lunedì 31 marzo 2008


There’s a simple, and far from rhetorical question, that is causing the Berlusconi camp in Sicily to lose sleep: what will be left of Forza Italia (Berlusconi’s party) in five years time? The results of the last opinion polls to be taken just before the mandatory pre-election period black out (but nonetheless kept out of the public domain) have already delivered a clear message. Subtracting the votes of rightwing allies Alleanza Nazionale from those of Popolo della Libertà (the new moniker under which Berlusconi is campaigning this time round), it is evident that Forza Italia has lost a whopping 14% compared to the general elections of just two years ago. A figure that has Berlusconi’s Sicilian Regional Coordinator Angelino Alfano seriously worried, not to mention the other argumentative Sicilian potentates jostling for position with him, such as Renato Schifani, Stefania Prestigiacomo or Marcello Dell’Utri, not to mention the inconsolable Gianfranco Miccichè. So just has been hovering up Forza Italia’s votes in Sicily? Certainly not the parties on the left, that’s for sure. They have ended up benefiting Berlusconi’s electoral ally, and the Centre-Right’s official candidate for the Sicilian Regional presidency, Raffaele Lombardo and his MPA (Movimento Per Le Autonomie). The reason for this radical redistribution of the soft conservative vote is not hard to figure out. The Centre-Right will certainly end up winning in Sicily by a wide margin, but the victor will be the pro-Devolutionist Lombardo, who in a single stroke has obliged Berlusconi’s PDL to get into bed with Pier Ferdinando Casini’s UDC party (headed up in Sicily by his good friend Totò Cuffaro) in order to remain in power on the island.