It was always an uneasy amassing of the Italian Communist Party, the remnants of the Italian Socialist Party, the liberals of the Christian Democrats and various odds and sods left over from debacles in the Italian politics of the last century. Romano Prodi (Christian Democrat) could hold it all together by offering external goals, European agendas that were acceptable to the motley crew. He could attract, too, the votes of the real Centre, the gente perbene of the middle classes repelled by Berlusconi and his behaviours.
Not Bersani: nor could such a grouping be held together by imposition of Communist party discipline, although it could be usurped by Communist party political action and activists - and it has been. The Partito Democratico has never won an election other than under Prodi's leadership and, on Prodi's departure, has lost every time to Berlusconi. Only a minority of Italians are Communist voters. The Communist-faction led PD has lost again this time. This time they kept out the leader who could have given Italy a government over a month ago with their rigged primaries last November. Bersani has argued falsely that only he can keep the PD together. The truth is that only by keeping the PD under its organisational, democratic-centralist thumb can the old Communist Party of Italy survive at all. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union it has had to fund itself via 'foundations' controlling regional banks - notably the Monte dei Paschi, itself now under blanket investigation by the magistrates. Any government installed in Italy other than a Bersani government means the end for the PCI, few followers, no money.
They should be extruded from any party calling itself democratic. They should, together with their 'social forces' - the communist-dominated unions, the third sector, swathes of regional and local government and administration - be finally extinguished as any part of the Left. They put themselves and their survival before country, party, national and local need. They are disloyal to all of these.
Bersani has just said:
"Whoever may come after me.....must first of all win the votes of 480 MPs of our coalition. [because the PD-SEL (far left eco/rainbow party) coalition got 0.4 of the vote more than the Right coalition they received the majority premium in the Lower House, ed.] votes that I have now. So don't come and propose grand coalition government, even disguised behind another name because my "No" is a given already. Half the PD will not vote ever for a sort of new version of the Monti government and does not want to split with the SEL, because SEL will not agree to follow such a path..." [Secretary Bersani often slips into Communist Party-school speech it would be quite funny if it wasn't so vile, ed., emphasis added]
So the other half of the PD will vote how, exactly? For a grand coalition? And how will the SEL then vote once there is nothing to be gained from alliance with the CP rump? By his own admission Bersni can no more hold together Prodi's Democratic Party than fly.