by Max Barry

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by The Disputed Territory of Free Port of Cristina. . 61 reads.

Union for Cristina party

The Union for Cristina (Cristinese: Unione per Cristina - UPC) is the longest-serving and oldest active political party in Cristina. UPC was founded late in 1996 by Toni Minardi and his supporters in the internal libertarian tendency within the conservative Reform Party (RP). The initial goal of Minardi's group was to reform the RP following the 1993 general elections and modernize the RP's platform creating the Unione Libera movement. After the announcement of RP merge with the Progressive Conservative Party (PCP) into the Cristinese Alliance, the Unione Libera split with the RP, claiming the CA's socially conservative policies were incompatible with the movement. The Unione Libera was registered as a political party by the Mantellan Supreme Electoral Tribunal six months later, in time to participate in the 1997 city elections.

Union for Cristina
Unione per Cristina

Abbreviation: UPC

President: Toni Minardi

Founded: 14 July 1996
(as Unione Libera)

Split from: Reform Party

Headquarters: Via Nuovo Mondo 15,
Sabatini, Cristina

Membership: (2020) 88,134

  • Social liberalism

  • Economic liberalism

  • Classical liberalism

  • Monarchism

Political position: Centre-right

Colours: Gold, black
TEN Identification Color: Gold

Seats in the National Council: 19/36
Seats in the Communal Council: 7/21

The party espouses the principles of classical liberalism, and generally sits at the centre to centre-right of the Cristinese political spectrum, with the conservative Rally for Cristina (RPC) positioned to the right-wing and the People's New Party (NPP) occupying the centre-left to left. Like their conservative rivals, the party is often attracting support from a broad spectrum of voters. Recently, party leader Toni Minardi claimed that his UPC adhered to the "radical centre".

The UPC's signature policies and legislative decisions include economic liberalism, peacekeeping, multiculturalism, monarchism, patriating the Cristinese constitution and the entrenchment of Cristinese Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Free Port Act, legalizing same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and cannabis, and reproductive choice.

After leaving the Reform Party, Minardi announced that the Unione Libera would become a non-partisan political movement, with members and supporters free to join any political party in Cristina, provided they followed the principles of the movement. After becoming a political party, the party adopted a position of independence and defense of freedom as a whole and for all people.

Minardi stated that his party is "a coalition of people who are disenchanted with traditional politicians who say one thing one day, and another the next". He mentioned that his platform would be based around the principles of freedom, responsibility, fairness, and respect. Minardi has stated that these principles are non-negotiable, but that members would have input on policies as they are refined, and that a candidate questionnaire asks potential candidates about which policies they want in the platform.

Like the Rally for Cristina, the UL took part in the late stages of the Cristinese War of Independence, supporting various movements such as the Monarchical Movement and the House Korvini claims to rulership. After the Cristinese independence and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Cristina, UL adopted its current name.

2017 Party's Conference

In addition to core principles stated by Minardi upon the party's creation, the UPC would advocate for "smart populism", which he defines as "populism without emotions", speaking for "all Cristineses", and not appeasing "special interest groups". He has also stated that the party is neither left-wing or right-wing, but the difference between being free and not free. Minardi told King Rober II that the party will debate discussions that "the country's leadership" did not want to have while he was a Reform Party member, also stating that people who espouse racist or xenophobic positions "are not welcome" in the party. National Counselor Francesca Justini has stated that her party does not debate the science of climate change. The party has been referred by some political analysts to as conservative, libertarian, populist, and classical liberal, while mostly being seen on the centre-right of the political spectrum.

Minister of State Keyla Rossi in 2019.

At the time of its formation the party indicated that its formal platform would be gradually unveiled, but it would generally follow the platform that Minardi ran on during his 2000's electoral campaign. Minardi stated that the platform "will be built on facts". Prominent platform planks include ending corporate welfare and phasing out supply management over a number of years to allow farmers to adapt through compensation yet "save Cristinese billions of digital lindas annually" through lower prices. Following the launch of the party, Minardi stated in a TV interview with LinkRCN's anchor Giordano Sagni that the telecom industry deregulation, increasing airline competition, reducing tax brackets and having a discussion about the privatization of Cristinese Corriere, which were key components of his original 2001 campaign platform, are all areas that he has an interest in. He said that socially conservative policies such as abortion and gender identity would not be part of the party platform.

