Popolo della liberta

Il cavaliere returns to power:

Huge, perhaps historic, victory for Berlusconi’s “Popolo della liberta’ ” (which translates a bit awkwardly as “the people of liberty;” maybe it’s better to call it “the freedom folks”). 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.

Another thing that you won’t find is that part of the unpopularity of the Prodi government was its ties with the EU. Now that the Communists are gone, it would be wise for Berlusconi to begin pulling Italy out of the clutches of their intellectual successors. Unfortunately, Berlusconi is probably far too corporatist to embrace the obvious.