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April 15, 2008

Berlusconi Is Back

Michael Ledeen on a "huge, perhaps historic, victory;

It's considerably worse than AP lets on. Berlusconi defeated Walter Veltroni's "Democratic Party" by a full 9 points in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. And since the Italian electoral system gives a bonus to the winning side, the margins are very big and stable: 340 to 241 in the Chamber (with another 36 for a couple of small parties), and 167 to 137 in the Senate (with 5 to three little parties), which was expected to be a photo finish. Eighty percent voted, down about three percent from last time.

The big news is that the Communists are gone, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Really gone. They didn't win a single seat in either chamber. A lot of famous faces will vanish from Parliament, and it is even possible, although unlikely, that some of the comrades will be forced to join the working class. The Greens are also gone..

[...]

Berlusconi is an outspoken, even passionate admirer of George W. Bush and the United States of America. Reminds one of the elections that brought Sarkozy to the Elysee, doesn't it? Best to keep that quiet, or somebody might notice that hatred of America doesn't seem to affect the voters in Italy, France or Germany.

Posted by Kate at April 15, 2008 10:19 AM
Comments

A stable govt in Italy? Where is the fun in that?

Posted by: AtlanticJim at April 15, 2008 10:43 AM

Kate: Is that the correct link?

Posted by: Me No Dhimmi at April 15, 2008 10:46 AM

Congratulations! I search mostly center to right-wing blogs and news sources for commentary and analysis as well news, and yours is the most concise and imformative summation of the results of the Italian election --- especially the historic milestone of the disappearance of the Communists from the government there for the first time since WWII. It may have been extracted from Ledeen's posting, but you accuracted chose the correct headline, and boldfaced the historic highlights. Well done, indeed!

Posted by: Fred Baumann at April 15, 2008 10:49 AM

"Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State — then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion — then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.

How is it that the strange idea of making the law produce what it does not contain — prosperity, in a positive sense, wealth, science, religion — should ever have gained ground in the political world? The modern politicians, particularly those of the Socialist school, found their different theories upon one common hypothesis; and surely a more strange, a more presumptuous notion, could never have entered a human brain.

They divide mankind into two parts. Men in general, except one, form the first; the politician himself forms the second, which is by far the most important.
Bastiat concludes his penetrating analysis with this:
The social organs are constituted so as to enable them to develop harmoniously in the grand air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, and their chains, and their hooks, and their pincers! Away with their artificial methods! Away with their social laboratories, their governmental whims, their centralization, their tariffs, their universities, their State religions, their inflationary or monopolizing banks, their limitations, their restrictions, their moralizations, and their equalization by taxation! And now, after having vainly inflicted upon the social body so many systems, let them end where they ought to have begun — reject all systems, and try of liberty — liberty, which is an act of faith in God and in His work."


Frederic Bastiat "The Law"


The Italians are finally getting it. No Greens means more Lamborghinis and Ferraris!! Kate you may have more painting to do. No more racy girls on gas tanks, rather racy girls in fast cars.

Communists shut out!! Gee the anti-God party gets the boot of Italy. The Marxist devils are on the run.


Must be that St. Francis of Assisi at work again.

Cheers


Hans-Christian Georg Rupprecht BGS, PDP, CFP

Commander in Chief

Frankenstein Battalion

2nd Squadron: Ulanen-(Lancers) Regiment Großherzog Friedrich von Baden(Rheinisches) Nr.7(Saarbrucken)

Knecht Rupprecht Division

Hans Corps

1st Saint Nicolaas Army

Army Group “True North”

Posted by: Hans Rupprecht at April 15, 2008 11:13 AM

I wish that Orianna Fallaci was alive to see this - I hope she is watching from above!

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 15, 2008 11:23 AM

When enough conscious voters wake up to the fact that things are not going well with the socialist multicultural rights-trump-responsibility goverment-will-bail-you-out way of thinking, I am encouraged that there is still hope.

But Italy is a tiny and historically unstable part of Europe, and when I look around at the overall EU Picture, and especially England, I remain deeply depressed and pessimistic about the continent.

