Put out more banners.
Not even recuperated from the victory celebration, I find myself getting cynical. Actually I got cynical at the victory celebration.
The post below left off just as the victory of the center left became fairly definite. I am reported what I saw last night in Piazza SS Apostoli at the victory celebration of the center left alliance.
The TV channel switched to via dell botteghe oscure (headquarters of the ex communist DS -- the largest party in the winning coalition) where a victory announcement was promised. After considerable delay, the DS secretary Piero Fassino announced victory.
This is always very strange as Fassino always looks miserable and, at about 3 in the morning he looked very miserable. It is also (as chearfully noted by the Berlusconi employed announcer) a sign of trouble in the victorious coalition. Other party leaders were down in a tent in Piazza SS Apostoli waiting to emerge on stage and declare victory. Fassino insisted on announcing it first in his capacity as leader of the biggest party in the alliance, hence not in the capacity of member of the winning team headed by Romano Prodi.
Immediately after Fassino's declaration, Prodi et al emerged on stage. The crowd of politicians notably included Franceso Rutelli (former radical head of the daisy alliance with former Christian Democrats and Lamberto Dini formerly of the IMF). Rutelli looked genuinely happy, extremely happy. Either he is a good actor or he doesn't mind that the center left wins when Prodi is the candidate and lost when he was the candidate. Prodi said (pointedly ?) that he was waiting for Fassino to arrive to give his speach.
Fassino arrived and hugged Prodi and stood next to him (towering over him because Fassino is very tall) as Prodi announced victory. I have mentioned that Prodi seemed a little too cheerful during the debates. That was nothing.
Breaking with protocol, Prodi did make one little mention of policy. He said one aim of the center left was to get job security for young people (an issue hear as in France). Oddly no one has mentioned that young people in Italy do not have job security because of the Treu reform passed under the center left (this is also probably not coincidentally a break point in the trend of Italian employment which had stagnated for two decades then suddenly started growing). Prodi also explicitely noted that he had won because of the votes of people aged 18 through 24 (who can vote for the lower house and not for the Senate where the center right won the popular vote).
The crowd chanted unity unity (an order not a hope). Prodi thanked us. The crowd chanting unity waved an amazing variety of banners. The largest flag on the tallest poll (often appearing on TV with Prodi) was a red flag, which is, of course, not the image the center left wants to project.
The politicians on stage displayed an Italian flag. This may or may not show that they are moderate, patriotic and eager to unite Italy. It definitely shows that none of the innumerable flags of parties and alliances of parties is acceptable to all of them.
Prodi said that he wanted to be the Prime minister of all Italians (he might have mentioned the closely divided vote). Two young men standing next to me simultaneously said "no send them to jail." They were, of course, referring to convincted criminals and I agree with them.
Then they began shouting "Fausto" for Fausto Bertinotti head of the still communists. They wanted him to come to the front of the crowd of politicians on stage so they could applaud him. He did not appear. I think he wasn't there but was over at his party headquarters or something. I thought the calls for unity were a desperate wish not a hope.
Finally Prodi appeared on stage alone waving two flags, the Italian flag and the European flag. When even flag waving has become complicated, politics will be interesting.