Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's New? Civic Revolution ...


I'm new here in the world of Italian politics, and the surprises just keep coming. For weeks I have been plugging Nichi Vendola and his SEL party to keep Bersani honest to his left-wing roots, as pressure mounts on him to run to the center. Now I read in yesterday's Stampa that Vendola and SEL are being out flanked on the left by a party I had never heard of: the Rivoluzione Civile. Its candidate, Antonio Ingroia, is something of a hero, one of the anti-mafia magistrates who have tried to restore some measure of law and decency to Berlusconi's morally depraved political order. His new party, which gathers up the old Communist Rifondazione movement and some other small left-wing formations, is clearly focused on working people, though I don't find a very full program. For his personal stature, and the fact that, according to La Stampa he is drawing substantial support away from Vendola, his Civic Revolution will be worth watching.

Meanwhile the contortions involved in being Vendola, faithful to his own principles and to Bersani's PD at the same time, are sometimes arduous even to watch. I saw a clip from his appearance on the debate show Piazza Pulita where he strained to justify his insistence that he couldn't participate in a government with Monti, but might collaborate on a political program ... Thus the trials of a radical gone mainstream. Will Ingroia take away the oxygen his insurgent politics breathes? One more story to follow in this crowded election.


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