Italy Provides Rest Of World Brief, Entertaining Respite From Its Problems

How messed up is Italy after its most recent election? How about, “The results have created the remarkable possibility that Italy could find itself next week without a government or a pope.” Or, “Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani and resurgent ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi may be seeking to avoid a ballot that would favor populist Beppe Grillo, whose movement was the top vote-getter in its first national contest…. Recession- scarred voters repudiated budget rigor and made Grillo, a former comedian, a political force. In the four-way race, Bersani, the pre-election favorite, won the lower house by less than a half a point. Berlusconi, fighting a tax-fraud conviction and charges of paying a minor for sex, won a blocking minority in the Senate.” And then there’s this: “When Mr. Berlusconi went to vote on Sunday, he spotted a young woman sulking nearby, her face planted in her palms. ‘You should learn to smile more,’ he said, flashing a smile at the woman and casting his ballot.” So, that messed up. It will be fun to watch, at least.