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Emma Bonino President?

ASI (Agenzia Stampa Italia) - 15 April 2013

Would be a sign of change, political and institutional rigor and international credibility

by Daniele Orlandi

For fifteen years, all the surveys conducted periodically on the preference of the Italians for a President of the Republic, resulted on a one fixed most voted name: Emma Bonino. Even the current surveys show the radical leader as the personality (not only the politician) that most enjoys the trust of the Italians who are agitated by the economic crisis, the political vacuum, the institutional weakness and the low international credibility of our country.

This fact should be taken into consideration, since the data on the presence of politicians in the media show that Bonino is practically absent from all the most viewed TV programs, including the news of the major national channels.

So, Bonino remains the most credible politician for Italians, even though she does not appear. The surveys of the different institutes indicate the historical leader of “rosa nel pugno” as the most favored. And this applies for the surveys conducted by the different newspapers among their readers, and thus without having a scientific sample, but is still significant (Libero, Corriere della sera, La Stampa, Il Fatto Quotidiano, l’Espresso, Blitz quotidiano, Radio 24, just to mention some) as well as for the surveys conducted by specialized institutes with a scientific method (Demopolis, Swg) the music does not change: Emma is the most appreciated by the Italians. And this preference is transversal, from right to left, crossing by large catholic sectors, with a big part of the most conservative center right exponents, such as Gasparri, Giovanardi and Mussolini, who in the last days declared that they have nothing against Bonino. Two critical articles by the journalists Giovanna Maglie (Libero) and Marco Travaglio (Il fatto Quotidiano) were ignored by their readers.

The SWG surveys conducted by Agorà, a RAI tre program, shows that Bonino is favored whether among the centre left voters (almost half of the preferences) or among the voters of Grillo (a third of the preferences) or among the center rights sympathizers (a quarter). Lagging behind Bonino (15% of the expressed preferences) there are Gianni Letta (8%), Prodi and Cancellieri (7%) Monti (5%). In an interview for Radio Radicale, Maurizio Pessato Vice President of the SWG, explained that “even among the Catholics, Bonino is number one”.

As for the suffocating political panorama, she seems to be one of the few figures capable of representing the national unity: in the sense that she unites the Italians, notwithstanding the resistance of their political and institutional representatives. She unites the Italians on important values in times of global crisis like ours: civil passion, respect for law, respect for the constitution and rules, absolute transparency of the institutions and their representatives, fight against parasitism and corporatism that block Italy and its economic talents, research, culture and university. Decisive elements for favoring Bonino are her international experience and credibility, not compromising with the degeneration of the system of the Italian political parties, and at the same time, her proved political experience, the practical sense and capacity to mediate without compromising. Transparency and capacity to communicate clearly and brilliantly are other elements for making Bonino the most favored among the names resulting from the different surveys.

Even Liberalism that has always inspired Bonino in her programmes, seen as an “obstacle” for her to be supported by the “social” sectors of the extreme right and left wings, in reality is not branded as an “ideological flag” that waves against that of the ideological antiliberalism. For years, Bonino and her party are not speaking of dismantling the welfare system, but of revewing it, so as to extend it to all vulnerable subjects and categories, and not only to the same beneficiaries. For always, the advocacy- active and not just in words - for the citizenship rights for all, is a priority for Bonino, who always talked of the legalization of social phenomena that are abandoned, from drugs, to divorce and abortion.

We could agree or not, but certainly a state that disciplines and regularizes in respect for the rights and free choice of all and each one, performs its own duty, contrary to a state which, for vagueness and incapacity to make choices, does not govern the phenomena and leave them to the organized delinquency. For that reason, probably, one of the reasons for someone who does not agree with her on the content of some policies, would anyway feel guaranteed by Emma Bonino Presidnt, acknowleding her capacity to protect everyone through the affirmation of the rules and their respect.

The international credibility of Bonino goes back to her mandate as a European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Consumer Rights. In Brussels, Bonino is considered one of the most reliable Italian politicians with an international profile. Bonino also has close links with the Arab and the Middle East World. For years she lived in Cairo, establishing relations with the Arab political world, and she managed to launching, in closed societies, civility battles such as the one against female genital mutilation and the moratorium on death penalty. In 2005, Al Jazeera, dedicated to Emma Bonino, who lived in the Egyptian Capital for few years, a documentary on her life and activities in the Arab regione, in a series that is reserved for personalities mostly men, and residents in Arab countries for more than twenty years.

In Italy, the positions in favor of Emma are following numerously from various sectors; from politics (Carfagna PDL, Concia and Giachetti PD, Tingali Lista Monti, Pini Lega Nord, Nencini of PSI, just to mention some) to culture and art (Renzo Arbore, who is part of the “spontanous Committee for Emma President, who next Monday will lead a demonstration in Rome.

Even the nationl UIL (Italian Union for Labor) has officially expressed its preference for Bonino at the Quirianle, for being “a balanced personality, known internationally, with a pro-European vocation and a historical sensibility for civil rights”

The problem, according to observers used to the cynism of the Italian politcis, is repeating what happened in 1999, when the campaign “Emma for President” showed the that the absolute majority of the Italians were favorable for Emma to become President.  Today, as before, the pessimists say, who is going to vote are not the Italians, but a thousand of parliamentarians and representatives of the regiones, presumably influenced by the bans imposed by the fued of the party system. Who fears this scenario, has not favorably perceived the meeting of yesterday between Bersani and Berlusconi to evaluate the solutions for the Quirinale as a way out for the Italian political situation.

In fact, in 1999, only 15 electors out of 1040 voted for Bonino, against 66% of the Italians who wanted her as a President, according to the surveys of that time. And the same happened with the regional elections of Lazio in 2010, where she won in Rome and in the opinion vote, while the rest of Lazio, controlled by the center right corporals prefered Polverini. Who, recently, was swept away, just after two years, due to her disastrous “governing” of the regione, and the scandals of corruption and misusing the funds of public financing. Scandals uncovered, not surprisingly, by the regional counselors elected in Bonino list.

Who supports Emma Bonino, starting from Marco Pennella, fears that the reflection of the auto defence of the “caste” would come before the conscience and respect of own dignity from the part of the parliamentarians and the regional delegates called to elect the Head of State. Unless these do not decide to make a choice that the Italians would strongly understand and support, thus showing their understanding the need for change and not just presenting old and unpopular decisions.

Who appeals to freedom of conscience of the electors of the President of the Republic, is confident that this unique moment can inspire in them the best and highest sense of the state, which is the exact opposite of reason of state, i.e. the complex calculations almost never admissible, which saves the skin (i.e privileges) of the mediocre ruling classes.

Sometimes surprises happen, specially when the time is mature for true and profound novelities. Perhaps at the Quirinal Palace will happen something similar to what took place few weeks ago just at the other side of the Tevere, after the resignation of Ratzinger and the election of Francesco, that are clear signs of how the Church from within, thanks to the most dynamic and courageous foces from its inside, was able to declare its intention to expel the merchants from the temple, and it will do it.

Italian politics has such an opportunity to demonstrate a start of dignity and respect for the institutions and for the sovereign people, is willing and able to innovate, from courageous choices, but not rash; radically innovative and both reasonable and standard. It would be another good sign that would come from the Eternal City to Italy and the World.


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