Viva Italia!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hopes you’ve been following the saga of the Italian elections. Because if you are anything like your Maximum Leader (and he knows you’re not), you are just captivated by them.

You know your Maximum Leader loves politics. But sometimes American politics gets him angry. So angry he is glad that his physician isn’t around - as your Maximum Leader would be sure that he would immediately prescribe some blood pressure medicine. American politics also fills your Maximum Leader with deep melancholy at times. Melancholy spawned by a sense that we deserve better than we’re getting. (And that is a bipartisan comment by the way.)

But Italian politics - well, that revs your Maximum Leader’s engine. He can watch Italian politics (through the lens of English language paers and web sites) and just enjoy it. Your Maximum Leader thinks that this feeling must be somewhat close to the feeling that Skippy gets from watching American politics… Or not…

Anyho…

Surely you’ve all been watching the Italian elections unfold. It appears as though Romano Prodi and his center-left coalition has won a slim majority in both the Italian Parliament and the Italian Senate.***

Of course, the qualifier ‘appears’ is prominent. Silvo Berlusconi‚Äö?Ñ?¥s center-right coalition is claiming election fraud. It seems as though there is vote tampering, vote undercounting, and a question as to which ballots are ’spoiled’ according to a number of sources. (Accusations that are oddly familiar to your Maximum Leader… He just can’t seem to remember where he’s heard that line before… Oh yeah… Here in the US…)

So it looks like the Italian Elections will be determined by the Italian Courts. Especially since Outgoing Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi refuses to name a winner. Ciampi claims that the honor of selecting the next Prime Minister should be left to the courts and the next Italian President. (Your Maximum Leader will now begin the round of cat-calls and chants claiming that Ciampi is a wuss…)

Your Maximum Leader feels pretty confident that Romano Prodi’s coalition will be named the winners and called to form a government. But it might take a few more weeks. And during those few more weeks it will give Prodi’s coalition more time to unravel.

From various news accounts, it appears as though Mr. Prodi plans on making the Italian economy the first order of business when he gets down to work. Alas, the Italian Communists seem to have different ideas on this matter.

Your Maximum Leader has always thought that managing parliamentary coalitions must be one of the hardest jobs in the whole breadth of political life. He can only imagine how hard it would be in Italy. Can you imagine trying to get Social Democrats, Greens, and Communists to agree on labor laws? Heh. The very prospect of a civil discussion on the subject makes your Maximum Leader laugh. He imagines a conference room with lots of yelling, name-calling, and some chin scratching. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind…

Your Maximum Leader is not personally invested in either side of this election, although he own national self-interest made him hold out hope for a Berlusconi victory, so he can’t say he’s rooting for anyone in particular…

Well that isn’t true. He is rooting for Alessandra Mussolini (currently a Member of the European Parliament) in all Italian elections. She has the proper pedigree for your Maximum Leader. She’s sexy. And she’s ideologically pure. She did leave the National Front party (quasi-fascists) because they weren’t quite fascist enough. Now she runs the Social Alternative party.

Your Maximum Leader should start his own political party. If he did perhaps he could get it listed in the Yahoo Political party directory…

Carry on.

*** - Your Maximum Leader has read that Prodi’s majority in the Italian Senate might come down to the support of the “Life Senators” in that august body. It appears as though there are 8 Senators-for-life in the Italian Senate. They are mostly former Presidents of the Republic.

It seems as though retirement from the Presidency of the Italian Republic is not one of living it up in a villa on Lake Como or the Italian Riviera with lots of hot Italian chicas pampering you; but rather one where you are condemned to spend the rest of your life attending committee meetings, public hearings, and floor votes.

What a disappointment to learn… With all Italy has going for it… That the Italians brutalize their former presidents in such a manner ought to merit an investigation by the International War Crimes Tribunal or something…

Back to the Senator-for-life position… How does one get that job? How did such a job become created? He wonders if it is a left-over from the old (bad - Romano) Mussolini days where they had Senators for life as well as “professional” represenation in the Italian Senate. Which is to say that the various trade-unions, managers, teachers, doctors, butchers, etc got guaranteed seats in the Italian Senate to represent their trade…

Okay… It is now safe to,

Carry on.

2 Comments
Stenar said:


Stenar said:


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