Posted by: Lori at April 15, 2008 11:23 AM

Well said Hans...Communists shut out!! Gee the anti-God party gets the boot of Italy. The Marxist devils are on the run.

Posted by: Orlin at April 15, 2008 11:23 AM

Can you say it again please?

Communists are gone...

Posted by: Aaron at April 15, 2008 11:28 AM

"I hope she is watching from above!"

As an athiest, would she be surprised.

Posted by: irwin daisy at April 15, 2008 11:29 AM

Okay Hans-Christian, here's my question then: if unregulated freedom is good for us all, then why did safety regulations reduce the traffic accident death rate with the legislated introduction of seatbelts, air bags and other safety features?

Are you objecting to all government action or just quibbling about balance?

(And I like your post on the whole, except for the Lamborghini's and Ferrari's, but to each his own.)

Posted by: Ken at April 15, 2008 11:30 AM

Berlusconi is prez of Kathy's fave Serie A team, AC Milan, who this year, to honour their city's Christian heritage, are sporting huge red crosses on their strip, which seems to have angered a "broad strata of society."

Posted by: Mississauga Matt at April 15, 2008 11:35 AM

It'll be time for some Islmotards to get the hell out of Roma!

Posted by: OMMAG at April 15, 2008 11:38 AM

Hilarious Berlusconi You Tube clip.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=p2TRnDBI2o4

Posted by: ward at April 15, 2008 12:19 PM

Ken:

I'm perplexed with your response, since our friend Hans only suggested minimal state regulation of our lives is the best way to go.

The best regulation of an individual is self-regulation, self-control, self-determination.

I cannot speak on your behalf, but I am mature enough to understand how bad choices will affect my life.

I do not need a central committee telling me what is good and bad for me.

Taking some poetic license from a classic tune: ‘They don't know how to run their own lives, I'll be damned if they'll run mine."

With Italy's rejection of the socialist hordes and their multicultural ideas, there is hope for Italy.

RIddle me this, Ken. If all cultures were equal in their outcomes, why are there such things are refugees?

Posted by: set you free at April 15, 2008 12:28 PM

Hopefully the clean-up of the social's mess will commence.

Although with two previous - I hesitate to call them terms _- in office, he didn't get the job done. Third time's a charm?

Posted by: Warwick at April 15, 2008 12:31 PM

Grand news indeed, now can we get rid of communist ideolgy in Canada.

Posted by: Rose at April 15, 2008 12:40 PM

Rose,

Canada tends to be about 2 decades behind the rest of the western world on these things.

Posted by: Warwick at April 15, 2008 12:42 PM

"I wish that Orianna Fallaci was alive to see this - I hope she is watching from above!"

She's too busy riding her 72 suicide bombers like donkeys while she reads aloud from "The Satanic Verses".

Posted by: Occam's Carbuncle at April 15, 2008 12:55 PM

Yay! Reds and Green-Reds both out!

Posted by: DirtCrashr at April 15, 2008 1:07 PM

Yay Italy!

How is it that Ontario, became dumber than Italy?
Or perhaps it's more that, most Ontarions AND Italians are smarter than John Tory.

Posted by: richfisher at April 15, 2008 1:21 PM
The big news is that the Communists are gone

Now, if only we could do the same in Canada!

Humph.

Posted by: Lickmuffin at April 15, 2008 1:28 PM

Ken:

Are you suggesting that women can't drive fast cars well?

I know the Communists produced the East German Trabant, but that would be considered environmentally unfriendly today!


Cheers


Hans-Christian Georg Rupprecht BGS, PDP, CFP

Commander in Chief

Frankenstein Battalion

2nd Squadron: Ulanen-(Lancers) Regiment Großherzog Friedrich von Baden(Rheinisches) Nr.7(Saarbrucken)

Knecht Rupprecht Division

Hans Corps

1st Saint Nicolaas Army

Army Group “True North”

Posted by: Hans Rupprecht at April 15, 2008 1:45 PM

Mississauga Matt,
Re: "AC Milan, who this year, to honour their city's Christian heritage, are sporting huge red crosses on their strip"

As far as I can know, there is no huge red cross on AC Milan's jerseys.

