Bilingual blog on the vote
No future for radical Italian left?
The Rainbow Left alliance, which includes remnants of Italy’s once-mighty communist party, somewhat surprisingly decided to hold what was meant to be its election night celebration at Rome’s Hard Rock café.
An apt choice for the DJ might have been “God Save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols, with its refrain of “There’s no future, no future, no future for you”.
The alliance failed to win seats in either house of parliament, a performance which provoked the headline “It’s a Waterloo” in the moderate daily Il Riformista and prompted the resignation of alliance leader Fausto Bertinotti, speaker of the lower house during the last parliament.
It appears Silvio Berlusconi has won his long-term battle against the political opponents he lambasts as communist liars and accuses of eating children and priests.
Leading the hand-wringing, communist daily Il Manifesto ran the headline “Extra-parliamentary Left” and said the Rainbow Left had paid a very high price for not giving its supporters what they wanted during two years in the coalition government of former Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Il Manifesto columnist Valentino Parlato said the Left had failed to convince Italians worried about job security, who had instead voted in droves for Berlusconi and his anti-immigrant and protectionist Northern League allies.
“We have seen a shift to the right in Italian society and the incredible thing is that the so-called radical left, the closest to the communist tradition in our country, is not even in parliament,” he told Reuters. “I don’t believe there is a future for them because this setback is very, very serious.”