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  • Most pollsters agree that the number of those alienated from the mainstream political class has risen to the point that those who say they will not go to the polls or turn in blank ballots, has risen to around 45% of the electorate; some say up to 60%.
  • Over half the country is rejoicing this week because a nationwide referendum drew a stunning turnout of over 57% of those eligible to vote, and four pieces of center-right legislation dear to Premier Silvio Berlusconi were overturned. The referendum result made three essential points: first, that democracy is alive and well in Italy; secondly, that the media do not tell the whole story; and, thirdly, that it is time for the nation’s leaders to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(March 30, 2010)
    “We have given the left a lesson,” Berlusconi trumpeted from Rome Monday evening. Meanwhile, Umberto Bossi's populist right-wing, anti-immigrant Northern League will now control most of the wealthy industrial North. The political shellacking of the left can be put down to fragmentation and disaffection, but the real spoiler on the left were the stay-at-homes, or around 1.5 million who abstained.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(August 23, 2009)
    For journalists this is traditionally the silly season, when anything goes, as long as it’s entertainment. Alas, this beach season has brought a host of serious problems...
  • Prime Minister Berlusconi inaugurates his fourth term and announces his ministerial posts. The choices for his circle of 21 ministers reveal some predictable tactical determinations, while a few of his newbies have yet to prove their political value. No one can accuse the PM of having assembled a boring cast
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(April 30, 2008)
    Berlusconi chalks up his second victory this month. “We’ll be licking these wounds for as long as we have tongues, and maybe longer,” was the mournful comment of Alessandro Robecchi, in the left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto.