Not being there, I feel I'm missing out as Italia prepares to vote - again - on tomorrow and Monday. (Can't the U.S. take the hint about weekend elections?) Italy's current election situation seems sooo eerily deja-vu, like we've been here before, which, in a very real sense, we have, and like it hasn't been that long ago, which it has not. Sunday's choices for prime minister are Walter Veltroni of the Partito Democratico, and a resort to the immediate past in the form of already two-time former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (a billionaire also known as Italy's third-richest man and formerly the richest). Last fall Berlusconi morphed his Forza Italia party (named for the football - soccer - club he owns) into a new political party called Popolo della Liberta or the "People of Freedom" party. Back in January 1994 in her short essay, "Recent Italian Politics", in Z magazine, writer Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio described Berlusconi's first term as PM:
"... the new government is in the hands of a person who came into politics only about a year ago, leads a party named after the national soccer league, and has more experience in manipulating the media than in being prime minister. The result is a situation in which, if you are a woman in politics, you need to either declare war to abortion or be a dictators' daughter to get in the news; the "family" is back under the supervision of a Catholic ministry; and the space for open discussion on cultural diversity has been dramatically reduced.
The bold section is marked by yours truly. That reference to a "dictator['s] daughter" probably is about politician and self-declared fascist Alessandra Mussolini, who is Il Duce Benito Mussolini's granddaughter and film diva Sophia Loren's niece. I'm still learning what really goes on politically in my 'other home' though I am not looking forward to another Berlusconi term in office in order to find out.