Friday, July 13, 2012

Brace yourselves: Berlusconi is back. Again. Like a phoenix

We rejoiced too soon. Guess who is back to lead his party, The People of Freedom, and who will run as Prime Minister in the next general election in 2013. Yes: Silvio Berlusconi. There won’t even be a primary election, he will just be the candidate. Nobody in his party has half his charisma, and indeed no one believed that Berlusconi was actually gone for good. But frankly I hoped he would take an extra-long holiday… Come on, with all the money he has, he could buy a desert island, build a huge mansion and go there with enough girls to keep him company for a year. Why doesn’t he do that? Just a couple of days ago I was commenting how great it was not to be ashamed of our PM.  Berlusconi doesn’t have many chances to become PM again: even for the very short-term memory of the average Italian, he has done too many things to ruin Italy (or to be more precise, he has ruined Italy by NOT doing ANYTHING to solve Italy’s economic crisis). The problem is that he might be very influent for Italian politics even without becoming PM.  Here in Italy, politicians are planning a reform of the electoral system and, if Berlusconi gets what he wants (which is likely), the new system will be highly proportional. Since in Italy we have something like a million political parties, a proportional system will definitely lead to a coalition government, maybe of more than two parties. In a situation like that, where no party has a majority, a big and popular party such as Berlusconi’s will still be crucial for parliamentary outcomes:  for instance, if he threatens to vote against a law proposal, the government might give in to his requests, otherwise it might fall apart. And that means Berlusconi will still be able to turn things to his advantage: that’s what he does best. Unless this time things don’t go exactly his way, he will win again. Despite his past, his scandals and his trials. The man is like a phoenix: he always rises again. Brace yourselves. He’s back.