May 9, 2008

Veltroni's Shadow Cabinet

Some posts ago I was talking about “Veltrusconi,” that “hyrcocervus”—a mythological beast, half-goat half-deer—to which Benedetto Croce scornfully compared Carlo Rosselli’s “liberal socialism,” though this time I would use the term without negative meaning. Well, Veltroni’s Shadow Cabinet should be ready to roll by tomorrow. This means that the new hyrcocervus— half-Berlusconi, half-Veltroni—is coming, but one of the two halfs has still to fight a long battle …

From today's Il Foglio (the daily “Spiegazione” [explanation], to be used by foreign correspondents in Italy):

Opposition leader Walter Veltroni had announced that his shadow cabinet would have been ready within 48 hours hours of the official cabinet. And it is also well known how the leader of the Partito Democratico (PD) likes to stick to his pre-set schedule. Therefore by rights Shadow Cabinet should be ready to roll by tomorrow. The problem is that the leader of the PD also has to work out the new working structure of the entire party, a nightmareish challenge that is getting more complicated by the hour. On that chess board the final shape of the internal balance of the various competing wings of the new party, which will then remain unaltered until after the European elections of 2009: the party congress announced for this autumn is going to be about policy and will not look at the party administrative or power structure.Just as it happens with the formation of a real, proper government, Veltroni has to reinforce his internal majority – an axis forged with the former Popolari and the followers of the former Ds leader Fassino – without ending up as its hostage, carefully doling out roles and positions both within the Shadow Cabinet and the rest of the complex party administrative structure, which is still to be properly defined. (traslated by William Ward)