Donovan and Onofri - Chapter 03 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Donovan and Onofri - Chapter 03

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The 2007 Local Elections: Between Stability and Rhetoric

Five years ago, Gianfranco Baldini and Guido Legnante began their chapter in Italian Politics with the following summary of the reactions to the 2002 local election results: "'Alarm bell' and 'wake-up call' for the center-right ...'north wind' and 'settling of scores' for the center-left." If we swap "center-right" and "center-left," we could easily be reading a synthesis of the responses to the 2007 local election results, which saw the same municipalities and provinces voting as in 2002. The similarity should not perhaps surprise us given that such dramatic phrases seem to have become a staple of post-election reactions in Italy, irrespective of which side wins. Thus, the victories of the center-left candidates Riccardo Illy in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in 2003 and Filippo Penati in the province of Milan in 2004 and the triumph of the center-left in the 2005 regional elections all sparked this type of comment. In the Manichaean language of Italian political competition, election results at every level are framed as being of far-reaching significance and crucial for the legitimacy and stability of the national government. As Carlo Marletti observes: "Every election becomes an opportunity for the opposition to get even or for the governing majority to re-establish its legitimacy." Hence, in last year's edition of Italian Politics, the chapter on the local elections was entitled "Eviction Canceled," denoting the inability of the center-right to deliver "a first eviction notice to the left," as Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the Casa delle Libertà (CdL, House of Freedoms), had put it. Or, to use the buzzword of that period, the CdL had failed to exact its rivincita (revenge).

The 2007 Local Elections: Between Stability and RhetoricDuncan McDonnellFive years ago, Gianfranco Baldini and Guido Legnante began their chapter in Italian Politics with the following summary of the reactions to the 2002 local election results: "
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