Monday, March 11, 2013

Italian Elections in Florence, Part 2

Who are all these cameramen and journalists crowding around in Piazza Signoria?
As recorded by faithful Beautiful Florence blog photographer Bree Chun, 
the sought-after gentleman found just behind the tripod is
no other than Florence's mayor, Matteo Renzi.
Renzi is just trying to report for a day's work in Palazzo Vecchio (city hall).

The excitement stems from the fact that although Renzi lost the Democratic primary for prime minister,
the candidate, Pierluigi Bersani, did not win enough votes to form a government.
There may be a new election, and before that, a new Democratic primary.
Renzi is aiming to win the eventual rematch with Bersani and become Prime Minister.
Here we are back during the February mock election in which both Italian and American university students participated at the Florence campus of Pepperdine University.
 Professor Alessandro Chiaramonte is explaining possible post-election alliances.
Perhaps he did not take into account that the Movimento Cinque Stelle founded by Beppe Grillo
 could win an unexpected 25% of the vote, and refuse to ally with any existing political party.

What is especially interesting is that the vote tallied at Pepperdine (see previous post, Italian Elections, the American and Italian 'Vote') corresponded to the write-in vote of Italian living overseas--with the coalizione di sinistra (the center-left alliance including Bersani's Democratic Party and Vendola's Left, Ecology and Liberty movements) winning a clear majority, and the rest of the parties (the center coalition headed by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, the right wing coalition run by Silvio Berlusconi ) winning a nearly equal number of votes.
The exception overseas was the Movimento Cinque Stelle, which finished last, not third as back home in Italy.  There are fewer angry Italian residents abroad who wished to cast
 a protest vote, it would seem.
The result at Pepperdine was also remarkably similar to the actual election results in the city of Florence.   The voters here are strongly left of center.

Where does Italy go from here?  Good question.
Media reporting to the contrary,
life goes on.

After the political conference and mock election at Pepperdine,
the Italian and American students and faculty adjourned to the nearby countryside,
where they prepared homemade pizzas, which were placed into a outdoor brick oven to bake.

Besides wondering what will happen politically--whether Italians will return to the polls or if another interim government composed of technocrats will be formed--preparing food and sharing a meal is still big on the country's agenda.  Here it also provided a chance for Pepperdine students to become acquainted with and make friends with fellow students from their host country.

And what do Italians, as well as these students, occasionally do after lunch?
Play bocce of course, especially on the weekend.

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