Patterico's Pontifications

4/14/2008

Italy Returns Conservative Party to Power

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 2:03 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Early results show the coalition headed by conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi is set to win Italy’s general election:

“The projected results showed Mr Berlusconi’s coalition ahead for both the lower house and the Senate.

The 71-year old told Italian TV difficult months lay ahead. His main rival, the centre-left leader Walter Veltroni, has already conceded victory.

The vote was held three years ahead of schedule after the collapse of Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition.”

So … America-supporting parties and leaders have been elected in France, Italy, and Canada, while sympathetic moderates control Germany, Britain and Australia. Not bad for a President who has alienated most of the world.

— DRJ

45 Responses to “Italy Returns Conservative Party to Power”

  1. So … America-supporting parties and leaders have been elected in France, Italy, and Canada, while sympathetic moderates control Germany, Britain and Australia. Not bad for a President who has alienated most of the world.

    Berlusconi hardly rode Bush coattails.

    And how were Australian elections a referendum on U.S. policy with John Howard’s party trounced?

    steve (b1ac5b)

  2. The point is, Steve, that when Spain and Italy changed governments a few years back virtually every on the Left, including notable Democrats, wanted everyone to believe that it was a referendum on the Bush Administration and the Global War on Terror. Now that the worm has turned, you want us to think that all the decisions are being made irrespective of what goes on in U.S. foreign policy. Would you possibly, just possibly, be willing to ponder whether our allies are beginning to see the wisdom in pursing the War on Terror aggressively, and not just sitting around at U.N. conferences and hoping everything turns out for the best?

    JVW (835f28)

  3. The lefty blogs were chortling a few weeks anticipating a Berlusconi loss. Howard should have retired and stood one election too many. His Conservative Party had enacted their agenda, sort of like Reagan, and had little to offer. This is why Howard lost. The new PM promised to shut down coal-fired plants if elected, then after he was elected and the utilities told him what electricity rates would be without the coal plants, he backed down and reversed himself.

    This is the blather his supporters were talking about:

    We need an entirely new economic system which must be able to
    function effectively without economic growth
    function to equitably share resources in a world of declining resources
    enable the development of local communities that are largely self sufficient
    facilitate depopulation of the planet
    restore planetary ecosystems

    Needless to say, that lasted about a month after the election and then Rudd went back to Howard’s position. Of course, he didn’t say so.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  4. The point is, Steve, that when Spain and Italy changed governments a few years back virtually every commentator on the Left, including notable Democrats, wanted everyone to believe that it was a referendum on the Bush Administration and the Global War on Terror. Now that the worm has turned, you want us to think that all the decisions are being made irrespective of what goes on in U.S. foreign policy. Would you possibly, just possibly, be willing to ponder whether our allies are beginning to see the wisdom in pursing the War on Terror aggressively, and not just sitting around at U.N. conferences and hoping everything turns out for the best?

    JVW (835f28)

  5. steve,

    I wasn’t arguing that anyone rode Bush’s coattails. My point was much more limited: That America has interests to promote and defend like any nation and, despite the anti-Bush rhetoric at home or abroad, we aren’t excessively hated or loved.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. Well shucks: for Steve’s edification I tried to post a comment that contained a bunch of links to articles written about the Spanish elections in 2004 and the Italian elections in 2006, all of which claimed that the Bush Administration policies had doomed the conservative parties in each respective country. Now that right-leaning parties have won in France, Germany, Canada (all originally somewhat feckless supporters of the Global War on Terror) and returned to power in Italy, the same lefties want to tell us that these decisions have nothing to do with what is going on in the U.S. Curious how to them it is only a one-way street.

    JVW (835f28)

  7. Hmmm, and meanwhile my comments showed up, but curiously enough they are not listed under “Recent Updates” on the right-hand side. Of course, the moment I submit this comment they probably will show up there too.

    JVW (835f28)

  8. JVW,

    There were several comments caught in the filter – yours and others. Sorry. They’ve posted now as comments ##2 and 4.

    PS – I think the comments were blocked because of the links. Links are good but anytime there are several links (4 or more), it’s more likely the comment will end up in the spam filter.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  9. DRJ…
    Now who’s being snarky?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  10. Another Drew,

    I felt bad after I posted my comment because it sounded like I was agreeing that you are snarky. I don’t think you are but I responded because I understand Kishnevi’s feeling that the recent tone of comments has been more (how do I say it?) … intense.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  11. Well, it’s the “Levi Effect” isn’t it?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  12. Yes, it is.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  13. It takes two to tango, if you’re willing to get my drift. I’m not saying the other Levi’s an angel, or polite, but don’t pretend that his mere presence drives you into a state where you’re not responsible for your actions (which are none too admirable in and of themselves).

