June 24, 2009

How to win elections while losing them

Just a quick update on the results of Italian local election runoffs at the weekend (30 cities and 62 provinces), with both the government and the opposition claiming good results—a classic case, no doubt, but this time it should have been much harder than usual for one of the two sides (the center-left) to do so, given that the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the winner is, once again, the ruling center-right coalition. In fact, what actually happened is that Berlusconi’s People of Freedom and its ally the Northern League won 34 provinces, an increase of 22, while the opposition Democratic Party (PD) won 28, a decrease of 22. Furthermore, in city elections, the center-right took 14 cities, an increase of 10, while the center-left took 16, a decrease of 10.

That’s why, when PD leader Dario Franceschini spoke of a “positive result” for his party and hailed the start of the ”decline of the right,” after the PD held onto the cities of Bologna, Florence and Bari and was beaten by only a narrow margin in the former cener-left provinces of Milan and Venice, one can’t help but assume that there is no limit to what you can say if you are a politician.. Of course Berlusconi—who has his own troubles, though—slammed Francheschini’s remarks, saying: “If the opposition considers this a victory, we'll always want to lose like this.” With that said I don’t think there is much more I can add. But if you want to learn more about the subject here (and here) is where you can find what you need to know.

P.S. Please, don't let yourdelf be deceived: despite the similarities (and the title) this is a wholly different post from that one..

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