All posts tagged elections


Published March 9, 2013 by Tony



After the political elections of a week ago, and after the resignation given by Ratzinger on 28 February, now it’s time for the nomination of the new Pope
Thus, after the Pope traveled by helicopter to reach Castel Sant’Angelo, the first encounters between the various cardinals began.
Before the Pope went away, the famous “Fisherman’s Ring“, the papal ring of Pope Benedict XVI that he wore, has been canceled. It is no longer expected its destruction, as tradition demanded until the death of John Paul II, the Apostolic Constitution drafted by John Paul II specifies that the ring can only be Papal Fisherman's Ringstreaked. The person in charge of destroying the “Anulus Piscatoris” is the cardinal Camerlengo, who runs one of the most symbolic ceremonies of the Church with a silver hammer and a chisel, putting now a simply mark and the ring is then preserved in the Vatican archives.
The dismissed Pope can only bring away his personal effects, all the things closely related to his office must remain in the Vatican, including clothes as the camauro (cap of red velvet and ermine), the mozzetta (the skirt), the baleen (the liturgical vestment), any kind of miter and even the slippers.
In the meantime, however, the Vatican is not without government. In fact, according to the canon law’s norms, some figures can manage the ordinary administration of the Church of Rome. In the absence of the Pope only the secretary of state and heaads of department lose their tasks, while all the others remain in office. They have the task of guiding the transition and to monitor the election of his successor.
The Camerlengo is the most important figure after the Pope, because has the task of chairing the seat vacant until the new appointment. Currently he is the cardinal of bishops’ order who plays this role. His functions are varied, from verifies that the pope is actually died,  to the removal of the Fisherman’s Ring, as well as the management of  the Church’s daily affairs.
The Dean of the College of Cardinals is the president of the College of Cardinals who is responsible for convening the Conclave.
The Protodeacon is the title given to the cardinal deacon appointed for the longestblack smoke time. He is responsible for announcing the new Pope
The Cardinal Archpriest of St. Peter is, finally, one of the four cardinals who remains in office after the death or resignation of the Pope.
The Conclave has already taken the first steps through the general congregations of the college, where cardinals dialogue and exchange viewpoints, and this eighth congregation decided that the Conclave for the election of the new Pope will begin Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Everything is held in the strictest confidence. While assembled in conclave, a Latin word for “locked by key”, nobody knows what they say. We only know the rules. In order to vote, a cardinal must have less than 80 years.
As always, the Conclave will be held in the Sistine Chapel closed for the occasion, and in the afternoon of Tuesday, 12  the cardinals will go in, and probably the first vote and the resulting smoke by the chimney visible from St. Peter’s Square.
white smokeThe first day of the conclave, the cardinals vote only once. In the case of black smoke (produced burning voting cards, notes and documents of the vote by adding a special substance that makes it black), in the following days they vote twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. 77 votes are needed to ascend to the throne of Peter, because they now are 115 cardinals to vote. A cardinal is elected Pope when he gets two-thirds of the votes. After the 34th polling, the ballot takes place between the two cardinals who got more preferences so far.
When a cardinal gets a qualified majority, the Cardinal Dean – presently the Archbishop Angelo Sodano – asks the newly elected whether he accepts and what is the name he intends take. After that, the vote cards are burnt in the stove that will produce white smoke (once wet straw was used, now a particular chemical). A cardinal may also be excommunicated unless he complies with the rules of the conclave.
To avoid any external influence, the cardinals are hosted in the close hospice of Santa Marta where they can not have any contact with the outside. There is no radio, TV or phone line.


The eyes of Catholics will be focused on the fireplace. When the smoke is white, the cardinal proto-deacon will look down from the balcony of St. Peter and officially will announce to the world:

“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum! Habemus Papam!



