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My Thoughts on the Presidential Election in Argentina

October 27th, 2007 Posted in culture, lifestyle

Written by Shanie 

Tomorrow is the Argentinian presidential election. 

This is my first presidential election living in Argentina.  It is interesting seeing some of the differences between the United States and Argentina’s political systems.

Here are some of the things that I have learned or realized:

  1. There is no where near as much money or fanfare going into the elections here as in the States.
  2. The people here do not seem to be as involved.  The Argentinians feel that they are a nation of the people not the government.
  3. From the people that I have spoken to, they feel that they are a strong nation despite bad governments and the people will rise above any corruptness.  They are wary but do not let it take over their lives or divide a nation.
  4. More than 70% percent of the people are pro Kirschner.  Generally, it seems like the people feel that he is doing good for the common people, though steps need to be made with inflation.
  5. The public like Kirschner so much that his wife is running for president and she is believed most likely to win.  It is a common thought that she is running for Kirschner and will be his sounding board.  There have been a few reasons that I have heard for them doing this: she can be president for the next four years allowing Kirschner to run for another eight years after her, creating a 16 year Kirschner leadership (in Argentina the President can run a consecutive eight years after four years of leadership, as long as the terms are separated) or he has cancer and wants to still run the country, therefore choosing to run under her name.  Either way,  I think it is an interesting situation.  I don’t think Hillary would have tried to run directly after Bill.  She needed to be politically involved on her own to create her own respectability.
  6. In Argentina it is a law that no alcohol is to be consumed or purchased on election day.  Bars will be closed and restaurants will not serve alcoholic beverages.  I guess they don’t want your opinion to be swayed by alcohol.
  7. Voting is more important here then it is in the States.  I have never heard anyone say that their vote doesn’t matter.  The overall consensus seemed to be that they were given the right so why not exercise it.
  8. The voting is done basically in the same manner, with schools and public halls being the voting arenas and small booths to stand in (though they don’t pass out the little “I Voted” stickers).
  9.  The only political campaign banners are taped to random walls on city buildings or on overpass barrier walls.  There are no campaign signs in peoples yards or buttons with pictures of the candidate.
  10. Despite Argentina being a macho society there are a lot of women that are running for different positions on the ballot.  Christina Kirschner is not the only female face on the campaign trails of political offices.  As a woman that sometimes has a hard time with the macho attitude, I am glad to see that women do have some power and respect in the political system.

In my opinion, all governments have major issues to mend in their cracked and corrupt systems. 

Both Argentina and the United States have done hideous, destructive and wrong actions.  I hope that the newly elected leaders will be able to provide more peace and stability for everyone concerned.

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