Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party won in Italy's elections on Sunday and Monday.

I'll get to what this means for Italy and for the center-left coalition, which, led by the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, was roundly defeated in this vote (the Communists and the Socialists did not win any seats in Parliament -- an historic loss).

But first, I need to tell you that voter turnout fell by about 4 percent this year. Many in Italy were promoting an abstension from voting as a general slam against Italy's political class.

So, yeah, turnout dropped to.....80 percent!!!! Yes, 80 percent of Italians went to the polls this past weekend to vote.

You might take issue with Italians voting back into office Il Cavaliere, as Berlusconi is known in Italy.

But I really think they set an incredible example for us in America. In fact, it's disgraceful that our voter turnout is closer to 50 percent.

One last thing: they do hold elections in Italy on Sunday. Maybe we should do that?Would that help? Will this year's candidates be so dazzling that more than 50 percent of Americans will vote? I doubt it.

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