Marianna Cortanella, J.D. is the Prime Minister (Finisterretùnèlà) of the United Kingdom of Brutland and Norden since 2004. She is the second woman Prime Minister of the country and is the leader of the Popular Party (Partide Populoddía, PP). She is elected from the constituency of Dennillia Ostennía (Westernmost Dennland), which includes the grants of Cavese, Trebba, Cerca, and Modica.
Cortanella was born on May 27, 1968, in Sant’Emillo, grant of Cavese, in Dennland (Norden) to Damiano Cortanella, a farmer, and Ella di Storghese. She is the third of five children. Her four siblings are (in descending order) Simon, Anna, Bianca, and Bricco.
She studied in the public schools of Cavese, and took obtained a law degree at the Royal University of Brutland and Norden (Universitado Rinna di Norden e Marchòbrutellia) in Vilòstresa (Kingsville). After that, she returned to Sant’Emillo to set up a practice, specifically taking up cases of child abuse and spouse battery.
Entrance to Politics
She has always been active in politics, but was not a member of any political party until 1995, when she joined the Popular Party, whose local head is her older brother Simon. As a prominent member of the community and being viewed positively by many, the party put her name forward as a candidate for the Grant Council of Cavese. She easily won an internal selection, and won first in a field of fifty. Thus she became the council president (Presidetto di la Consellio Grattia) of Cavese.
She was considered to be an effective compromiser and was viewed as somebody who gets things done. She promoted tourism in the grant, transformed the economy, and provided effective leadership. In 1998, the Royal Institute for Public Administration (Stiutte Rinna per Minstrazione Pubblica) awarded her the coveted King Kyle the Fair Award for Leadership Excellence.
Despite her wishes to remain in Dennland, the party nominated her to replace the retiring Marco Commaserri as the PP candidate for the Norden constituency of Dennillia Ostennía. Voting unanimously, Cortanella became the PP candidate for the PP-leaning seat for the 2000 elections.
She faced a viable candidate, Afferro Spangòlana, of the Social Democratic Party (Partide Democrazia Scaglia, PDS). But Spangòlana, backed by the Green Party (Partide Verta), made several mistakes during the campaign, including falsely accusing Cortanella of contempt of court and malversation of public funds. He also espoused several measures unpopular with the inhabitants of the largely rural constituency. Because of this, Cortanella won the seat 69%-30%.
Immediately after the installment of the third PP government of Rinnero Faro, a scandal rocked the government. After a series of exposés of the newspaper L’Unnone concerning the allegations, Cortanella got disillusioned with how the PP works. She organized a coalition of like-minded and mostly freshman MPs, and together with the PDS, brought down the Faro government on November 29, 2000.
The subsequent elections on January 7, 2001 saw the PDS form a government in twenty-five years. An entire generation of politicians was completely swept away in the torrent of voter discontent and anger. Cortanella was also criticized for leading the coup within the PP and was blamed for the loss of PP in the 2001 election. She responded to one of these attacks by famously saying, “To whom lies my loyalty first? To the people, or to the party? Of course, to the people I serve. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously a self-serving idiot.”
Her actions were mostly viewed positively, even by the conservative newspaper La Brutelliense. Indeed, she was re-elected in her constituency by a margin of four-to-one in the 2001 election.
Even after the PP was forced into the opposition, she continued to lead the efforts to reform the organization. Faro stepped down as the leader in May 2001, and an election for the next PP leader was held. Though she did not want to lead the party, she felt that reforms must be made. Reformists put her forward as a candidate to lead the party. Her main opposition was the conservative stalwart Brocco Cuttiglione (PP, Padania Norda) of Brutland. Cuttiglione was supported by the right-wing faction and the so-called ‘old guards’ of the party, while Cortanella was supported by the moderate, libertarian, and reformist factions in the party.
During the National PP Congress held in Sderrianza di Stampione on June 21, 2001, the PP nearly split into two, if only for the solidarity being shown by Cortanella and Cuttiglione, as both refused to attack each other, showed good working and personal relationships, and issued joint pleas for solidarity. A campaign then ensued on who will lead the PP. During that time, Cortanella was being labeled as a ‘traitor’ by the opposite camp.
Cuttiglione led on the first and second ballots, with support coming from the vote-rich Brutland delegations. But many in the Dennland delegations campaigned for her, as did several young Brutish reformists, notably the delegation heads Hunter Formiccini (Timberland/Marchòcchiese), Kail Brecchio (Vilòrmosa), Adriana Spicatto (Concessa di Rivero), Cestre Stelcchio (Pannondrio), and Thelma d’Ampriato (Pordantova).
She closed in on the third ballot, and surged and led on the fourth, 685-249. She still did not get the requisite three-fourths of votes (706) until the seventh round of voting, when the delegations of Maceltellina, Capitanata, and Nicoletano switched and voted for Cortanella. Cuttiglione conceded the election, and Cortanella became the new party leader.
As Party Leader
Immediately after the election, Cortanella began to mend relations between the different factions of PP. In her victory speech, she said, “In unity, there is strength. We must not let our differences hinder the attainment of the party’s mission to serve the people of Brutland and Norden.” Her speech was well-received with a standing ovation from all delegates, and even Cuttiglione hugged her afterwards.
As she was mending the intra-party split, she was also reforming the party, by introducing primaries, opening nominations to all party members, introducing transparency measures, and by making the party more people-centered. The changes she introduced largely refurbished the image of the PP in the eyes of voters. More youth joined the party, perhaps due to the perceived youthfulness of the party. In the first two years of her leadership, membership ranks of the PP swelled, even in Normark.
As Prime Minister
Cortanella’s reforms was first tested in the election of 2004. In March 2004, the PDS government of Borio Drasella announced plans to legalize all abortions and same-sex marriages in the country, and also to hike the income tax and the value-added tax. People demonstrated against the Drasella government, but the measures passed the General Court (Corteso Jenera), despite some of the PDS MPs defecting to the other side.
The House of Lords (Caso di Paggionnu) delayed the measures for six months and so the bills were still unpromulgated. Support for the Drasella government plummeted. In May 2004, violent demonstrations erupted across several Brutland and Dennland cities, as well as in the capital. Drasella declared a state of emergency and asked the King to mobilize the military. The King declined, and a crisis begun. Cortanella appeared in one of the demonstrations in the city of Padanica, Brutland, urging citizens for calm.
Cortanella maneuvered for several Brutish PDS MPs to vote for their side, and on June 6, 2004, the Drasella government lost a vote of confidence in the General Court, with the PP, Greens, Communists, and a dozen Brutish PDS defectors voting against the government.
The King called an election for August 25, 2004, with the PP winning by a landslide. The remaining unpromulgated acts by the Drasella government, including those pertaining to the tax increase, abortion, and same-sex marriages, were voided by default.
Cortanella took the oath before the King on Union Day, 2004. Immediately she again took on the role of a compromiser and bridge-maker: “I ask every Nord-Brutlandese, regardless of party affiliation or beliefs, to work for the betterment of the country.”
At present, she is pursuing a conservative-libertarian approach on issues and is well thought of in Brutland and Norden. She has maintained stability in the country and is serving as a leader people can respect, despite disagreements or differences in opinion and stands on issues.