At last some kinds of certainties are available in the Italian elections. We have now: all the parties; all the party lists of candidates; all the formal coalitions in which the various parties are running; the porcellum (the election rules in Italy). And anyone with half an eye has sorted the various media into the various political support camps with all the contortions, half truths, misleading analyses, obfuscation of ideological loyalties, and downright lies that need to be taken into account in reaching some understanding of these elections.What we don't have is any up-to-date polling with all this in place. Until now polls have been taken under conditions of uncertainty so high that their indicative levels have been rather low.
Two coalitions are truth-tellers - Mario Monti's coalition and Silvio Berlusconi's coalition. The other coalition is trying to bamboozle the electorate with high-flown ethical rhetoric and low-level ideological motivation and political analysis - Pierluigi Bersani's coalition is a 20th century throwback.
Monti offers radical changes to the Italian nation state via enthusiastic pursuance of ever-closer European union together with the personal, local and community values associated with a civic conscience. Berlusconi offers radical changes to the Italian nation state via economic individualism, the decriminalising of economic activity and association currently condemned by the tax and spend state, together with a resurrected foreign policy using the Peninsula's pivotal position in the European Union and European geopolitics to contain central-northern European (and specifically German) economic aggression. For Bersani's world view, please refer to the dreary history of realised socialism and the failure to understand that the future of the Left lies dead, its bullet-ravaged body at the foot of a wall in Berlin last century.
Coalescing seems to have gone as far as it can in Italy. These elections are a revelation of the profound divisions among its people.
Oxford's Paul Lodge interviewed...
8 hours ago