The PDL primaries arent being quite as successful as those of the left held last Sunday. All arranged months ago, they were to be the model of American democracy, to show just how democratic the autocratic PDL of Berlusconi has become.
Then Mr Toad threatened to bring down the government and it was all hands to the pump. They needed to get the primaries out of the way so they could be ready for the election race which now looks likely for next April.
Ditch the American format, they cried, and lets just do first past the post – itll be Alfano anyway….
But there was a problem, as Uncle Steptoe doesn’t want to play with the pdl any more, and is planning Forza Italia 2.0. Thse who want to take their ball to Berlo’s side of the fence have to pull out of the PDL primaries, and denounce them as being rubbish. ANd bizarrely this is what happened. Samori went, being Steptoes stooge and being very very close to Uncle Steptoe at the moment, but despite cajoling from Mr Toad, there are others won’t go quietly… so we are now left with 6 candidates.
Useless the voices that cry ‘If Silvios going to stand, the primaries are pointless’ – for two reasons. Not terribly democratic and not everyone is still sure (except Silvio himself) that Berlusconi is an asset for a party.
So, As Berlo announces that his big announcement will be pushed back by a week – (he needs to see whether Bersani wins the centre left primaries or not) we are left with just 6 six options that might or might not be Berlusconi for the next elections:
Angelino Alfano – the dauphin of the PDL annointed by Berlo, but now not so dauphinlike, as he has disagreed with his boss and is out in the cold. Remains ‘official’ candidate.
Giorgia Meloni – very popular very right wing (ex AN) relatively young woman – who could do more damage to Uncle Steptoe than anyone else. She is refusing to give up the primaries whatever may happen. She is a democrat she tells us.
Guido Crosetto – started out as UDC and then switched to forza italia, was undersecretary for Defence under Berlo, but towards the end seemed to be one of those plotting mr Toads downfall.
daniela Santanche – vile, fishwife of a politician – lowest common denominator is actually herself. Will do well, but will withdraw as soon as Berlo announces his candidacy – (could well be the first female PM in Italy, which would damage Italy everywhere, but above the image of its women).
Michaela Biancafiore – another Berlo acolyte – there to split Alfanos vote and who will not run as soon as Berlo makes his intentions clear.
Alessandro Cattaneo – mayor of Pavia, young, dynamic and possibly the future of the party. A member of the ‘formatting group’ he wants more internal debate – ie dont run the party like Berlo’s fief. He wont win.
So now we wait with baited breath to see what Mr Toad decides to do – and then watch the meltdown of the centre right, and the upsurge in the ex AN, (reformed fascist) groups, who will probably lurch further to the right along with the Lega and Berlo himself, leaving a rather large void where the centre right was – which will no doubt be exploited by Casini should Bersani win—- It is actually rather interesting.