The landslide election of Silvia Berlusconi in Italy is good news for America and good news for everyone who wants the principles of conservative government to spread around the world. Like Sarkozy in France (another pro-American), Berlusconi is a bigger than life figure. But like Sarkozy, he is not intimidated by the cant of the Left. The size of his victory - a landslide very atypical of Italian politics - indicates Berlusconi will have the power to actually change some things. Like what?
The Northern League, which will play a significant role in the new Italian government, has taken a hard line on immigration. If Italy, a major path of entry for Moslems moving into Europe, begins to take the problem of the Islamization of Europe seriously, then that will be very good news for the rest of the world. Interestingly, the Proud of the Netherlands party now appears to be tied for the second largest party in the nation (Christian Appeal is the largest) and this support seems to have come at the expense of socialist parties. The more different European nations, supported by troubled European peoples that begin to stand up for their culture and opposed being swallowed by Islam, the better for all of us.
Italy could also become another international voice supporting action against Iran, if that is necessary. Add Italy to France, Canada and Germany, nations where the governing and more pro-American parties are in power and, in the case of Canada and Germany, where public opinion polls show their minority conservative governments much stronger now than when first elected, and the potential for a real consensus of democracies seems more likely. When Chirac and Schroeder were thumbing their noses at America, Berlusconi was thumbing his nose at them. Unlike many European peoples, Italians have not traditionally had a reflexive disdain for America. Having a premier who reflects that helps us a lot.
The good guys - political parties in major democracies who tilt toward America - have been winning general elections regularly for several years now (Australia was the exception) and it is highly probable that the Conservative Party in Great Britain may be able to force an early election, and almost certain victory. If that happens, the six major affluent democracies after America - Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada - will all have the best governments we can realistically hope for them to have.
When that happens, John McCain's idea for a league of democracies may not look so silly. If nothing else, it would shift the focus of international interest away from the meaningless, malicious United Nations and to a different forum (and if it turns into just a debating society, so what?) which much more closely reflects the values we want to govern world affairs.
The time to do this would be when there was a perfect constellation of governments within these democracies. By 2009, it is very likely that constellation will exist. A common statement of goals and principles by the seven greatest affluent democracies will also give strength to those conservative heads of those governments in their own countries.
Ideas like a League of Nations or United Nations are old and the failures all too well known. But that does not mean we cannot learn from our failures, and it does not mean that the idea is bad. William Howard Taft, a very thoughtful and good man, first proposed a League of Nations when he was president, before the First World War. Could it have prevented that war? There is a reasonable chance that it could, along with the awful chain reaction that followed.
What should this League of Democracies stand for? Here are some points upon which all should agree: (1) The destruction of the State of Israel is unacceptable and all principals to this League agree to preserve Israel at all costs; (2) Each nation will be given a grade on human freedom and all aid to a nation will be governed by its level of freedom and movement toward freedom; (3) While immigration will not be severely restricted, each principal to the League covenants to allow immigration only after a period of education and testing in the core values of the society and granting citizenship only after a significant period as a lawful immigrant; (4) An agreement to defend any member in case of attack by a third party, whether a nation or a terrorist organization; and (5) An agreement to admit other nations when they attain the status of major, free democracies.
The United Nations was fatally flawed from the beginning, allowing dictators membership, giving the Soviet Union three votes, and giving each nation in the General Assembly a single vote. A League of Democracies, if done while conservatives governed the nations involved, might work. It would, at least, supplant the United Nations as an international forum and keep nations like Iran and Sudan from sitting at the same table as civilized nations. That, alone, may make it worthwhile.