hugely diverse coalition of the electorate  can vote without any sense of abandonment of principle or political or ethical shame.

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