20 December, 2012

Italy update

Mario Monti will decide - or rather announce - this weekend what he is going to do about the forthcoming elections.

It seems quite clear that he is not going to do anything so grubby as put himself up for election by the people: European Man (EM) isn't too big on this democracy fad. Even if he did, the party list system which operates in Italy means you can't vote to exclude a particular candidate - if you vote for a party, they decide who to allocate your vote to. To involve yourself in politics without even being prepared to go through this corrupt little system, to my mind rather defines a man.

Monti will lend his name to a centrist grouping led by Pier Ferdinando Casini and Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

So what will happen? At the moment the polls show the Left, or at least centre-left, led by Pier Luigi Bersani, to be on nearly 30% of the vote, which by Italian terms would mean a clear majority (you get a bonus of seats free, just for winning). Beppe Grillo, the populist comedian (how I long to use these words about a British politician!) is on 15%, but wait! Look at Silvio! In a couple of weeks Berlusconi has put on 3%, and seems to be heading to 20% and more.

The last election gave

Centre right coalition     47%
Centre left coalition       38%
Centre                               6%

but it seems clear that with Monti and Montezemolo, Chairman of Ferrari, together with Casini, the son-in-law of the rich and powerful Francesco Caltagirone, owner of Il Messaggero newspaper, the centre will do well next time.
But who would a Monti-led centre take its votes from? Is Bersani at the leftish end of his party and thus the extreme left would be for him no matter what? If he makes soothing noises to the centre will the Left stick to their guns and offer a coalition, rather than supporting him directly? Will the Silvio bandwagon regain its former momentum? Will Beppe Grillo collapse?

There are now 8 weeks between now and the election. It looks to be interesting

No comments: