Politics in Italy
Elections are new to this country, they've only had them for 60 years, but they are very good at them, having had over 60 elections in as many years,
since the Republic was declared in 1948.
Before that, they had Mussolini and before that, Kings and Kingdoms of various sizes.
There is a very strong divide between Left and Right wing parties. It is the only country in Europe that still has a Communist party. In fact, the government was Right wing, Christian Democrats, for over forty years. People voted them time and time again, just so the Communists couldn't get into power, until 1992 when a massive anti-mafia drive showed that one third of the Ministers in Government had Mafia connections (half of the Sicilian Ministers were mafiosi).
It is not a surprise that Berlusconi has got back into Government, considering he owns half the televison stations and controls a lot of the media. Also, Prodi, the former Prime Minister, was cleaning up the country and successfully collecting unpaid taxes (bringing the country out of debt). This was very unpopular with the people and an invented scandal brought the Government down. Already, tax evasion is back on the rise. With Berlusconi at the helm, a role-model of tax-evasion and changing laws to suit his purposes, the Italians have returned to freedom. Freedom, that is, to evade taxes.
The main Right wing parties are: Il Popolo della Libertà (Berlusconi), Alleanza Nazionale (Fini) and Lega Nord (Bossi).
Berlusconi gives 'Liberty' to all, Fini's party rightly contains the word Nazi, as they are anti-immigrant and Bossi would like to see Italy divided into two countries, to get rid of the poorer South.
The main Left wing parties are Il Partito Democratico (Veltroni), allied with L'Ulivo, Margherita (Rutelli) - yes, like the pizza.