Viewpoint: Why Italy's Election Is a Joke

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In Rome, there is no Pope, Prime Minister Mario Monti is on the way out, the newly elected Parliament looks hopelessly hung, and President Giorgio Napolitano has only 10 weeks left before retirement. That means he no longer has the constitutional right to call fresh elections. His solution may be to stand down earlier than planned, leaving Italy with no leaders in place at all.

Political and social instability are not new to Italy, but they have taken a surreal twist. The center-left alliance won narrowly in Italy's Feb. 24-25 poll, but the Five Star Movement,...

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