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Democracy in progress October 14, 2007

Posted by dorigo in news, personal, politics.

Today everywhere in Italy more than 2 million italians will cast a vote to define the leader of the democratic party, which is being assembled by the political forces that supported the current premier Romano Prodi in his win of elections in 2006.

I cast my own vote for Walter Veltroni, now mayor of Rome. Here is proof of my participation:



1. Paolo - October 14, 2007

Yeah! I will do the same before 8 PM, very long queues in my small city at the only available gazebo…

2. jeff - October 14, 2007

Go BINDI go!

3. dorigo - October 14, 2007

Hi Jeff, if you prefer the next elections to be won by the right, you shouldn’t root for Rosi…She is likely to create the conditions for a division of democrats from the more radical left, but that is not against the interest of the center-left as soon as elections arrive…


4. Randall - October 14, 2007

I guess that for the moment Walter Veltroni is the best candidate. He has charisma, network and ideas.



5. Matteo Martini - October 15, 2007

I like Ulivo more than Casa delle Liberta`, but, at the end, I think both factions are just looking for extending their powers, not to fight the countrirs problems ( Mafia, economy very bad in the South, no free information in TV and newspapers, huge public spending that goes in the hands of thieves, etc. ).
Prodi, so far, has been done little to solve the above problems.
I do not have much faith in the new PD.
I think one force that can change things is Grillo, but, I have not much faith in him as well..

6. Matteo Martini - October 15, 2007

basically, Weltroni is also, the only candidate.
There are not other real candidates..

7. dorigo - October 15, 2007

Hi Randall,

Veltroni is a very good candidate because of his moral stature and his approach to politics. I disagree with Matteo about him being the only candidate, of course: there were five of them. Of course, what Matteo really means is that Veltroni was too strong to be a match for the others; however, that is still democracy. Bindi got 14% of the votes, Letta 11%, and Veltroni 75%.

Hi Matteo,

Prodi is very weak, and his action has to be focused on the things that need to be done, and those he can do without risking too much. I am happy he does not risk more for some good, but expendable, causes. Fighting Mafia is of course a priority, and it is a hard problem. He is not doing more than his predecessor here, but what he is doing with a lot of strength for instance is to fight tax evasion. There is an emergency there too, and his action is giving great results there.
I have no faith in outsiders like Grillo as country leaders. He does a great job where he is: in Rome he would collapse in three months.


8. Matteo Martini - October 15, 2007

the big problem with the left party, is that they are blackmailed and hijacked ( is that the word? ) by Bertinotti on the left, and by the insider of Berlusconi ( that is, Mastella ) on the right.
There is not any strong unity and coesion within the center-left, and many people on the left seem not to have understood this point.
This is why the left-wing party ( Ulivo ) can not do much.
About Grillo, I think it would be insane, if he tried to get elected creating his own party.
And he is too clever to make such a mistake.
It is OK that he keeps doing what is doing now, criticize the system, and keep the parties of the left and of the right under scrutiny.



9. Randall - October 15, 2007

Dear Matteo,

I partially disagree with your analysis: Veltroni was not the only candidate, but just the favourite. Also Bindi was in a resoanable position. On the other hand this vote is different from a political election and I am very happy that at the end the voters decided to concentrate to one candidate to get the large majority of votes.

I don’t also complitely agree with your concerns about the weaknesses of Prodi. Most of this weaknesses come from the situation in the Senate and this is mostly due to the awfull election law decided by the prvious government. The rest of the weaknesses, I agree, come from the extreme division among the left parties. However, this exactly what the Democratic Party is born for: try to go beyond all this.

Now a personal opinion: as far as I can remeber, from reading, this is the first time I think in Europe, that such a large party is born with a direct election of the leader and not with a superimposition from above. That is a real great achievement on its own and denotes a great dose of courage. So I am really following everything with interest.



10. Fred - October 15, 2007

A tutti,

Could some of you give the rest of us who are uninformed as to what the priorities should be concerning the major political and social conditions the electorate is trying to deal with in Italy today? For instance, Matteo was able to list at least four problems plaguing the country. (Funny, but these are the same exact problems that existed in Naples when I lived there in the early 70’s) Is this an accurate assessment of the situation and is Randall’s last statement a positive sign in that the political currents are at least not stagnant? Tommaso, does your voting receipt indicate that you belong to the Democratic Olive Tree Party and what does the _s_t initials stand for on the EURO line? One thing is for sure, no single party or personality is the cat’s meow.


11. dorigo - October 16, 2007

Hi Matteo,

I agree with your points, but I do not consider cohesion a value in an alliance that seeks to be elected to govern a country. I am against unanimism. Rather, I would have hoped for a win by larger margin, which would have reduced the effect of the Mastellas and Dilibertos.

Randall, yes, it is a novel event in the political panorama in Europe. We’ll see what happens… I will try to comment on it as things evolve.

Hi Fred,

I do not belong to a party, but I supported Prodi at the last elections, and his most natural successor is Veltroni, of whom I have a high esteem. In the ticket above, which is a receipt, the Euro line has “1 E” meaning that I paid 1 euro to vote. Not “s t”…


12. Paolo - October 20, 2007

I’m late in this thread too (sorry) but wanted to say something… By and large, I’m with Tommaso, about Veltroni and the general outline of the present situation but… For example, I’m wondering whether the real left, or, in general, more “radical” ideasd have still a role to play or not. Personally I like Veltroni a lot, in practice I like how Rome evolved the last days for example, I have lot of fun every week:


but, I’m sure, if someone asks my ideas about many current political topics, I will instinctively answer in ways closer to Diliberto, for example, or the green party (which is considered left in Italy, an interesting non-trivial subtopic: I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger is exactly a communist 😉 Therefore I find myself in a curious position, I would like to see the left and more “extreme” ideas much stronger in the next years but apparently that is more and more “out of fashion” according to the last elections and, more importantly, our leftist parties seem, so to speak, often unable to do “real politics” in the parliament, unable to mediate with the other parties. Is that unavoidable? Or it is still possible to hope for radically different ways of living and seeing the world without appearing obsolete? Is it possible to think something radically different *without* wanting at the same time a violent revolution? Just as an example, I’m finding more and more disgusting all this talk (both left and right!) of “growth” where economic growth is always intended, considered obvious. Growth for what? What we want to do with this money? (besides building LHC, SLHC, CLIC… 😉 Apparently nobody questions that anymore in the public debates. Anyway…

13. Paolo - October 20, 2007

Of course, about Rome, I meant last YEARS not the last days.

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