Italy’s new politics

The World

Prime Minister hopefuls going it alone is unknown in Italy, coalitions have ruled the country since World War II. But former Rome Mayor Veltroni is trying to do just that. Veltroni held one of his final rallies in Milan last night, and has forsaken the new Democratic Party with the goal of uniting enough moderates to take Parliament. This Milan resident thinks Veltroni is right to turn his back on coalitions: one party, one man. It’s clear the center-left learned a lesson from Romani Prodi’s government, where parties spent more time squabbling than they did passing legislation. But Italy’s political right is a different story, with former Prime Minister Berlusconi running for prime minister again. Berlusconi’s coalition includes a rightist party that believes in autonomy for Italy’s northern region, which could isolate moderates. Yet for all the controversy, Berlusconi has been polling well ahead. This journalist says Veltroni would’ve shown better if he included other parties on his ticket. The price of Veltroni’s credibility is that he most likely won’t get a majority in parliament because he can’t capture fringe element parties. This business owner says businessmen want Berlusconi back because he’d lower taxes and be better for business. Veltroni could have another shot further down the road if he consolidates his party. The real losers says this analyst is Italy’s many fringe parties, abandoned by both Berlusconi and Veltroni. All these changes mean Italy is moving closer to a two-party system.

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