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Italy says: “Let George do it!”,
Giorgia, to be precise

TORONTO – This expression, of debated origin, but popular in the 20th century English lexicon, was used to “defer responsibility for some task or action to some unspecified other person”. Italians have placed their trust in Giorgia.

Only four and half years ago, Giorgia Meloni’s party, Fratelli D’Italia, which she co-founded in 2012 and now leads, barely qualified for representation in Italy’s Parliament with 4.4% popular vote. This year, voters rewarded her resolve and competence with 25% of the ballots cast – a proportionate increase at the polling station unheard of in Italy’s complex electoral system, or in any other Western democracy. Moreover, she ended up 5% points ahead of the next party in the running.

Her stunning performance ensures that coalition of centre-right parties now has a clear majority in both Houses of the Italian Parliament. She will be Prime Minister and form the next government.

It will be the first time that a woman will lead the country’s government. Meloni is now only the third female leader in a G-7 country to have earned “the top job” by virtue of support obtained from the general public. The others are Margaret Thatcher of Britain and Germany’s Angela Merkle. Three others, Canada’s Kim Campbell and Britain’s Theresa May and Liz Truss became PM through internal party contests to occupy an empty chair.

Interestingly, those women are/were elected to office from a conservative electorate. Canada’s mainstream media, aping their American counterparts, seem confused and perplexed by, even distrusting of, a political figure like Giorgia Meloni. For them, she is an unknown item, therefore, she is variously referred to as “far right”, “extreme right”, “ultra right”, “hard right” – a throwback to the fascism of the post World War I Fascism.

“They should get out more often”. Her program is straightforward: God, family, country. Georgia is unapologetically “traditionalist” and Euroskeptic. She has been open about wanting to lead the rebirth of Italy.

As expected of a seasoned, practicing politician, she does not speak from talking points, nor is she scripted. Her understanding of governance and the nuances of federalism in its many forms is remarkable. And she speaks politics in fluent, unencumbered English.

Now she will lead the tenth biggest economy in the world, the sixth most important in the G-7 and the third biggest in the European Union.

For more than ten years she has been a political fixture and survivor in what is arguably one of the most difficult democracies to govern. Meloni is no shrinking violet.

In a screenshot of a promotional twitter post (in the pic below) by her, she holds up two melons to her chest; they resemble balls. The allusions are clear. Her message is simple: “September 25… I told you everything…”.

You fill in the blank. Georg(e)ia will do it! There will be no stopping Giorgia now.

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