It was inevitable that sooner or later Romano Prodi's government, with a majority of one in the Senate, would stumble and fall. And it isn't surprising that two of the people responsible for yesterday's defeat should represent fringe elements of the radical left, although not the parties they belong to (nor the electorate, given that both of them have their seats as a result of the quota system introduced by Berlusconi). Smugly irresponsible, they'll no doubt be enjoying their self-righteous fifteen minutes of attention right now.
But I'd like to know why Giulio Andreotti (mafioso, seven times PM and devout Catholic) changed his mind after having assured the government of his vote, and abstained, knowing full well that abstention is considered a vote against. Vatican pressure? After all, this way the government has fallen before the DICO debate on civil unions, avoiding what might have been an irritating defeat for Old Mother Benedict. And if it does struggle back to its feet, it's unlikely to risk a second debacle in the upper house so soon after yesterday's.
Nice one, Giulio.