Voting to keep the Bersani-led faction of the Democratic Party out of power is being denounced as irresponsible and risky for Italy, the Eurozone and the European project itself. Gosh.
There is another prize within our grasp as well. If the hobbled, limping campaign led by Bersani that has caused the collapse of the centre-left vote causes, too, the hung Parliament widely expected the comrades can hardly remain as Leader and leading cadres when we all go back for a second try to get it Right.
Even Gordon Brown resigned eventually (admittedly it took 5 days) after a disaster of a campaign, taking with him the unpleasant and under-powered faction with whom he had held power. It's the way, these days. Fail to gain enough votes to command the Parliament (and in Italy that's both Houses)? Resign the party leadership and let someone more attractive have a try.
So who might we like to lead the Partito Democratico? Matteo Renzi for the right of the Democrats or Fabrizio Barca for the left - though the 'leftness' of Barca is chiefly in the name (an economist who studied at Cambridge and worked with Tremonti for years is hardly likely to burst out in Bandiera Rossa.) Either would be fine.
Why is the Democratic Party saddled with an elderly incoherent loser? Even those who are voting for it are doing so with gritted teeth and hangdog excuses about loyalty, always have voted to the left, etc. Voter enthusiasm is marked by its absence.
There's a lot going for populism and ungovernability.
New books in January
2 hours ago