Aldo Moro, the Italian Prime Minister, who was on the point of achieving a major shift towards potential political stability in Italy, bringing in the communist party to a government with his own Christian Democratic Party. His subsequent death fractured Italian politics, at the end of a violent decade.
There continues to be speculation about who, apart from or in encouragement of the Red Brigades, may have been involved. The film Il Divo explores the right wing of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) through the life of Giulio Andreotti, many times prime minister and still at the top when the CDP disintegrated under the weight of corruption and disaffection, in the early 1990s, when Andreotti acted (one matter of lasting consequence) in ways that enables Silvio Berlusconi to secure dominance of the media in Italy, a situation which today means only one newspaper group and the public radio-tv network RAI carry reports on the legal cases facing Berlusconi.
The Italian Communist Party also dissolved in the wake of the collapse of Eastern European communism, at about the same time as the CDP. The search for sane political balance continues. The party principally heir to the PCI is the Democratic Party (PD) and other left wing parties. The old balance of the 1960s had been that the PCI had nationally 30% of the vote, the Christian Democrats 40%... the Christian Democrats, unlike the DLP in Australia, being a party whose members had a complete range of political views from right to left, though the Vatican has always tugged towards the right.
The PCI previously governed a number of Italy's regions, especially in the centre of the country (Florence, Bologna). This page shows which provinces are controlled by the PD. Polling this month showed, in opinion of how to secure succession to Berlusconi, that no more than 12% wanted a coalition of the centre or the centre-right, over 20% favoured a centre left coalition led by the PD. Near 60% either were undecided or not wishing to vote. The problem at the heart is that such a high proportion of political process is ego driven and reluctant to come to terms with practical things needing to be done to sustain government. Berlusconi stays there because he has $10 billion personal wealth and the money keeps pouring in; because he favours the kind of regionalism desired by parts of the north and wealthier groups generally, that want to keep money where it is; because there has never been a government able to bring more than 40% of business out of the black economy; and because he leads the kind of louche lifestyle many Italians dream of having.... while the other half is heavily unionised and has through political process secured many public assets we dream of, including good public transport. Italy alone of large western European countries remains nuclear power free.
to be noted also that there is a great force for balance in the political system, a restraint on Berlusconi in President Giorgio Napolitano, a member of the PCI till its dissolution, demonstrating in a speech this evening at the 150th anniversary ceremony a wonderfully clear capacity to argue for inclusion and universal community values, withut notes, at age 85.