Italian Victory Colors: No Red, No Green
Michael Ledeen weighs in on the Italian elections over at The Corner on National Review Online, and as he puts it, "it's a landslide." Stalwart American ally Silvio Berlusconi's 'Popolo della liberta' party has swept away both houses (Chamber and Senate.) But the 'big news' is the new absence of extreme left Reds and Greens, now relegated to adorn the Italian flag but not its government.
The big news is that the Communists are gone, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Really gone. They didn't win a single seat in either chamber. A lot of famous faces will vanish from Parliament, and it is even possible, although unlikely, that some of the comrades will be forced to join the working class. The Greens are also gone. In fact, there are only six parties in the new Parliament, suggesting that Italy's well on the road to a two-party political system instead of the dreadful proportional electoral model that has destroyed virtually every country where it's been applied. If that happens, a lot of the credit goes to Veltroni, who created a real center-left party and refused to admit the old Left.
And for those who make habits of marking trends, Michael's next paragraph is an important one to digest.
Tomorrow's papers will pretend that this didn't happen, and warn that Berlusconi's allies in the Northern League are mercurial and dangerous, and that his majority isn't as stable as it looks. But it is. And there's an even more annoying feature to these elections, as seen by the chattering classes: Berlusconi is an outspoken, even passionate admirer of George W. Bush and the United States of America. Reminds one of the elections that brought Sarkozy to the Elysee, doesn't it? Best to keep that quiet, or somebody might notice that hatred of America doesn't seem to affect the voters in Italy, France or Germany.
Shhhh. . . . Don't tell anyone Europe doesn't hate us as much as we Americans may perceive. It's a secret.
[For instance, in a poll that clearly asked people beyond the city limits of Paris and Rome, Europeans recently cited China (35%) as a greater threat than Uncle Sam (29%). Perhaps proof that there is hope for Europe beyond the dependent client city/states of Paris, Rome, London, et al. If you follow European news organizations and their reporting, I'll wager you'd have never predicted that one.]