I am having a “tolerance of ambiguity” moment today. The roots of this cultural imperative are long and strong and an integral part of Italian and Catholic culture-- although I do try to understand, some days just bring on moments.
How is it that a guy (Cesare Previti in this case) can receive a final sentence of six years for corruption charges, confirmed by the highest court (for the Imi-Sir case) and then not only be granted three years grace and the other three doing social services, but also continue to be a Senator in Parliament. Absurd and unthinkable, to us, but somehow makes sense within the context of Italian culture’s high tolerance of ambiguity. It is not an individual case, there are approximately twenty parliamentarians (between the Senate, House and European Parliament) in more or less the same situation, granted some with convictions that are more serious than others, but in any case, not exactly the kind of people you want representing you in government -- or maybe some are, but where do you draw the line between a ten day sentence for a building violation and the millions of euros paid off to officials to rig a merger or secure a contract?
Pazienza. Rules are made, and then enforced by taking into account the particular situation, in this case, political ties. The old bulldog, Antonio di Pietro, from Tangentopoli days, is heading up a proposal that would block candidates from Parliament once they had received a final sentence. Boh – yet another law?
Back at school, they all learned to walk the fine line between out and out cheating (punishable) and “helping each other out” (openly overlooked or simply ignored by the teacher). By the time they turned 18, they had learned the ambiguity game. We instead, are pretty naïve, believing that rules are rules and should be applied universally in the same way.