The six original members of the
Union for Cristina reunited in
2020; From left to right: Minardi,
Carlo Justini, Martino Massi,
Francesca Justini, Petra Masagna,
and Fiori Mazzano

In the 2005 general elections , the UPC elected Gianfrancesco Giuliani as Ministrer of State of Cristina and won half of the National Council seats. The party is notable for electing, in the same year, the first Afropan-Cristinese woman for the Nationall Council after Cristina's independence in 2001, Keyla Rossi. Rossi was re-elected for the National Council in all elections since then. She was appointed Minister of State in 2021.

In the 2013 general elections, the UPC under the leadership of Carlo Justini had its best result since the 2001 elections, winning 52 percent of the popular vote and 20 seats, gaining a majority of seats in the National Council. However, in the 2017 general election, they lost their majority, winning 11 seats. In 2021 general elections the party won again the majority of the seats (19).

Toni Minardi

Toni Diano Minardi is the father of two daughters. Since 2001, he has been in a relationship with Lysian Caroline Dujardin, a Royal Ballet School-trained ballerina, who worked for a women's shelter and currently runs a community centre for adults living with mental health issues. Minardi and Dujardin married in the summer of 2002. He trained for and ran an ultramarathon across his riding to raise funds for a local food bank in the same year.

On January 21, 1996, Minardi announced that he was leaving the Reform Party with the intention of founding a new political movement. He held a press conference at which he declared that the new Cristinese Alliance was "too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed", and was afraid to address important issues or articulate a coherent philosophy.

Toni Minardi, founder and
leader of UPC

Minardi's departure was criticized by CA leaders Andreas Maldomini and Carlo Nanini. Maldomini suggested that Minard was a sore loser, while Nanini said that Minardi's creation of a new party would split the vote and make it more likely that pro-Mantella Unification Party would win the 1997 city election. In a Mantellan Post op-ed, Minardi stated that his establishment of a new party aimed to reverse what he called a "public choice dynamic" in regional politics, that led to vote-buying and "pandering" by the main political parties.

On July 14, 1996, Minardi announced the creation of the Unione Libera, saying the party would advocate for "smart populism", which Minardi defined as policies based on principles of freedom, responsibility, fairness, and respect. Minardi positioned the UL to the right of the CA party; In December 1997, some of its founding members were shown to have strong ties to the various Korvini-supporting groups.

Campaigning in advance of the 2001 Cristinese general election, Minardi and his chief strategist, Martino Massi, aligned the party, now renamed Union for Cristina, with pro-immigrant rights, defending more open measures on immigration to Cristina and multiculturalism, his focus on such issues coherent with his public profile while in the Reform Party on free-market, libertarian stances, such as telecom monopolies breaking and deregulation. Minardi also proposed reductions in national income tax, called for a reduction of the state role in healthcare and the replacement of the Cristinese Health System . He was the only leader of a party represented in the National Council to reject the scientific consensus on climate change. He said he would do "nothing" to deal with climate change, and that Cristina should withdraw from the international agreements on carbon emissions.

Minardi's political values

In 2018 gossip columnist Tania Morello wrote in her weekly column in the Il Giorno that Minardi keeps a secret romantic affair with Queen Nova. On response, Minardi said he only met the Queen twice and both were official meetings largely covered by the media at the time. Nova simply dismissed the information calling it "a complete nonsense". However, Morello told about a third encounter at La Colline Hotel in Venège, on the occasion of the Trilateral Agreement Meeting between the Queen and the Chiefs of State of Magnaeus and Fleur de Lys in January 2018, when "the couple had more than enough time and space to be together alone". Both Minardi and Nova have refused to comment on Morello's instilments.

In January 2021, Minardi was appointed Speaker of the National Council, after the UPC won the majority of the seats for the parliament in the 2021 General Elections.