Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yes, we won, but what happens now?

As y’all know by now, we won in both chambers, but Berlusconi has not yet admitted that he lost. La Repubblica’s homepage is reporting everything that is happening, minute-by-minute. This will probably go on for quite a few days, and as you have read, Italy (i.e. the parliament and representatives of the regions) must also elect a new President later in May.

Yesterday I listened to a very sharp election analysis presented by Romano Prodi’s older brother, Vittorio Prodi. He commented on two things that is discussed right now:

1. The election of a new President? Vittorio Prodi thought that extending the present president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi’s mandate would be the best solution. Ciampi is very popular and could represent continuity in the present situation, said Vittorio Prodi.
2. A German-style “grand coalition”? No, this will not happen, was Vittorio Prodi’s simple message.

My own opinion is that the Prodi and the center-left must not back down, unless major election fraud is proven (which I hold very unlikely). Remember that George W. Bush won a very tight election (possibly involving election fraud) and then went on to govern without excusing himself.

Prodi should do the same, but he must try to become the Prime Minister of all Italians, also those who did not vote for him. Bush quickly forgot that he promised to do this, but I heard Prodi saying it at the last election rally at the Piazza del Popolo. And my hopes in Prodi are so much higher.


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