I often harp on voting here at Craigorian Chant, but it turns out I missed out on a chance to vote, myself. It turns out that I could have voted in the Italian national election that was just held. The ruling right-wing party devised a plan to allow Italians living abroad to vote. But rather than just allowing ex-pats, or Italian citizens living abroad, the rules allowed for anyone of Italian descent to vote in the Italian election:
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.
I have to go check the family archives, but I'm pretty sure that we have records of Baraccos going back to the Mother County. If you think about it, these rules mean that anybody with an Italian last name could vote. After all a "continuous line of male descendants going back to a man born in Italy" is pretty much proven by an Italian last name, right?
The final punchline - Berlusconi, who's party came up with this idea, lost due to the votes of Italians living abroad:
He was especially critical of the voting of "Italians abroad," who elected 12 seats in Italy's lower house and six seats in the senate. Four of those six seats went to Mr. Prodi's coalition, and a fifth, independent South American victor announced that he would also back Mr. Prodi.
That means that the "Italians abroad" determined the government, since Mr. Prodi's coalition won control of the Senate by only two seats, a margin of 158 seats to 156. Mr. Berlusconi's anger and scrutiny is now focused tightly on these votes, especially in the riding that represents North and Central America, in which Canadian votes proved decisive.
Story link came from Americablog.