Published February 27, 2013 by Tony


In addition to the recent results of voting and talk about governance, one of the maneuver, important and necessary, which the Italian government must do immediately is the new electoral law.
Before we talk about new elections, Italians  and politicians must realize that the cost of an election’s turn weighs a lot on the State balance sheets.
Just to do the math, consider that throughout Italy were set up 61,597 polling stations (including those prepared in hospitals or houses of detention) and that every seat needs tellers, secretaries and presidents (187 € for the president and 145 for others), apart from the necessary election material (like the ballots).  Beyond the salary for such staff, then we have to add what due to the police deployed for the security of every polling seat. Finally, we must add other expenses that are considered technics and that relate to the organization (such as the removal/installation of billboards, voting booths) or travel concessions towards some voters or to allow the vote to the expatriates.
Some people have done the math and the total would be approximately 389 million euro!
This expenditure is divided between several ministries even if the higher amount is disbursed by the Ministry of the Interior. Money coming from State intakes, and that of course, put even more in red the current balance sheet! Cost that weighs, in the end, on the shoulders of any taxpayer.
Therefore, the thought of having to return to vote is not reassuring for sure!



Published February 26, 2013 by Tony


Voting results are now complete.
With 124,000 votes, the political parties of the center-left, headed by Pier Luigi Bersani, has obtained an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and thus a sort of “governance”, but having only reached a relative majority in the Senate, with 120 seats against 117  of the center-right parties, the alleged governance is at risk. In order to be able to govern with a degree of stability, the potential Prime Minister Bersani will need a senate majority too.
To complicate matters, there is the electoral success of the “M5S, Five Star Movement” led by Beppe Grillo, who won 108 seats in the House and 54 in the Senate. The M5S through a groundswell of antipolitical sentiment, for years criticized the activities of all political parties and considers all politicians not reliable and honest who should be “sent home”. For these reasons, Grillo does not support any political party and not even available to any kind of coalition.
The results show that the Italians do not agree with the policy pursued by Monti who comes out defeated by these elections, while aside from the resurgence of the center-left, Berlusconi and his party have maintained and reaffirmed their political strength.  Finally, the vote of “protest” given by thousands of people through the “Movement 5 stars”, must not been underestimated, as it is assumed that it will make feel its weight in parliament.
See the following tables for the percentages of the main parties divided for House and Senate.




Published February 24, 2013 by Tony

Was to be expected that in this Election there would be less turnout, and this absence may be regarded as a protest vote. Aside from Milan, where there was a turnout higher than that recorded during the 2008 election, in almost every city, at least until early afternoon, less people went to the ballot box. The largest decrease was recorded in Campania, where the turnout has fallen by 4 percentage points, from 14.84 in 2008 all’10, 80 today. Two points instead in Trentino Alto Adige (16.46 versus 18.37), Emilia Romagna (20.40 at 22:46) and south to Puglia to 11, 62% (was 13.21 in 2008), Basilicata to 9.71% (it was 11, 53%) and Calabria to 7.96% (compared to 10.26).
Among the various episodes that occurred at polling stations, the one that has done more headlines is the presence of some women this morning in Milan, who have waited for the arrival of Berlusconi and then undressed and protested. When the “Cavaliere” came inside the polling station to vote, the three girls are put ​bare breasts and began to shout “Enough Berlusconi, enough Berlusconi,” the same sentence they had written on their chest, and then asking Italians to “not to vote for someone who should be in prison.” The police struggled to stop and drag them away. It was later learned that they are called Inna Shevchenko, Oksana Shachko and Elvire duvelle-Charles, and activists of the Ukrainian group Femen.
Today Italians can vote up at 22, while tomorrow until 15.
We update tomorrow to know the outcome of these 2013 Italian Elections.


Published February 16, 2013 by Tony

Who do we vote?

