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  • The debate
    The tallies are in for the Democratic Party primary race for New York State Governor, and unfortunately for most of us self-identified libidinous “Progressives” the answer is “NO.” Although allegedly “left-leaning” candidates, especially those of the female-kind, knocked off some “right-leaning” lower level, nominally Democratic Party incumbents, Governor Andrew Cuomo was the last man standing at the top.
  • Change comes slowly in Italian politics -- consider the postwar decades of Christian Democratic stasis while it faced off the old Communist party. But hints of change are now in the wind, and forthcoming city administrative elections this Spring will be the political equivalent of the American primaries.
  • When you hear talk in a Roman trattoria of “Porcellum”, the diners are not discussing the pork roast on the menu—they’re talking politics. The back story is that after the current election bill became law, the man who wrote it, Roberto Calderoli of the Northern League, either shamelessly or carelessly called it“una porcata”, which Google’s free translation service puts into English as “crap.” Taking Google at its literal word, this means that the law which gave the present parliament and senate their seats and salaries is called in English “the crap law.” Political analyist Giovanni Sartori dressed it up a bit by putting it into Latin. Ever since the law is universally known as the Porcellum, suddenly under discussion because, after countless vague hints and blackmail-style threats, early elections begin to appear a real possibility. The signs are everywhere, but nowhere clearer than in the continuing concerns over ratings and the effectiveness (or not) of the new emergency budget.