Elections in Italy: The Country in the Hands of Buffoons!

Election polls are closing now as I write but we already know that Italy is in the hands of populist buffoons. Exit polls may show unclear results as the three major blocs of votes are head to head and we probably won't know for sure who won before tomorrow.

Consider the situation (this is in rough terms):
  • A little over a third of the votes goes to the big leftist party, the Partito Democratico, historic heir to the now defunct Communist Party, the so-called "Center Left Coalition":  the question is how much over 33% and whether the government coming out of the election can govern with the support of Monti who's hated by the Italian electors who cannot forgive him his policies of austerity, the property tax and attempts at labor reform;

  • One third of the votes - or maybe more? -  goes to the "Center Right Coalition" once again led by a Silvio Berlusconi revived from the dead and confirmed false comedian, singer and lover of bunga-bunga parties and young girls (in spite of his 76 years); but Italians love his lies and false promises of giving back the property tax raised by the "technical" Monti government: he's conveniently forgotten that before resigning from the government a year ago he had himself signed a letter of promise to the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank that he would raise taxes and balance the budget; he left Monti to do the dirty work but no one seems to remember his role in this story...

  • Another third of the vote - or maybe less? - goes to the Five-Star Movement led by Beppe Grillo, a real comedian, termed by French commentators the "Coluche" of the situation, a man with no political program and no ideas beyond vocal protest who loudly closed his campaign with the vulgar expletive "Vaffan culo..." (I'm not translating that!)

And Prime Minister Monti in all this, leading the "Centrist Coalition"? Just a few percentage points, around 10% if that,  obviously the loser...

Other big absentees: some 45% of voters, maybe more - in any case a huge percentage: too many Italians do not like exercising their voting right, which means that Italian democracy is left in the hands of ... comedians!

I'm not kidding: Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo taken together account for some 60% of the vote!

LATEST UPDATE: Here are the early numbers after the polls closed:

The Sky poll for the Senate:
Centre-left coalition (Bersani): 37%
Centre-right coalition (Berlusconi): 31%
Five Star Movement (Grillo): 16.5%
Centrist coalition (Monti): 9%
La Stampa is reporting for the Chamber of Deputies:
Centre-left coalition (Bersani): 34.5%
Centre-right coalition (Berlusconi): 29%
Five Star Movement (Grillo): 19%
Centrist coalition (Monti): 9.5%

There were also regional elections in some of the major provinces (Lombardy, Lazio...) but all eyes are trained on the main elections as people in Europe wonder whether Italy will continue with the policies set by the Monti government or not, and perhaps even fall out of the Eurozone if Berlusconi actually does what he promised to do...

Early results are somewhat encouraging: it looks like Beppe Grillo didn't make it - not really - and that he probably weakened Berlusconi's hand. If so, then the future is looking better for Italy.

If not - then Povera Italia, quo vadis? Where are you going? Some people are already talking about new elections as soon as 2015 but (I think) that's being a little too pessimistic.

It looks like Italy decided not to follow Grillo/Coluche down the road of systematic political obstruction...Let's hope so!

ColucheCover of Coluche
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