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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sono Più furbo di te Curzio

Curzio Maltese is an Italian journalist who brilliantly expresses his horror with Italian politics. This time he made a boo boo writing
" L'UNICO augurio possibile alla fine della farsa di Alessandra Mussolini ammessa, esclusa e riammessa alle regionali del Lazio, è che la vicenda non varchi i sacri confini della patria, come avrebbe detto il nonno della signora."

That is

"The only thing one can wish at the end of the farce of Alessandra Mussolini admitted, excluded and re-admitted to the ballot for the regional elections in Lazio is that the matter not cross the sacred borders of the fatherland, as the grandfather of the lady would have said."

Little hope of that now Curzio. The vicenda varceà i confini and will arrive at (where few foreigners will see it but violating sacred borders is a matter of principle). Anyway the vicenda is absolutely hilarious.

Alessandra Mussolini is the grandaughter of Benito Mussolini. For a while she was a semi respectable member of parliament for the semi respectable post fascist party "Alleanza Nazionale". She broke with the party for reasons including its rapidly declining respect for her dear granpa (and the fact that it didn't defend her policeman boyfriend when he was accused of corruption).

Now she would like to campaign for president (governor) of the regione (state) of Lazio (Rome and surroundings). To get on the ballot, she needed to collect a large number of signatures (also write in votes are not allowed so it is on the ballot or out of the election). The current president is a member of Alleanza Nazionale called Francesco Storace who has become fairly respectable and has even learned not to hit people in front of television cameras. He is struggling in a close race for re-election against someone named Marrazzo.

Left of center functionaries officially confirmed the signatures on Mussolini's ballot application. It was suspected that they had not checked carefully because they new she would draw votes away from Storace. Storace challenged the authenticity of the signatures. Lazio is trying to be a modern region with a web page and computer center called Laziomatico. Regions are responsible for health care, so people at Laziomatico can access health records of people in, for example, Rome. The technical director of Laziomatico used that password illegally to check the addresses corresponding to the signatures on the Mussolini ballot application. They did not all match (I believe some may have matched).

As a result an appeals court and the regional administrative tribunal of Lazio excluded Mussolini from the ballot. Mussolini went on a hunger strike with a resulting marked improvement in her appearance (which was always OK as she takes more after her mother and maternal aunt Sophia Loren then after gramps).

The fact that data for the case had been obtained by hacking emerged caused a mini scandal. Mussolini appealed to the highest administrative court the consiglio di stato. This consiglio re-admitted Mussolini on the grounds that the challenge to the signatures was done improperly. They did not feel the need to express an opinion as to whether the number of people doing the signing was equal to or somewhat lesser than the number of signatures.

So, in the end, my wife will have the right to vote for Mussolini (which she will not excercise). I won't because I am not an Italian citizen.

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