Friday, June 16, 2006

Prodi and democracy

In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, partially translated and reprinted by John Rosenthal on Transatlantic Intelligencer, the new Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi explained his views on modern Italian politics and the Italian electorate.

It seems that the narrowness of his victory rankles with Signor Prodi and his views on the Italian people are just a shade on the bitter side. According to him Italy under Berlusconi became post-democratic with the people enslaved by the TV channels owned by Mediaset, of which Berlusconi is not the owner but the principal shareholder.

What precisely is Prodi’s evidence for this terrible state of affairs? Why, the fact that certain groups voted for him in smaller proportion than they did for his rival. Clearly, there was brainwashing at work there.
Die Zeit: The American journalist Alexander Stille writes that Berlusconi created his own voters with his television channels.

Prodi: That's right. And that is the post-democratic aspect of Berlusconi… In these elections, almost 70% of academics voted for me. 70 percent! Among women between 35 and 55, I received fewer votes, maybe (laughs) because I am not so sexy. But in this age group, I had 11% more voters among people with active careers than among housewives.

Die Zeit: …who obviously watch more Berlusconi-television.

Prodi: The less time people spend before the television, the more likely they are to vote for the center-left. That is the mathematical law of post-democracy.”
QED. People should not be allowed to watch the TV channel of their choice (and, as a matter of fact, some of them may have been watching one of the three Italian state owned RAI network) and professors, particularly if they are left-wing ought to be given the right to choose the government of their country with no recourse to anyone else’s opinions.

The really surprising thing is that Prodi was such a completely useless Commission President. The man is made for that job, I should have thought.


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