There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Unaware of my civic duty no longer

I'm disappointed: thanks to an initiative instituted by soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Berlusconi and his government, I was eligible to vote in the just-ended Italian elections and I didn't even know:

Italians yesterday were just beginning to realize that their fate had been determined by people who have mostly entered their country only as tourists.

"It seems impossible," the Italian newspaper L'Unita writes in an editorial to appear today, "but the fate of this 2006 election has been decided by Italian émigrés of the second and third generation rather than by any people in Italy -- by men and women who were not born in their native land and, in the great majority of cases, have never lived there."

The "Italians abroad" voting scheme was designed by Mirko Tremaglia, the 80-year-old Minister of Italians in the World. An unapologetic defender of the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, Mr. Tremaglia is said to have modelled the scheme after a Fascist scheme that defined Italians as a race.

Under Mr. Tremaglia's new electoral law, eligible voters are defined as anyone with a continuous line of male descendants going back to a man born in Italy. The voter needs only to register with an Italian consulate, and does not have to speak Italian, have visited Italy or even have parents who were born in Italy.

Note that the election was decided by these "Italians abroad".

I'm going to have to contact the Italian consulate here. As a fourth generation descendent through a continuous line of male descendents going back to Italy, it's my right to have a say in who governs a country my great-grandfather left in 1885. Laura's grandfather left Italy in the 1920s, so she's eligible too.

How do you say "hoist by his own petard" in Italian?

Tags:

Posted at 7:20 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I thought it had to be at most a grandfather, and our line goes one generation more than than that, to our great-grandfather. But I'm not sure of this. I only heard it in passing on some news report which could easily have been wrong.

Posted by lilbro at 8:01 AM, April 17, 2006 [Link]

Or this report that I read, which didn't mention anything about which generation it was limited to if any, but just that you had to be descended in a strictly male line from an Italian male (racists are so sexist...), could be wrong. What you describe would make marginally more sense, so it's probably true. Damn. Well, at least Laura could vote....

Posted by ralph at 8:42 AM, April 17, 2006 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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