Perhaps you mix it up with Inter Milan's away jersey, which has a large red cross on the front. (See e.g. http://www.worldsoccershop.com/shop-by-team-inter-milan-fc.html)

Posted by: Johan i Kanada at April 15, 2008 1:58 PM

Hopefully, Berlusconi will be able to carry out the liberal policies he has outlined (lower taxes, deregulation, smaller government, etc).

But there are some worrying signs too, e.g. his Italian-pride based opposition to a sale of Alitalia, and his occasionally really stupid off the cuff comments.

If he can get work out the support from the opposition on some major items, they will be able to override e.g. unions and public sector employees, and perhaps get some really good stuff going.

Last time he was in for 5 years, but didn't achieve much. This time, let's hope for something better.

Posted by: Johan i Kanada at April 15, 2008 2:05 PM

Right Johan, it's Inter, not AC. My mistake.

Posted by: Mississauga Matt at April 15, 2008 2:21 PM

Johan:

Forgive my ignorance and my perplexion.

Are you saying lower taxes, deregulation and smaller governments are liberal policies? Or have I misread your post?

If those are liberal policies, what would be your understanding of conservative policies?

Posted by: set you free at April 15, 2008 2:40 PM

SYF,

liberal is different than Liberal.

For one thing, the Liberals are not liberal.

Europeans have the original de-Orwellized definition of liberal. There, liberal actually means liberal. Here, liberal means socialist.

In the original, non-corrupted version of the word, I am a liberal. Instead, we have to refer to it as "libertarian."

You can thank the illiberal Liberal party for the confusion…

Posted by: Warwick at April 15, 2008 3:22 PM

South Korea's developing a spine against tyranny and blackmail, too. Results of the 2008 RoK Parliamentary elections:

(I know, I know, Wikipedia is verboten in these parts. But there's a ideological colour-code that's pretty neat-o over on this page)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korean_parliamentary_election%2C_2008

Yet I can't help but feeling that it's probably too late for the under-20 set to see GI Joe as anything but "an evil imperialist bully artificially separating the fraternal Korean people from eternal union and brotherhood under Great Leader Kim Il-Sung -- Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il."

Posted by: jwkozak91 at April 15, 2008 3:24 PM

Warwick,
You're exactly right (almost).
I would see Libertarianism as the most 'pure' version of classical liberalism.
A term used for less 'pure' classical liberals is neoliberals.
As an excellent description of the difference between liberalism and conservatism, see Hayek's essay "Why I Am Not a Conservative" (http://www.fahayek.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46).

Posted by: Johan i Kanada at April 15, 2008 3:42 PM

Hopefull Berlusconi will find it less necessary to be corrupt this time.

His qualities are counterbalanced by a certain... blindness... to conflicts of interest and such that I find disturbing in any politician.

Posted by: Fred at April 15, 2008 3:46 PM

It will be nice to see the flair and fun that makes Italy exciting; return. I like the nonchalant way Italians flaunt stupid laws - but the ban types and the smug wear down a nation if they allow the state to dictate rules for thinking and talking and everyday doing for too long. The Italians will toss the smoking ban and the free market ban out the door at the first sitting of the Leg (I can't imagine that either had much success). The Italians are flamboyant and love life! The nanny state never had a hold on those independant people that choose to think for themselves. I'm happy for Italy!

Posted by: Jema54 at April 15, 2008 3:55 PM

warwick and johan:

OK.

As we have witnessed, there has been some criticism of PM SH's gov't for ‘moving too far left.'

I would also consider myself a classic liberal, where compassion is a responsibility of the individual and not a purview of the state.

I'm sure the rejection of the commies and greens by the Italian voter may have had something to do with individuals getting tired of somebody else telling them how they should run their lives.

And, I would be less than surprised if multiculturalism was also an issue.


