February 17, 2008

Veltroni's challenge to political inactivity

Alex, at Blog from Italy, was kind enough to sum up what I have been writing (in Italian) in the last months about the new head of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party Walter Veltroni.

To tell the truth, even though in the last months I maintained a positive attitude towards Veltroni, I am bound to say that … I won’t vote for him. And this for many good reasons, including his support for Prodi’s government, that is, in my opinion, one of the worst governments this country had ever suffered. Nevertheless I think former Mayor of Rome is the best of his bunch. He is trying to provide Italy with a modern and responsible left and a more effective and stable political system.

Above all I welcome his announcement that the PD would run on its own, without the squabbling Catholic-to-communist coalition allies that brought Prodi down. It was a big break from the choice of bickering coalitions Italians are usually faced with, and also, I dare say a move which symbolizes an even bigger break.

As a result, in turn, Silvio Berlusconi has called on centre-right parties to run under the slogan “People of Freedom”—not only a single banner for the election, but also the embryo of a new single centre-right party that will include the right-wing National Alliance and form a federation with the Northern League, in a bid to avoid the shaky coalition that weakened his own previous government.

As Veltroni himself said at Rai Uno's tv talk show Porta a Porta,

'There is a small earthquake in the world of Italian politics. This will be the outcome: we have ended a government experience with the radical left and are presenting ourselves as a large centre-left force. The centre-right has ended an experience with centrist forces and now that axis is moving to the right. This is the novelty. An element of clarity that will allow citizens to make their choice.'

Well, I’d rather say one more element of clarity.

To conclude, award to merit. I wish Veltroni continue taking forward the modernisation of both the left and Italian political system. But, I’d say possibly by staying in opposition ...

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