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  14. Leviticus,

    That’s true, but there are some commenters who have refused to tango and have had to sit out several dances as a result.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  15. IIRC, pre-election, some commentators were speculating that Berlosconi only ran for election to shield himself from some potentially serious financial news.
    Is it real, or is it Memorex?
    Of course, governments in Italy are half comic opera most of the time. The Rome Gov’t is so powerless in so many ways, and the Italians love to keep it that way.
    When I was younger, we used to joke about how many Republics France had gone through in the brief period following WW-2; the count for Italy was so gross we just didn’t bother:
    “Oh, did you hear the news, the government in Italy fell today? You know, the one that started Monday!”
    If only we could be so lucky.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  16. People vote parochial interests here and elsewhere – not whether they divine U.S. policy is mirrored in a candidate’s image.

    Yes, Tony Blair and John Howard paid a price. But Rudd and Brown were also torch-bearers for an economic blueprint that appealed to voters. One that is readily distinguishable from Bush’s.

    I have no idea what Italy’s embrace of Berlusconi represents. Probably little more than nostalgia.

    steve (b1ac5b)

  17. I think the nostalgia vote was satisfied when they elected Mussolini’s grand-daughter to the parliment.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  18. Yes, Tony Blair and John Howard paid a price. But Rudd and Brown were also torch-bearers for an economic blueprint that appealed to voters.

    Uh, Blair stepped down and Brown is his appointed successor. You’ll note that Brown has not led labor through an election, but is merely riding on Blair’s (party) victory.

    Pablo (99243e)

  19. Also, while Howard’s party lost to a more liberal party in Australia, Australia’s new government is still very supportive of US efforts in the War on Terror after making a largely symbolic gesture about Iraq.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  20. Okay, let me officially state that no one has yet been snarky in this thread.

    And having said that, let me carefully be non snarky when I object that Western Europe and the lands of the English Speaking Peoples don’t quite make up the rest of the world. I suggest that one or two Moslem countries that would seriously take on the fundamentalist wing of Islam–both in terms of hunting down terrorists and propagating more moderate forms of Islam–would be equal to the support of all of Europe; and so far that hasn’t happened. At best, we have half hearted efforts in Turkey, and cheering sections in Jordan, Morocco, and some other of the Arab monarchies.

    kishnevi (8731ef)

  21. It is very hard to denounce bandits, when the bandit has unlimited reach, and the power to change governments seemingly at will.
    Authoritarian governments everywhere try not to upset the apple-cart that succors them.
    Plus, the close inter-connection of State and Islam really complicates their existance.
    Osama wraps himself in the mantle of righteous religiosity and the glory of historical Islam, and anyone who denounces him risks having Imam’s railing against them as Apostate’s or Unbelievers – neither of which is a healthful condition.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  22. “The Rome Gov’t is so powerless in so many ways, and the Italians love to keep it that way.”

    Theodore Dalrymple has written a very interesting essay in which he credits Italy’s prosperity to the corruption of the government. His argument is basically that the Italian government is Lassez Faire due to incompetence whilst the British civil service was taught to be incorruptible during the Lassez Faire Victorian era and it is now strangling Britain because it is slavishly applying all the nonsense of the nanny state that Labour has imposed.

    An interesting theory. He points out that the official GDP of Italy is far less than Britain but the two countries are the opposite in real wealth as anyone can see by visiting. Outside of greater London, Britain is a fairly poor country but Italy is very prosperous.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  23. Blair quit mid-term after losing Labor’s support and public confidence. Scandals and Iraq fatigue did him in. Brown distanced himself from the close personal relationship that Blair enjoyed with Bush. It may well be a brief premiership.

    John Howard paid a price for his Iraq stand. Denying that Rudd and his party campaigned and won using that issue is inane. But GWB was not on the minds of most voters in either place, I submit.

    steve (8327d1)

  24. True, Kishnevi, but it’s a start.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  25. Steve, show us your evidence about Rudd. I have linked to some newspaper articles from the election campaign. You have provided your opinion. If Rudd brings them home, I’ll believe you. No sign yet. I think you’re spouting BDS.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  26. What do you hope to refute? Rudd campaigned on a ‘bring-home-the-troops’ pledge and his defense secretary just last Friday confirmed the June pullout sked.

    “We have a very firm pre-election commitment to bring our combat troops home – we intend to do so, they will be home mid-year,” Mr Fitzgibbon told ABC Radio.

