An Italian court sentenced scientists to jail time for not having a functioning crystal ball ahead of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila. The arguments of science and reason fell on deaf ears.
Italy may find Prime Minister Mario Monti's dose of discipline hard to swallow, but his depoliticized democracy is the only form of government that can move Italy forward. Monti's experiment may also serve as an antidote to the political dysfunction in the West – especially the US.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi admitted defeat amid a large voter turnout and rejection of a ballot question to give government ministers immunity from appearing in court. Berlusconi is facing three fraud trials and a sex scandal.