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Horses and cardinals: Bloggers dodge Italy poll ban

ROME: Italian bloggers have found imaginative ways to dodge a ban on publishing opinion polls ahead of elections — from referring to candidates as cardinals to commenting the vote like a horse race. Under Italian law, opinion polls can be carried out but their results cannot be released in the 15 days before elections which got under way yesterday.
One site — — has been publishing the results of the polls as “illegal horse races” and refers to the different polling companies as “hippodromes” using disguised names. The authors use French words for the main movements competing in the elections, like the center-left Common Good coalition referred to as “Bien Comun.”
Berlusconi’s coalition is referred to as the “Burlesque” team — a reference to allegedly raunchy parties hosted by the billionaire tycoon — who is said to be a few “seconds” behind the winner. Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-austerity Five Star Movement, is “the five-starred” dark horse. Outgoing prime minister Mario Monti is referred to as “Ipson de la Boccon” — an allusion to his academic career as economics professor and dean at the prestigious Bocconi University in Milan.