Lega Nord, a federation of regional parties of Northern Italy, is the main political proponent of Padania, although there are some other minor Padanian nationalist parties (such as Lega Padana, Lega Padana Lombardia/Padanian Union and the Alpine Padanian Union).
In 1996 a short-lived separatist-Padanist movement, the Padanian Independentist Movement, was formed in Veneto and the Federal Republic of Padania was proclaimed. Another one, Veneto Padanian Federal Republic, emerged in 1999 and lasted only a few years.
There are also some intellectuals (such as Gilberto Oneto, Giancarlo Pagliarini, Leonardo Facco and late Gianfranco Miglio), who broke with the League but have continued to be keen Padanists. In January 2012 Gianluca Marchi, a former editor of La Padania, launched L'Indipendenza, an online newspaper, as the voice of independent Padanism and Padanian libertarianism. Oneto, Pagliarini and Facco were all contributing editors of the new paper.
Padania and Lega Nord
Lega Nord unilaterally proclaimed the independence of Padania on 15 September 1996 in Venice, but since then has come back to its original federalist credo, although the party constitution continues to declare that the independence of Padania is the party's final goal. In that occasion Umberto Bossi, the leader of Lega Nord, echoing the United States Declaration of Independence, proclaimed:
We the peoples of Padania solemnly declare that Padania is an independent and sovereign federal republic. We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour.
In the following years Lega Nord installed a non-recognized Padanian Parliament near Mantua, elected in self-organized elections and a government in Venice. Currently there is the so-called "Parliament of the North" based in Vicenza, which functions as an internal structure of the party. Lega Nord also proposed a flag, the Sun of the Alps, and a national anthem, the Va' Pensiero chorus from Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco, in which the exiled Hebrew slaves lament for their lost homeland.
More recently the party is trying to stress the independent status of Padania through sports and other activities. Since 1998 Lega Nord organized a Padania national football team, which took part and won 2008, 2009 and 2010 VIVA World Cup. They also sponsor the beauty contest Miss Padania since 1998.
Lega Nord's Padania
While support for a federal system, as opposed to a centrally administered state, receives widespread consensus within Padania, support for independence is less favoured. One poll in 1996 estimated that 52.4% of interviewees from Northern Italy considered secession advantageous (vantaggiosa) and 23.2% both advantageous and desirable (auspicabile). Another poll in 2000 estimated that about 20% of "Padanians" (18.3% in North-West Italy and 27.4% in North-East Italy) supported secession in case Italy was not reformed into a federal state.
More recent polls show different results. According to a poll conducted in February 2010 by GPG, 45% of Northerners support the independence of Padania. A poll conducted by SWG in June 2010 puts that figure at 61% of Northerners (with 80% of them supporting at least federal reform), while noting that 55% of Italians consider Padania as only a political invention, against 42% believing in its real existence (45% of the sample being composed of Northerners, 19% of Central Italians and 36% of Southerners). As for federal reform, according to the poll, 58% of Italians support it. A more recent poll by SWG puts the support for fiscal federalism and secession respectively at 68% and 37% in Piedmont and Liguria, 77% and 46% in Lombardy, 81% and 55% in Triveneto (comprising Veneto), 63% and 31% in Emilia-Romagna, 51% and 19% in Central Italy (not including Lazio).
- Gianfranco Miglio, Come cambiare. Le mie riforme, Mondadori, Milan 1992
- Gianfranco Miglio, Henry David Thoreau, Disobbedienza civile, Mondadori, Milan 1993
- Gianfranco Miglio, Italia 1996: così è andata a finire, Mondadori, Milan 1993
- Gianfranco Miglio, Io, Bossi e la Lega, Mondadori, Milan 1994
- Gianfranco Miglio, La Costituzione federale, Mondadori, Milan 1995
- Gianfranco Miglio, Marcello Veneziani, Padania, Italia. Lo Stato nazionale è soltanto in crisi o non è mai esistito?, Le Lettere, Florence 1997
- Gianfranco Miglio, Augusto Barbera, Federalismo e secessione. Un dialogo, Mondatori, Milan 1997
- Gianfranco Miglio, Federalismi falsi e degenerati, Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 1997
- Gianfranco Miglio, L'asino di Buridano, Neri Pozza, Vicenza 1999
- Gilberto Oneto, Bandiere di libertà: Simboli e vessilli dei Popoli dell'Italia settentrionale, FdF, Milan 1992
- Gilberto Oneto, Pianificazione del territorio, federalismo e autonomie locali, Alinea, Florence 1994
- Gilberto Oneto, L'invenzione della Padania, Foedus Editore, Ceresola (BG) 1997
- Gilberto Oneto, Giancarlo Pagliarini, 50 buone ragioni per l'Indipendenza, La Padania, Milan 1998
- Gilberto Oneto, Piccolo è libero, Leonardo Facco Editore, Treviglio (BG) 2005
- Gilberto Oneto, L' iperitaliano. Eroe o cialtrone? Biografia senza censure di Giuseppe Garibaldi, Il Cerchio, Rimini 2006
- Francesco Jori, Dalla Łiga alla Lega. Storia, movimenti, protagonisti, Marsilio, Venice 2009, p. 103
- "STATUTO DELLA LEGA NORD PER L'INDIPENDENZA DELLA PADANIA" (PDF) (in Italian). leganord.org. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- alkhan (2006-07-01). "Umberto Bossi - Dichiarazione di indipendenza della Padania1". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- alkhan. "Umberto Bossi - Dichiarazione di indipendenza della Padania2". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
- Diamanti, Ilvo (1 January 1996). "Il Nord senza Italia?". Limes. L'Espresso.
- L'Indipendente, 23 August 2000.
- GPG (2009-02-12). "I sondaggi di GPG: Simulazione Referendum - Nord Italia". Il-liberale.blogspot.
- SWG (2010-06-25). "Federalismo e secessione" (PDF). Affaritaliani.
- SWG (2010-06-28). "Gli italiani non credono nella Padania. Ma al Nord prevale il sì alla secessione". Affaritaliani.
- GPG (2011-05-25). "Sondaggi GPG: Quesiti/2 - Maggio 2011". ScenariPolitici.com.