Get the WAHHHHHMBULANCE out
It was close, but Romano Prodi won the Italian election, and this talk of "irregularities" by Berlusconi smacks me as petulant and silly. It was extremely close, but a loss nonetheless, and I don't seem to remember Berlusconi calling for any kind of grand coalition the last two times, when his opponent reflected at least 45% of the people:
"Anyone with good sense should consider a government... which contains the representatives of all the Italians," he told reporters.
Isn't that touching? When he loses, all Italians should be represented. When he wins... well, forget it.
This joker calls this "a dark day for Europe" and that now "The failure of the Berlusconi government to win a ringing endorsement may leave Italy bereft of the courageous leadership that has seen Italian troops standing alongside their NATO allies in Iraq for three long years, in the teeth of public opinion."
Um, Silvio was pulling out of Iraq anyway, bud. That was not a factor in these elections. In fact, you say that later as PROOF that this major defeat for conservatism won't affect the United States. The reason Berlusconi lost is that there was no economic growth and the people were suffering, and maybe they saw the richest man in the country smiling as their leader every day on the television stations he owns and they said "enough is enough!"
I don't believe in international cycles, although it is fun to see the rightists that do clam up today. Countries are different and so are their elections. The idea that there's a conservative or liberal wave spreading over the globe isn't realistic. But it never hurts to see a little victory coming from our side.