ITALY NEWS

Regional election...results explained

(issue no. 1/2005 / April 21, 2005)

Party name

Party Game – pot the logo

Follow the Leader

La Margherita - Democrazia è Libertà (DL)

Daisy (Daisy Democracy is Freedom – now isn’t that nice?)

Francesco Rutelli, pin-up looks not enough to win the last elections as leader of the centre left.

Democratici di Sinistra (DS)

Olive tree (Democrats of the Left)

Piero Fassino, worthy man who brings out the Mamma in all of us with his underfed underdog look

Movimento Repubblicani Europei (MRE)

Ivy leaf (European Republicans Movement)

Luciana Sbarbati. (Who she?)

Socialisti Democratici Italiani (SDI)

Rose (Italian Democratic Socialists)

Enrico Boselli. (Who he?)

Partito Rifondazione Comunista (PRC)

Hammer and Sickle (Communist Refoundation Party)

Fausto Bertinotti, the aristocratic-sounding leader of workers unite.

 

LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT

 

Imagine you were sitting under an olive tree, next to the house of freedom, clutching a daisy, gazing on a donkey under a rainbow. a Tuscan idyll? Think again, for you would be a centre-left politician groping a colleague in the Chamber of Deputies. If you didn’t pick up on the symbolism, then the recent Regional Elections may have caused you some head scratching.

 

SCORE: CDL 2,

 

UNION 11

 

Despite the deus ex machina of the Pope’s death and fears that this would overshadow the regional elections, Italians took to the polls with a fairly healthy turn out, and the centre left scored a hefty victory against Berlusconi’s right-wing coaltion. Prodi’s Union wrested six regions away from the government, to take 11 out of the 13 up for grabs. Sensing a defeat in the offing, the PM made pre-result announcements of his intention to finish his mandate regardless, which will make him Italy’s longest serving post-war leader.

 

The scene is now set for an interesting general election next Spring, with the opposition going for a clear knock-out. Check out the runners and riders before they make their way to the starting gate.

 

RIGHT

 

In the ‘come on you blues’ corner, is the chirpy coalition: the House of Freedoms (aka Cdl or Casa delle Liberta’) led by Silvio Berlusconi. When they came to power in 1994, they were known as the Pole of Freedom, or the Pole for short (Box below).

 

*Socialist does not mean socialist.

 

LEFT

 

In the ‘reds under the beds’ corner (McCarthyism lives on in Berlusconi land), is the Union (symbol: rainbow or donkey. Don’t ask.),  formerly known as the Olive Tree. This coalition is made up of: DL (Daisy-Democracy is Freedom), DS (Democrats of the Left), MRE (European Republic Movement) and SDI (Italian Democratic Socialists). The key to their success or failure lies often with the PRC (Communist Refoundation Party). If they are in the coalition, the centre left has a better chance of winning. Head of the Union is Romano Prodi. Pin-up is Francesco Rutelli, leader of DL and ex-Mayor of Rome (Box above)

 

Party Name

Reincarnations

Party Poppers

Party Poopers

Forza Italia (FI) ‘Come on Italy’. The name that had leftist fans biting their tongues at national fixtures

None. Conjured out of thin air in 1993, first took power in ‘94.

Berlusconi, the man with the Vegas tan

Bossi of LN, always on the verge of scuppering the coalition.  Judges. Communists. (sic

Alleanza Nazionale (AN) National Alliance).

Born again, squeaky clean neo-fascists.

Gianfranco Fini, current Foreign Minister.

Alessandra Mussolini: too fascist even for Fini.

Unione dei Democratici Cristiani e dei Democratici di Centro (UDC) Union of Christian and Centre Democrats     

A resurrection of  the former Christian Democrats that held power for so long under Andreotti

Marco Follini (who?)

Their name. Doesn’t even fit on the ballot paper.

Nuovo Partito Socialista Italiano (NPSI) New Socialist* Party                                                

Ex-Socialist* party, led by convicted exile, the late Mr Craxi.

Who knows. Their web site still features Craxi and son.

Who cares.

Lega Nord (LN)

Northern league

Federalists at best, devolutionists at worst.

Umberto Bossi, mad rogue. La Padana: the promised land.

Umberto Bossi, mad rogue.

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