* Italy ministry gets record number of logos for approval
* Election logos include everything from sex to religion
* Smorgasbord of groups, movements, local lists lodge logos
* Any "organised" group can submit logo under 1957 law
By Philip Pullella
ROME, Jan 14 From right-wing gays of the "Black
Rose" movement, to parties seeking to dump the euro, to the
"Ordinary Guy Front", there is something for everyone in the
dazzling array of groups seeking to contest Italy's elections.
The Interior Ministry, which will oversee the Feb. 24-25
vote, has received a record 215 logos from parties, movements,
associations, local and special interest groups of all sizes and
colours - anyone who wants to be put on posters or ballot slips.
All manner of logos were displayed for public viewing on
Monday in a long corridor in the ministry's ground floor: a red
heart, a tramp carrying a sack with his belongings hanging from
a stick on his back, a heavily made-up former porn star.
"Some of this is pure exhibitionism but still, it is part of
democracy," said a ministry employee perusing the logos. He and
his colleagues declined to give their names.
"This just shows the level of dissatisfaction today. The
traditional parties don't responded to malaise about pensions,
environment, taxes, everything. No one is happy," another
ministry employee said.
Apart from many logos from the main parties and their
offshoots, there is a dizzying display of symbols pushing every
position, cause, protest and desire under the political sun.
An Italian who feels the squeeze of the tax man in the
current recession can find a home either in the "Stop Taxes and
Banks" movement, the "Halve the Salaries of Politicians" group
or even the "Look What a Mess They've Got Us Into" group.
Total disaffection with the system is clearly expressed on
the logo of the "Ordinary Guy Front" - a drawing of a man
screaming in tortured pain while squeezed in a vice.
The ministry, using a 1957 law, will decide which logos it
allows, depending mainly on the number of signatures backing
them. In the last national elections in 2008, 153 out of 181
Many are civic lists and special-interest groups which will
only appear locally. Most will then link up with larger parties
or any coalition and give them their votes.
The symbol of "Democracy, Nature and Love" (DNA) movement
features former porn star Ilona Staller, who went by the screen
name of Cicciolina (little cuddly one) and was elected to
parliament for the Radical Party in 1987.
SEX, SPORT AND RELIGION
Staller has retired from both politics and the porn industry
but her picture graces the logo of the libertarian movement.
Posted nearby is the logo of the "Gays of the Right - Black
Catholic voters unhappy with the values espoused by
mainstream centrist parties can find a home in either the "Party
of Catholics", the "Sacred Roman Empire" movement or even two
groups with identical names: "The Militia of Christ". The logo
of one sports a red heart while the other is a red anchor.
At least two groups are associated with Rome's rival soccer
teams - "Forza Roma" and "Forza Lazio".
A voter who feels Italy thirsts for muse-like inspiration to
solve its problems might be lured by the "Poets of Action
Movement", the "Art, Freedom and Democracy" group or the "Party
of the Cultural Revolution"
Its logo is a human brain with the command: "Think about
Some logos are provocations whose shelf life is dubious.
One is the "Bunga Bunga Movement," which takes its name from
the wild parties held by former prime minister Silvio
Perhaps one of the logos encapsulates best the mood of
frustration many Italians feel. Its promoters call themselves a
national civil list and its message is very clear: "I don't