The Italians Are Better At Government Than Anyone Else

From time to time, because I do things like talk with students about political theory, I hear arguments that a parliamentary system is better than what we have in the U.S.A. Italy, for instance, has a parliamentary system, and there is news from there today. Now sure, to us in the United States, it appears that the center-left coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi is on the verge of collapse because a small party with a few seats in Italy’s upper house of parliament decided to pull their support of the government. Sure, that looks like a tiny splinter group with the support of only a tiny fraction of the Italian electorate is capable of bringing the government there to a screeching halt; it looks like that tiny minority can therefore make demands and get what it wants despite the large majority of Italians not being in favor of their proposal. That’s what it looks like. But appearances can be deceiving. We need to remember, the Italians have been in the business of governance for three thousand years. They excel at government. Why, since the end of World War II, they’ve had thirty-nine governments.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.