Posted by: set you free at April 15, 2008 4:16 PM

The defeat of the Italian Communists is really quite significant. I've been reading "Autopsy for an Empire", the history of the Soviet Union written by Dmitri Volkogonov, who was the man who went through the Soviet archives and decommissioned them after the fall of Communism in Russia. According to him, the archives show that there were only four Communist parties in the world that had any independent existence, and Italy's was one. (China, France and Germany were the others; everybody else, even Yugoslavia and Albania which broke away once established, were set up and run out of Moscow.) So it is in a sense the end of an era.

Posted by: ebt at April 15, 2008 4:23 PM

Hans-Christian: I said I didn't like the cars, not the women or their driving ;)

No, I love what you wrote and agree with much of it whole heartedly and it's worth repeating: "Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State — then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion — then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.

No, my question is what about the successes of government intervention, and there are some - such as automobile safety. How do you tell what works from what doesn't?

And yes, the failures are dramatic, annoying, and extremely hard to change once in place regardless of how unsuccessful or soul-destroying.

Posted by: Ken at April 15, 2008 6:40 PM

I was living next to one of the biggest Air Force Bases in America thinking I had escaped the next glaciation and then Bush won and it all seemed epic but it turned out to be optic. Then the grand invention of bureaucracies like the DHO reminded everyone what Republicans are famous for, doing things Democrats wouldn't dream of, and that ensured my departure. But your picture that captured what it means to be here and overall its good to be home, Landscheidt Mimimum be damned.

If Europe goes slightly 'right of center' and America gets a large dose of myopic navel gazing to extend the hangover, where is the center of power for the world going to be ... Brussels? Ugh, maybe the UN could move there.

Posted by: Len at April 15, 2008 8:03 PM

I was living next to one of the biggest Air Force Bases in America thinking I had escaped the next glaciation and then Bush won and it all seemed epic but it turned out to be optic. Then the grand invention of bureaucracies like the DHS reminded everyone what Republicans are famous for, doing things Democrats wouldn't dream of, and that ensured my departure. But your picture that captured what it means to be here and overall its good to be home, Landscheidt Mimimum be damned.

If Europe goes slightly 'right of center' and America gets a large dose of myopic navel gazing to extend the hangover, where is the center of power for the world going to be ... Brussels? Ugh, maybe the UN could move there.

Posted by: Len at April 15, 2008 8:04 PM

It's good to see the Left wiped out so convincingly, but let's not forget that whatever his pluses, Berlusconi is still a sleaze who has been more interested in protecting his massive business interests and taking care of his friends than in showing the resolve to deal with Italy's multiple socio-economic problems. I doubt things will change much this time around, but one can hope that the decisiveness and stablilty evidenced might give his government some impetus for change.

Posted by: Dudley Morris at April 15, 2008 8:30 PM

Some good news, for a change.

Posted by: John Murney at April 15, 2008 8:38 PM

[quote]The big news is that the Communists are gone, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Really gone. They didn't win a single seat in either chamber. A lot of famous faces will vanish from Parliament, and it is even possible, although unlikely, that some of the comrades will be forced to join the working class. [/quote]

Does that mean that the CBC will have some new faces... They are the home of the world rejects.

Posted by: phillip g. Shaw at April 15, 2008 9:37 PM

phillip:

Well, Canada did get its share of Fabian socialists from Britain who infiltrated our universities and trade unions.

At least we'll be ready for the Red Ities.

Posted by: set you free at April 15, 2008 11:13 PM

Viva l'Azzurro!

Posted by: andycanuck at April 16, 2008 1:23 AM

"I like the nonchalant way Italians flaunt stupid laws"

In honour of The election result I give you this fine little show:

http://piep001.de/brunobozzetto_folge.php?folge=03

Posted by: JJM at April 16, 2008 12:00 PM

Islamos are thrilled:

"May Allah curse and unleash his wrath on him [Berlusconi], and the evil Pope," read the message, which recently appeared on one of the main jihadist websites, the al-Qaeda linked Al-Hesbah.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/04/may-allah-curse.html

Posted by: Sounder at April 16, 2008 1:23 PM

Like I said Sounder..... Time for some Islamotards to get out of Roma!

Posted by: OMMAG at April 16, 2008 4:23 PM
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