Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Election Results!!!!

WHAT AN ELECTION!!! It has it all:
1. Record turn out (83.7% of eligible voters)
2. In “the house” (Camera dei Deputati) the left won 49.8% of the vote and the right 49.7%. That's a narrow margin!!
3. In the Senate (Senato) the left won 48.95% of the vote and the right 50.2% but for some odd reason the left has two more seats in the Senate over the right. Sounds strange but we did it too.

So this means the left won by a ridiculously small margin. The left gets to pick the new Prime Minister (Romano Prodi) and then in May they get to pick the next President. The president has a 7-year term and is picked by the majority coalition. All of this complexity and it’s not final because they still need to count the overseas votes. What effect will this have? Not sure, because this is first time Italians living overseas have been allowed to vote.
THEN this could just be history repeating itself. Prodi beat Berlusconi 10 years ago but Prodi’s coalition fell apart before he completed his 5-year term. The same thing could easily happen here. Let me explain….
The right and left are generic terms I’m using and need more explanation. The right (Berlusconi’s “Casa della Liberta`” or House of Freedom) has 6 parties together including dear old Mussolini’s daughter and her Facist party. Most of these parties care only about the North and tend to shun the South. The left (Prodi’s “L’Unione”, the Union) includes 9 parties of which two are Communists and more south oriented. There are 2 communist parties because they are called the communists and the “refounded” communists. Don’t confuse them and they also say neither of them are like the Stalinist communists of Russia. From what I’ve read no one wants to be like him, I hope.

Also in the news today, almost as big as the election, is the capture of some big Mafia boss in Sicily. Danielle says that no one has “seen” this guy for 40 years, but he has been running the mafia.

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