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From a Porteño viewpoint: Early elections

Centre of political attention in Argentina has been the move by the Kirchner’s (Nestor and Klishtina) to bring forward the congressional elections from October 2009 to June. Today, our resident expert on all things Argentina, El Porteño, is back with his call on the recent development and what it all means.
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Early Elections, or “Who’s the Sneakiest?”
Nestor cheated, for sure. Not only can’t he run as he plans as a candidate for deputy (ottonote, the lower congressional house in Argentina) in the Province of Buenos Aires (he’s more Patagonian than a penguin) but also he brought forward the whole elections by three months. It was a brilliant play, catching the opposition unprepared for the election campaign. He also anticipated the current financial crisis that will wear on the now five years and counting of Kirchner dynasty, as everyone knows that in October the Kirchners would poll 5% or 10% than in June. It was a great political move, but all the same it’s cheating.

You can’t do things like this, but the problem is that they all do the same. Mauricio Macri did it last week by separating the porteño (Buenos Aires City) election from the national election timetable. Macri goes on and on about how expensive it is to hold an election, as each one costs the capital city aorund 20 million pesos (U$6m). Mauricio bases a whole disourse on saving money, but when it suits him politically he has no problem in separating elections and spending an extra 20m. They’re all as dirty as one another. Mauricio, once upon a time was candidate for deputy in Misiones (ottonote, far northeastern corner of Argentina) when everyone knew he’d hardly ever stepped foot outside of his upper class Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Daniel Scioli is more porteño than Gardel (bad example, he was Uruguayan!) but he’s now the governor of Buenos Aires province. They all cheat. Menem did the same in his day. Duhalde, Alfonsin, Cavallo, none of them are clean.

These days Argentine politicos are evermore sophisticated, they resemble chess players. They spend their whole time hatching plots to eke out advantages and gain extra power. Cristina called a surprise press conference to announce new measures that only two or three people knew about previously. The surprise effect takes the advantage away from the opposition, for example the farmers. Then the government really takes care in how the media portrays every newsworthy event. I’m certain that Nestor spends hours every day reading the newspapers, listening to the radio and watching the political programs on TV, and that Macri, Duhalde and Carrió do exactly the same. Then later they meet with their teams and allies to form their electoral strategy. These days it’s more important to have the best image advisor than it is to have the best Finance Minister.

But what about the country? Who is considering long-term strategies and state politics for Argentina? Shouldn’t politics be about these things? Shouldn’t it be something passionate? It’s clear that none of today’s political class gives a damn about the country, but sometimes it’s worrying that everything is so improvised, Machiavellian and empty of real content. Nowadays there’s no debate on issues and projects, as the only thing that matters is who’s the sneakiest among them. Up to now, Nestor has shown himself to be the best chess player.

Firma y sello, El Porteño



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