    I didn’t say and don’t believe Howard lost principally because of Iraq or Bush loyalty. It was a component.

    steve (41f91e)

  27. John Howard paid a price for his Iraq stand. Denying that Rudd and his party campaigned and won using that issue is inane. But GWB was not on the minds of most voters in either place, I submit.

    So, you’re saying that you’re insane?

    Pablo (99243e)

  28. Pablo – I think steve is trying to say GWB is an issue when he wants him to be an issue for the purpose of an argument an he wants to ignore him when he is not useful to his argument. Simple as that.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  29. Blair quit mid-term after losing Labor’s support and public confidence.

    Blair planned the transition for at least a year and retired after being Labour’s longest serving PM ever, and the only one to ever lead them to 3 electoral victories. Brown hasn’t departed significantly from Blair’s policies. He’s basically what you’d like McCain to be vis a vis Bush.

    Pablo (99243e)

  30. daleyrocks, so you’re saying that steve is a Typical Liberal Person? Gotcha.

    Pablo (99243e)

  31. Ya gotta love logic like that.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. He’s basically what you’d like McCain to be vis a vis Bush.

    He handed off a booming economy which has not been sustained under Brown.

    Blair didn’t leave midterm for his health. He was dragged down by Iraq and party scandals.

    steve (41f91e)

  33. steve, you’ve strained that illogic past the breaking point.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. “America-supporting parties and leaders have been elected in France, Italy, and Canada, while sympathetic moderates control Germany, Britain and Australia. Not bad for a President who has “alienated” most of the world.”

    Sorry DRJ, I dont follow the logic here. Are you suggesting that conservative leaders are being elected coz the people of those countries agree with American policies and actions?

    I can see the people of many European countries electing leaders that share the values of some “conservatives” here in the states. Have you ever talked to a European about immigration? All our so called “xenophobes” here have nothin on them. The same with radical Islam. No stereotypical liberal Euro-weenies when it comes to radical Islam. But I can’t see how that is indicitave of how the people feel about American policies. They are voting thier own problems. The people of those countries can elect leaders that “support” America based on their own issues and still think our current leaders are dangerous nuts (which, from conversatios I have had, many do.)

    EdWood (3cd325)

  35. I’m suggesting that America was never alienated from these counties. Sometimes our interests merged and sometimes they diverged, but it was never about Bush.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  36. A lot of the antipathy to Bush in Europe is driven by the American media and movies that show such a distorted view of him and the culture of the US. Those anti-war movies that flopped here will be playing in Europe for the rest of the year. I also talk to many Europeans and part of their dislike of Bush is the Texas thing. It has little to do with his real policies except Iraq which disturbs their effort to pretend that the world is peaceful. The only ones who seem to be recognizing reality are the French who are far more friendly to Americans now than I have ever seen there. They are also taking care of business with the Muslim problem.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  37. “I’m suggesting that America was never alienated from these counties. ”

    What is alienating is this idea that political developments abroad are about our domestic squabbles.

    stef (861715)

  38. “I also talk to many Europeans and part of their dislike of Bush is the Texas thing.”

    How reassuring that our allies base their judgements on such sound criteria.

    Gawlly dang, If only Texans didn’t twang.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  39. Dana…
    “Gawlly dang…”
    Now that sounds like our good friend Gomer, who was from Mayberry, which IMSMR was not located in TX – more likely GA or AL.
    Wrong twang!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  40. DRJ, #35, …in which case I guess I re-iterated your point for you. You know, of the Euros I have talked too, many thought our leaders were all nuts even before GW got in coz of Waco. They were HORRIFIED by that. But they all got much much edgier after the Iraq invasion coz they decided that our Government was too aggressive. And they thought the leaders were too crazy to have their collective finger on the nuclear button (I told them that even GW or Cheney weren’t so stupid that they didn’t know that nuking anyone was a bad idea and to just relax).

    EdWood (c2268a)

  41. You seem to talk to overly emotional Euros, EdWood.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  42. #39, Another Drew, what can I say? I’m from Cali!

    Dana (b4a26c)

  43. DRJ, well, maybe I made them sound a little more hysterical than they actually were, but I gotta say, I have talked to lots of europeans over many years and most of them were pretty nervous about US power.. some to a somewhat hysterical degree….except for this one French guy who was in New Orleans after the hurricane. He LOVED America, he loved George Bush, he was incredibly excited about being where he was (he was an student, international finance or economics I think…)Maybe there are many many more like him back in France.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  44. Dana…
    So am I! SoCal all my life (except for a short time with our good Uncle).

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  45. And we can see the many results around organization… as the EU with Gruppo Soges Network.
    They should be blacklisted.

    consulate (367c00)


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