Democracy Is Freedom – The Daisy (Democrazia è Libertà – La Margherita, DL) was a centrist Italian political party. The party president and leader was Francesco Rutelli, former Mayor of Rome and former candidate for Prime Minister at the 2001 general election for The Olive Tree.
DL was formed by former leftist Christian Democrats, centrists (former Liberals and former Republicans), as well as more leftist politicians, especially former Socialists and Greens. It merged into the Democratic Party on 14 October 2007.
Democracy Is Freedom - The Daisy was established as a single party during the founding congress of Parma in February 2002. In that occasion the Italian People's Party, The Democrats and Italian Renewal merged in the new party, while the Union of Democrats for Europe decided to step aside it.
In June 2005 DL decided by majority they would no longer join the Olive Tree coalition at the next General Election, to be held in 2006, but would instead form a separate list. The party's decision triggered major controversy, with rumors of divisions inside the party itself, also worsened by Rutelli's indication of "no-vote" at the referendums on artificial insemination held in the same month. In Italy, for the result of a referendum to be legally binding, a 50% turnout is strictly necessary. As such, Rutelli's decision was considered instrumental for the referendums to collapse. However in October 2005, after the spectacular success of Romano Prodi at the coalition primaries for candidate prime-minister, DL decided to come back into the Olive Tree list.
In the general elections, the party was member of the winning The Union and won 39 out of 315 senators. The Olive Tree list won 220 out of 630 deputies. On 14 October 2007 DL was merged with DS and some small parties to form the Democratic Party.
After the 2004 European elections the new party decided not to become a member neither of the ELDR nor of the EPP, but formed together with the Union for French Democracy the European Democratic Party. In the European Parliament DL joined the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
In 2005 DL participated in the foundation of the Alliance of Democrats, a worldwide network of centrist parties, along with the New Democrat Coalition of the United States Democratic Party, the EDP member parties and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.
The results of 1994 (general) refer to the combined result of PPI, Patto Segni and AD, those of 1994 to the combined result of PPI and Pact of Democrats (joint-list of Patto Segni and AD, including also SI), those of 1996 (general and Sicilian regional) to the combined result of the joint-list of PPI and UD and RI (whose list comprised Patto Segni and SI), those of 1999 (European) and 2000 (regional) to the combined result of PPI, Dem and RI, those of 2001 (general and Sicilian regional) the DL federation (comprising at the time PPI, Dem, UDEUR Populars and RI).
From 2004 (European) the results refer to DL, formed by PPI, Dem and RI, after the defection of UDEUR. The result for the 2006 general election refers to the election for the Senate, indeed DS contested the election for the Chamber of Deputies in a joint-list with DS.
|1994 general||1995 regional||1996 general||1999 European||2000 regional||2001 general||2004 European||2005 regional||2006 general|
|Lombardy||15.0||9.4||10.4||10.1||with Ulivo||15.1||with Ulivo||with Ulivo||10.0|
|Veneto||21.1||15.0||13.3||12.7||13.7||14.9||with Ulivo||with Ulivo||11.9|
|Emilia-Romagna||14.8||9.3||11.8||10.9||7.7||15.5||with Ulivo||with Ulivo||9.4|
|Tuscany||15.7||6.4||10.0||9.1||6.9||13.4||with Ulivo||with Ulivo||9.0|
|Lazio||14.4||6.0||10.0||11.9||9.6||16.1||with Ulivo||with Ulivo||9.1|
|Sicily||14.2||12.3 (1996)||10.1||19.6||12.3 (2001)||13.9||with Ulivo||12.0 (2006)||11.8|