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Mainstream media does seem to love its tabloid memes. The papal resignation seemed to have a connection to secular politics and of course the Jerry Springer / Father Guido Sarducci wing of the media has been trying at least in the English-speaking world to make the best of it despite the constraints on electioneering and polling, although it has brought to mind that as with ex-porn star Cicciolina's run for parliament, that not unlike US politics, the Carnivalesque is the norm for Italian politics.

in 2012, Ilona Staller founded the Democracy, Nature and Love Party (DNA), alongside her (partner), Luca di Carlo, a criminal defense lawyer. Among its objectives are: the legalization of same-sex marriage, the reopening of the "closed houses", former brothels; a guaranteed minimum wage for the young people; a properly functioning judicial system for every Italian; and the elimination of all privileges that a well-to-do political "caste" owns. The Party is ready to stand for the upcoming elections on 24 February 2013
Campaigning for Italy's general election, to be held on Sunday and Monday, has ended with candidates banned from publicly rallying for support in the 24 hours before the polls open. "This vote is not at all certain," said one pollster who asked not to be named because of a ban on the publication of opinion surveys in the fortnight before voting. "One percentage point either way could lead to chaos or a clear winner."
This does explain more clearly why Vatican politics has become sexualized at the same moment when secular elections are coming to a conclusion.
Pope Benedict XVI resigned after an internal investigation informed him about a web of blackmail, corruption and gay sex in the Vatican, Italian media reports say. Three cardinals were asked by Benedict to verify allegations of financial impropriety, cronyism and corruption exposed in the so-called VatiLeaks affair.
The cardinals were said to have uncovered an underground gay network, whose members organise sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City.
On December 17, 2012, they handed the pontiff two red-leather bound volumes, almost 300 pages long, containing "an exact map of the mischief and the bad fish" inside the Holy See, La Repubblica said. Read more:
The front end(sic) of this saga has been the framing of this story with other sex work scandals such as the one that affected Berlusconi's recent fall from power and his attempt at rehabilitation in the current election as media dredges up stories from 2009 to headlines like "Did a Cross-Dressing Priest Sex Ring Bring Down Benedict XVI?"

Because so much of the secret lives of gay priests is actually not so secret thanks to Carmelo Abbate’s magazine exposé and subsequent book, Sex and the Vatican, many are wondering what else could be hidden in the alleged red-covered dossier. Vatican elite have also been loosely tied to a number of other secular scandals during Benedict’s tenure, including the ultra-tawdry affair between former Lazio governor Piero Marrazzo and several transvestite prostitutes, including one named “Brenda” who was found burned to death in 2009.  At the time that Marrazzo’s relationships with the transvestites were discovered, his driver reportedly told investigators that several high-ranking priests and even cardinals were customers of Rome’s elite transsexual circuit, though no proof was ever provided and no one has ever been arrested tied to the transsexual prostitution circuit. Nor has anyone mentioned whether reference to these crimes might also be in the dossier. But Marrazzo was whisked off to the Vatican-owned Monte Cassino abbey south of Rome to do his penance, and he even wrote a letter to Vatican Secretary of State Tarciso Bertone asking for Pope Benedict XVI’s forgiveness.
Berlusconi tried to use the Marrazzo scandal as an opportunity to brag that his leftist opposition does not hold the moral high ground, sniffing to the press that, “at least I was with a real woman.
One doesn't need to be reminded of the irony of Berlusconi's attraction to sex work with minors. Thankfully, the election might devolve to actual policy matters and will be less lascivious what with the EU and the Euro the real matters at hand.
Final polls two weeks ago showed center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani with a five-point lead, but analysts disagree about whether he will be able to form a stable majority that can push through the economic reforms Italy needs to exit recession. Bersani is now thought to be just a few points ahead of Berlusconi, the former prime minister who has promised tax refunds and staged a media blitz to regain support.
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