|Hanging Out in Genova|
SARONNO, Italy – It’s no surprise that Italians are fond of surveys. Every newspaper website in the country has a daily survey asking their readers’ opinions on a variety of issues. Here are the results of some surveys conducted by Il Secolo XIX, the leading newspaper of Liguria. They will give you an idea of what the Italians think about things, starting with what’s going on outside of Italy.
STEVE JOBS WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR….
Total Votes: 5674
SHOULD “LITTLE MISS” BEAUTY CONTESTS BE OUTLAWED?
Total Votes: 3220
THE WORST SONG OF THE 90’S WAS?
Barbie Girl by Acqua 25%
Macarena by Los Del Rio 28%
Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus 13%
Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice 15%
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba 20%
Total Vote: 3435
WAS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DECISION TO REPEAL DON’T ASK DON’T TELL A GOOD IDEA?
Total Votes: 2913
SHOULD RAPISTS BE CHEMICALLY CASTRATED?
Only if voluntary 10%
Total Votes: 2995
THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD WOULD ALLOW YOU TO STAY BY YOURSELF ON A DESERTED ISLAND FOR SIX MONTHS.
Yes, even without pay 16%
No, too lonely 25%
Total Votes: 1259
MEXICO HAS INITIATED A TIME LIMIT ON MARRIAGES, WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW YOUR MARRIAGE CONTRACT. IF YOU HAD HAD THIS OPTION WHEN YOU GOT MARRIED WOULD YOU HAVE TAKEN IT?
Total Votes: 3472
IS IT A GOOD IDEA FOR “OLDER” WOMEN TO HAVE CHILDREN?
Total Votes: 4240
To issues that are of interest to all Italians… such as….
AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLICITO AQUITTED. WAS IT THE RIGHT DECISION?
Total Votes: 8838
AMANDA AND RAFFAELE- GUILTY OR INNOCENT?
Total Votes: 3782
SHOULD PRIME MINISTER BERLUSCONI RESIGN?
Total Votes: 9794
OBESE CHILDREN SHOULD BE TAKEN FROM THEIR PARENTS – DO YOU AGREE?
Total Votes: 3262
SHOULD THE CHILDREN OF FOREIGNERS LIVING IN ITALY LEGALLY BE GRANTED ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP?
Total Votes: 3146
SHOULD PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFER ONE HOUR OF ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS EDUCATION?
Total Votes: 3087
SHOULD BODY SCANNERS BE USED IN ITALIAN AIRPORTS?
Yes, security is important 63%
No, it’s a violation of privacy 13%
Not sure, worried about health risks 24%
Total Votes: 2551
To questions that are primarily of interest to those living in Liguria, such as…..
STARTING IN 2013, STUDENT REPORT CARDS WILL BE SENT HOME VIA THE WEB. GOOD IDEA?
Total Votes: 3216
EXTEND MIDDLE SCHOOL HOURS FROM 8AM TO 2PM AND NOT HAVE SCHOOL ON SATURDAYS?
No, those who are protesting the proposed change are right. 41%
Yes, it’s better to have Saturday and Sunday off 59%
Total Votes: 2110
To issues that are of primary interest to those living in Genova, such as….
WAS THE RECENT TRAGEDY IN GENOVA, CAUSED JUST BY THE HEAVY RAIN?
Yes, as shown by the record amount of precipitation 14%
No, the warnings of heavy rain was not handled
properly by the City of Genova 43%
No, preventative steps were not sufficient 30%
No, it was mainly caused by carelessness on the
part of the citizens 12%
Total votes: 12094
UNDER AN 1980 LAW, AMT (THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM OF GENOVA) PROHIBITS HIRING FOREIGNERS AS BUS DRIVERS. DO YOU AGREE?
Not Sure 4%
Total Votes: 4027
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING THOSE WHO LIVE IN GENOVA IS…
Parking and Traffic 28%
Not enough public transportation 11%
Not enough for kids to do 5%
Not enough services for the elderly 2%
Not clean enough 21%
There are many but I like it anyway 14%
Total Votes: 1347
GENOVA HAS AGREED TO TAKE SOME OF THE IMMIGRANTS COMING IN FROM NORTH AFRICA. GOOD IDEA?
Total Votes: 3889
I found the contractions in the survey interesting. Fifty-two percent of Genovese think it was a good idea to accept some of the immigrants coming from North Africa, but 55% of them don’t think it’s a good idea to hire non-Italians to drive public buses. In my humble opinion this is more an issue of high unemployment in Italy rather than racism as 62% think it is a good idea to grant citizenship to children born in Italy to foreign parents. Supporting my opinion was what the Genovese thought were the most pressing problems to life in Genova… parking and traffic followed by not clean enough. The city has one of the largest populations of North Africans in Italy and yet that particular fact wasn’t even a consideration.
It was hardly a surprise that the majority of Italians thought the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollicito acquittal was a mistake. The rumor mill has it that considerable pressure from the U.S. Embassy was applied to the judges in the case. No big surprise there.
No big surprise at the rejection of one hour of Islamic religious education as an alternative to Catholic religious education either. Especially since it was the Catholic church that established the public education system we know today back in 1548 when ten members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) opened the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily.
Whenever I write a piece like this, it brings to mind this quote from E.M. Forster’s ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread’:
“Let her go to Italy!” he cried. “Let her meddle with what she doesn’t understand.” 'Nuf said.