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ribaltone

English translation: overthrow

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14:19 Dec 14, 2010
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Government / Politics / parliamentary majorities
Italian term or phrase: ribaltone
i.e. Mastella, Scilipoli, Calearo etc.

Anyone have any idea how to render this in understandable English?
Thomas Roberts
English translation:overthrow
Explanation:
If there was a simple translation, you wouldn't be asking and there isn't. The didn't "turn the tables" on the government the "revolt" was "unsuccessful" and so was the "mutiny" unlike Bossi's attemp in 1994 when the word was used a lot too.

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Note added at 34 mins (2010-12-14 14:53:30 GMT)
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Got the context wrong.

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Note added at 42 mins (2010-12-14 15:01:42 GMT)
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IN view of the new context. "Champions of the reshuffle". In the UK this is a prime minister reshuffling his ministers, rather than his majority, but its close.

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Note added at 2 hrs (2010-12-14 16:19:59 GMT)
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In journalistic terms generally it has now come to mean any change in alliances which affects the majority, however it is performed. The current failed "ribaltone" occurred when Fini left the coalition and moved a confidence motion. It failed because deputies from Fini's party voted with the goverment against the no confidence motion. This answer was based on today's events. Not Prodi's. However, if this is the article:
http://www.lettera43.it/articolo/254/prigionieri-del-ribalto...
then this author is (at times) using ribaltone as a synonym for "chi cambia bandiera", while the Bossi-Berlusconi ribaltone in the 90s was a simple change of alliances by Bossi's party.

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Note added at 3 hrs (2010-12-14 17:25:14 GMT)
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Have to see it in historical context. The original meaning is to turn something upside down in a big way. Has been used (according to the wiki page) since the beginning of the last century, but probably went unused in the post-war years with 40 odd years of more or less the same majority. Then in March 1994 the Lega Nord, Forza Italia and AN (Fini's old party) formed an alliance and won the elections. In December 1994 Lega Nord pulled out of the coalition moving a no confidence motion which (unlike today's) passed. That was the first real RIBALTONE in many many years and I think important in the history of the word. Bossi really turned the tables on Berlusconi. Much of the reason, if I remember rightly was due to predictable friction between Fini and Bossi. Then Berlusconi's Treasury Minister crossed the floor to become prime minister of a government supported by the left and Lega Nord.
Now Ribaltoni are so interweaved with people crossing the floor as it were, that the word is developing. However, the word still retains its non political meaning. I'd hardly call Mastella's action a Ribaltone. I mean he didn't exactly capsize the ship.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 hrs (2010-12-15 09:13:10 GMT)
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Not really. 1994 marked the end of an era. The Christian Democrats had ruled the country since the war. The opposition had never won an election. In 1994 the Christian Democrat Party collapsed and nobody really knew what would happen next. The expectation was that the communists would win because there was nobody else to vote for. Then Berlusconi created Forza Italia to fill the gap stating he would rather go with the Fascists (AN di Fini) than with the communists. So a very right wing alliance (AN Forza Italia e Lega Nord) came to power after 40 years of a right wing government. Then in December the Lega Nord changed sides and a communist led coalition came to power. That was a tectonic shift a real ribaltone in the ordinary figurative and non technical sense of the word and it was then that the word was revived by political journalists.
Selected response from:

James (Jim) Davis
Seychelles
Local time: 21:21
Grading comment
Many thanks to all. Perhaps this term is indeed impossible to translate. I am giving the points to Jim because his explanations will I think be useful for anyone looking for this term in future. For what it's worth I would translate Bossi's ribaltone as "defection", and Mastella/Dini's as a variant of "propping up the government", as an element of (unexpected) side-changing is implied in both.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4overthrow
James (Jim) Davis
4flip flop
chomps
4sudden change in political alliances
Chiara Beltrami
4unelected coalition
Giles Watson
3a sudden shift/overturn in party alliances
cynthiatesser
2Masters of strategic defection
David Turnbull


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
sudden change in political alliances


Explanation:
you may say in this way although in Italy many people have another idea about what happened today in Montecitorio

Chiara Beltrami
Italy
Local time: 18:21
Does not meet criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Italian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  James (Jim) Davis: Got the context wrong, was thinking of today.
4 mins
  -> no words.....
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
unelected coalition


Explanation:
The term is not easy to translate into English. It refers to politicians shifting the political goalposts without going to the country, which is less of a sin in English-speaking countries where MPs are (were?) regarded as having a personal mandate for the duration of the legislature.

