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Friday, April 22, 2005

In Rome (you know the city where they had the conclave) up on a hill the sideshow is underway.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has resigned because he wants to keep the job. The cabinet ministers of one party in his coalition (the UDC a fragment of the Christian Democrats also known as the White Whale) had all resigned indicating some dissatisfaction with Berlusconi. However the UDC promised to continue voting confidence in parliament. Once I thought in a parliamentary system coalition partners gave votes in exchange for ministries. By now the UDC's choice seems almost sane.
Another party (AN ex fascist and they are still trying to figure out what they are instead) threatened to do the same. The ex fascists are clearly positioned, along with the UDC, as the moderate pro social welfare wing of the current majority.

Now The president of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, has to try to find a candidate prime minister who can win the support of parliament. Since the current majority has all declared their continued confidence in Berlusconi, it would take willful blindness not to see that Berlusconi is the one.

Hmmm willful blindness. There has been a lot of that around here in the past 4 years. The majority has refused to see the clearly proven guilt of some if it's more criminal leaders. For years they neglected to act on the Constitutional courts declaration that the current TV duopoly is an unconstitutional limitation on freedom of expression, then acted by reinforcing it in response to the courts complaints (also by the way expropriating frequencies the right to broadcast over which the highest administrative court had concluded belong to someone else but which are and will be used by mdiaset/Berlusconi). They have reformed every law violated by Berlusconi so that his actions are no longer crimes or so that the statute of limitations has run out.

My current political fantasy is that Ciampi dara pane per focaccia (will play tit for tat) and pretend not to notice that Berlusconi has the support of a parliamentary majority. Won't happen, but I am enjoying the idea. He will announce his decision today, so I have to type fast.

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