Archive for 3 April 2008

Election Cavolate!*

Ciao Bloggisti!

Something rare and extraordinary is happening here in the Bel Paese. No, it’s not a meteorite crashing into the Uffizi or civil servants actually acting civil for a change. Nooooooo! It’s election time!!! Ok, so it’s not so rare or extraordinary in this neck of the woods. In fact, this time round it’s downright yawn-inducing. Apart from the nasty catfight between Mussolini’s granddaughter and an aspiring queen of the black-shirts, Italian politicians have yet to display the over-the top drama they’re famous for (remember the mortadella-filled fall of the last government?). Things are so tame that there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the messages of the leaders of the two main parties, Walter Veltroni – head of the Partito Democratico, and Silvio Berlusconi – at the helm of the Popolo della Libertà.

But one clear message that Silvio is sending out is that he is afraid of a face-to-face debate. Yes, this champion of “liberty” and democracy has decreed that he will not participate in debates during the election campaign. Maybe his handlers are afraid that he would lose his cool and make rude comments about what starlets are good for or that he is the next best thing to the son of the Lord (he’s actually said it folks!). In any case, this country, which is one of the eight most powerful nations in the world, will not see their leaders in a debate during this crucial time.

Instead, on Monday they opted for a bizarre one-sided debate, which saw the candidates field questions from journalists, separately, all by their lonesome. Veltroni wasn’t even allowed to be in the studio at the same time as Berlusconi! Can you imagine that happening between Hillary and Obama? Or between Mugabe and the person he tried to steal the election from? Ok, bad example.

Here’s a clip showing the end of Berlusconi’s “debate” and Veltroni’s entrance. There are a few things to look out for here: Berlusconi’s frightening hairline (is it sprayed on?), the way he touches the female journalist’s neck on his way out (blech!) and the technician removing Berlusconi’s padded cushion from the chair before Veltroni comes in (poor wittle Silvio). Priceless!

If you can read Italian, here’s an excellent article from La Repubblica describing what went on behind the scenes.

Despite all this, I’m still pretty chuffed about voting in an Italian election for the first time. And every vote counts. So if you happen to be an Italian citizen living abroad don’t forget to let your voice be heard. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, check out my expat pal at Bleeding Espresso for some useful tips.

Happy voting!!!

*For an explanation on what “cavolate” means check out my previous post.

3 April 2008 at 12:59 am 4 comments Registered & Protected
April 2008


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