The "fuoriusciti" would be referred to as "floor-crossers".

Giles Watson
Italy
Local time: 18:21
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
i campioni del ribaltone
Masters of strategic defection


Explanation:
Seems to get the gist. So far I can't come up with anything approaching the catchiness of the Italian. Something like "flip-flop" would be ideal but that usually refers to individual policies, not (semi)permanent loyalties.

David Turnbull
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:21
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a sudden shift/overturn in party alliances


Explanation:
-

cynthiatesser
Italy
Local time: 18:21
Does not meet criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Italian
PRO pts in category: 6
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
overthrow


Explanation:
If there was a simple translation, you wouldn't be asking and there isn't. The didn't "turn the tables" on the government the "revolt" was "unsuccessful" and so was the "mutiny" unlike Bossi's attemp in 1994 when the word was used a lot too.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2010-12-14 14:53:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Got the context wrong.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 42 mins (2010-12-14 15:01:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

IN view of the new context. "Champions of the reshuffle". In the UK this is a prime minister reshuffling his ministers, rather than his majority, but its close.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2010-12-14 16:19:59 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In journalistic terms generally it has now come to mean any change in alliances which affects the majority, however it is performed. The current failed "ribaltone" occurred when Fini left the coalition and moved a confidence motion. It failed because deputies from Fini's party voted with the goverment against the no confidence motion. This answer was based on today's events. Not Prodi's. However, if this is the article:
http://www.lettera43.it/articolo/254/prigionieri-del-ribalto...
then this author is (at times) using ribaltone as a synonym for "chi cambia bandiera", while the Bossi-Berlusconi ribaltone in the 90s was a simple change of alliances by Bossi's party.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2010-12-14 17:25:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Have to see it in historical context. The original meaning is to turn something upside down in a big way. Has been used (according to the wiki page) since the beginning of the last century, but probably went unused in the post-war years with 40 odd years of more or less the same majority. Then in March 1994 the Lega Nord, Forza Italia and AN (Fini's old party) formed an alliance and won the elections. In December 1994 Lega Nord pulled out of the coalition moving a no confidence motion which (unlike today's) passed. That was the first real RIBALTONE in many many years and I think important in the history of the word. Bossi really turned the tables on Berlusconi. Much of the reason, if I remember rightly was due to predictable friction between Fini and Bossi. Then Berlusconi's Treasury Minister crossed the floor to become prime minister of a government supported by the left and Lega Nord.
Now Ribaltoni are so interweaved with people crossing the floor as it were, that the word is developing. However, the word still retains its non political meaning. I'd hardly call Mastella's action a Ribaltone. I mean he didn't exactly capsize the ship.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 hrs (2010-12-15 09:13:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Not really. 1994 marked the end of an era. The Christian Democrats had ruled the country since the war. The opposition had never won an election. In 1994 the Christian Democrat Party collapsed and nobody really knew what would happen next. The expectation was that the communists would win because there was nobody else to vote for. Then Berlusconi created Forza Italia to fill the gap stating he would rather go with the Fascists (AN di Fini) than with the communists. So a very right wing alliance (AN Forza Italia e Lega Nord) came to power after 40 years of a right wing government. Then in December the Lega Nord changed sides and a communist led coalition came to power. That was a tectonic shift a real ribaltone in the ordinary figurative and non technical sense of the word and it was then that the word was revived by political journalists.

James (Jim) Davis
Seychelles
Local time: 21:21
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 195
Grading comment
Many thanks to all. Perhaps this term is indeed impossible to translate. I am giving the points to Jim because his explanations will I think be useful for anyone looking for this term in future. For what it's worth I would translate Bossi's ribaltone as "defection", and Mastella/Dini's as a variant of "propping up the government", as an element of (unexpected) side-changing is implied in both.
Notes to answerer
Asker: I think ribaltone is being used in the sense of an opposition MP moving to the government benches in order to prop un an executive that would otherwise not command a majority (see reference to Liberal party in 70s above).

Asker: I hadn't seen it used in the sense of majority MPs moving into opposition in order to bring the government down (the exact opposite of what Mastella did). Seems to be turning into a catch-all phrase for political chicanery.

Asker: Mastella's actions are surely the ribaltone par excellence, when in 1998 having been elected with Berlusca he crossed the floor to support D'Alema's government.

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1 day 17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
flip flop


Explanation:
per indicare un improvviso cambio di opinione


    Reference: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11535.html
chomps
Local time: 18:21
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian, Native in EnglishEnglish
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