Italian Premier Romano Prodi's government has collapsed and Prodi has resigned.
This tenuous, left-of-center government lasted little more than a year and the truth is that Prodi's election itself was a muddled affair. He never enjoyed a wide mandate.
More than a month ago I wrote that: "It seems Italians are beginning to realize that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to chuck Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his right-of-center government last year."
Berlusconi seemed to be the one guy who could hold Italy together. His conservative coalition ruled far longer (and with more success) than any recent government in Italy - a nation which is notoriously - and some might say refreshingly - ungovernable. Burlusconi was a strong, dynamic leader and he led Europe's right turn which later swept France and Germany.
But Italy wanted change, change, change. So Prodi squeaked by and claimed the mantle of leadership without the clear support needed to govern. The whole thing proves that change for the sake of change is not always the prescription for progress.