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Wednesday, March 07, 2018 

Italian populists score a victory

Now here's some positive news from Italy - the rightists have made impressive victories in this year's election:
In what is being called “the mother of all anti-establishment votes,” populist-nationalist parties hammered parties identified as being part of the old guard in Italian elections Sunday, radically altering Italy’s political landscape.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement emerged as the biggest party in both Houses of Parliament while the anti-immigration League has taken over from Berlusconi’s Forza Italia as the largest single party on the political right.

The results will not be final until Monday evening, but exit polls point to a remarkable shift in Italian politics away from conventional parties to anti-establishment groups looking to shake up business as usual. The real victors were Luigi di Maio of the 5-Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the League, in an election that saw voter turnout at over 73 percent of the voter population, essentially debunking forecasts of low turnout due to supposed indifference and disillusionment.
And the leftists have been diminished:
With final results in from Sunday’s national elections in Italy, the depth of the defeat for the left can be fully appreciated with the resignation of the leader of the Democratic Party (PD) and the severely diminished presence of the center-left coalition in Parliament.

According to the Italian media, elections left the PD “prostrate” while the center-left coalition itself has “disappeared” from the electoral map charting political predominance across Italy’s 20 regions.

The tabulated election results show the center-right coalition taking 267 seats in the House (with 124 of these going to the League) and 136 in the Senate, nudging aside Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party as the de facto leader of the center-right. Forza Italia will have taken 104 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (House) and 57 in the Senate.
This is good, and definitely if the rightists are willing to take convincing steps to push back the Muslim migrants who were allowed into the country, which have led to violent crimes there too. Now, it remains to be seen if France can succeed in making similar gains of success in their own conservative movements. They will still need our help, of course.

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