Italy is having a new experience: primaries within the centre left coalition to elect the leader who will against Silvio Berlusconi, the current Prime Minister.
But this first attempt to imitate the American system is already in danger. Italian politicians from the centre left are pressing for having an election with a single candidate. What kind of election is this? What is the reason behind this surprising move? The explanation is quite simple. Last week, the centre left organised a round of elections to select the candidate for the regional elections in Puglia. To the great surprise of everyone, the communist candidate won the contest. (This shouldn't surprise too much, given that extremists are generally the most politically active on a day to day basis). But now the fear is that the secretary of the Communist Party, Fausto Bertinotti, could win the race against Romano Prodi, the actual candidate of the centre left. This is why pressures have been exercised on Fausto Bertinotti, who refused to bow to the cause of the great democratic coalition. Thus, we'll have the opportunity to witness to a very heated round of primaries in Italy.