Electoral symbols

Apart from the current “Festival of Italian Song”, which ends tonight, the Italian media will have a lot to do this month, with the upcoming political elections and the election of the new pope, Ratzinger’s successor.
On 24 and 25 February Italians are called to vote for the renewal of the House and Senate.
Thirteen months ago, after the previous government, with Berlusconi as prime minister, had been dissolved, the Professor Mario Monti was brought on as prime minister for an interim “technocratic” government. Monti had to guide and trying to save Italy from European debt crisis and then resign after that the 2013 Italian budget law had been approved.
Although Monti had said in the past that, not being a politician, would retire at the end of his mandate, then on the contrary, has created his own political party and now is a candidate for prime minister in this next election campaign. In fact, he presented the name of his new movement, “Scelta Civica“, with a logo that virtually is a blank space occupied by his last name written in large letters. His return to Palazzo Chigi is backed by the centrist coalition UDC (Unione Democratica di Centro, by premier candidate Pierferdinando Casini), by FLI (Futuro e Libertà, by Giancarlo Fini), from Pli (Partito Liberale Italiano, by Stefano de Luca) and by the political movement “ItaliaFutura” sponsored by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.
The same was the case with Berlusconi that, despite leader of his party (PdL, Popolo della Libertà), had decided not to run. Then about a month ago, to the astonishment of all, he announced his candidacy. To the uninitiated, this party can be considered a party of center-right. Some historian representatives of Berlusconi’s training (PdL) have come out of the shadows of the former Prime Minister, while leaning his race, as Giorgia Meloni and Ignazio La Russa, who founded the new party “Fratelli d’Italia“. Alongside Berlusconi, the “Grande Sud” by Gianfranco Micciche and with Marcello Dell’Utri, and the party “Alleanza di Centro” by Francesco Pionati, confirm their presence. And recent is the news that the party of right “LEGA NORD” led by Robero Maroni and Giulio Tremonti, despite his previous break with the PdL, has again close alliance with Berlusconi.

And as always, in the last days, the fear of not having enough votes and consents to get some seat in the House (by a minimum threshold of 8%), brings different (weird!) alliances between the various political parties. Weird alliances because among the various political leaders and their “electoral programs” there are well-known conflicts and disagreements. Everyone speaks evil of another, in an endless carousel, sometimes grotesque. Less than 10 days before the election and yet so much confusion, too much, certainly not as much as in the past and so close to the elections. A policy framework which seems chaotic and that confuses even more the electorate.
The first, in chronological order, to have confirmed his run to the premiership was Pier Luigi Bersani, secretary of the party PD (Partito Democratico). A party that could be politically in the center, and that has allied himself with the party “Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà” by Nichi Vendola (who had supported enthusiastically Bersani in the runoff election against Matteo Renzi), and with “PSI” (Partito Socialista italiano by Riccardo Nencini), and “Centro Democratico” (formerly API- Alleaza per l’Italia by Rutelli, and with some deserters of IDV, Partito dei Valori by Antonio Di Pietro).
Returning from exciting electoral results – like the victory in the municipal Parma or the good result to the Sicilian regional, the movement “Movement 5 Stelle” headed by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, is hoping to get a lot of votes from distrustful and hesitant people, the protest votes.
The leader of the new critic party “Revoluzione Civile” by Antonio Ingroia, winks at Beppe Grillo and Bersani (Pd).

These are the main fronts, which likely will share almost all of the votes. Then there is an understory of parties and lists, and among these, the movement “FARE” led by economist Oscar Giannino, liberal area, but is adverse both to the Berlusconi’s team that to the government’s fiscal rigidity of Monti. Then, “Unione Popolare“, the movement that has stood for a few battles by referendum, with Maria Di Prato as a candidate for prime minister, who says available to dialogue with other forces, provided that they are alternative to  Monti’s policies.

What a mess!

People are hesitant, afraid to give still credit to politicians who led Italy to ruin, or to others that promise but which do not, to political figures of the last hour, unreliable or unprepared. By now, is a common thought that all politicians do this work not for love of country and its well-being, but for their own benefit, because a chair to the House or Senate is convenient to all. Discouragement is total, and we think of going “from bad to worse” or “falling from the frying pan into the fire”… we just have to say… “God help us.”