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Matteo Renzi plays with alligators.

Matteo Renzi is playing dangerously. He began the New Year energetically offering to Italian politicians a hand of three possible electoral systems, asking them to choose one. When they ummed and erred about the possible choice he jumped into negotiations with Forza Italia and, of course, with Silvio Berlusconi, the well known convicted tax fraudster.

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At first it was even more alarming because he was dealing Denis Verdini, Mr. B.’s right hand man, the man who wielded the cheque-book when Berlusconi was trying to find MP’s to bribe to bring down Romano Prodi’s government. So Renzi has to be careful, he is playing with alligators.

He has hammered out a deal on the electoral system which is based on the Spanish system. Basically there are a number of local electoral colleges which harbor candidates for each party. When a party gains a certain percentage of…

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