The Argentines are facing a new election year (2015 Schedule of Elections) We celebrate over 30 years of democracy, where we have seen institutions strengthened, but we are still far away from living under peace and social justice, both according to official and opposition statistics.
2015 is, for many, a pivotal year. End of a cycle? Deepening of the model? It seems we, the Argentines, can’t avoid the River-Boca dichotomies. What is certain is that, according to existing constitutional order, the president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner cannot run for president and at most she can aspire to be relegated to the background following the election of her own political candidate. And, as we know, this doesn’t guarantee loyalty or you can ask Eduardo Duhalde what happened with his candidate Néstor Carlos Kirchner.
Returning to the 2015 decision, the proposals do not seem to be very innovative. The “que se vayan todos” [everyone should leave] of the 2001 has not generated a real change of the political leadership.
The Frente para la Victoria (Peronism) presents many possible candidates that the PASO (primary elections), if the egos allow, will be reduced to one: the governor of Entre Ríos, Sergio Urribarri, the Minister of Interior and Transport, Florencio Randazzo, the governor of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli, the President of the honorable Chamber of Deputies, Julián Domínguez, and we could keep going. In this list appear from slight-kirchnerists as Scioli to ultra-kirchnerists as Urribarri. Which one is more popular? Scioli, by far. Can he play alone? No, his supporter come mainly from voters of the Frente para la Victoria.
Out of the Frente para la Victoria and within the PJ or dissident Peronisms (is this one Peronism?) that flirts with Scioli but has its own candidates: the governor of Córdoba, Juan Manuel de la Sota, and the former Mayor of Tigre and current national deputy, Sergio Massa. Of course, Massa is ahead. But in an election year everything can change.
Outside of the PJ space we find the alliance in default UNEN: which it ooks like is going to add many episodes to the soap opera of betrayals and passes. Elisa Carrio, key in its assembly, keeps flirting with the PRO and with a possible coalition of “both forces to safeguard the Republic from the advance of the narco-State”, according to her own words. This doesn’t seem acceptable to the filmmaker Fernando “Pino” Solanas, who sets as limits of possible coalitions the ideas in which the social-democratic alliance was based. In addition, the socialism is represented by the governor of Santa Fe, Hermes Binnes. And members of the UCR as the former vice-president of the “not-positive vote”, Julio Cobos, and the senator Ernesto Sanz. Of course, the primary elections will define one candidate of this wide spectrum. Who is leading? It would be difficult to guess a name.
As we already said, the PRO leaves the neighbourhood and moves to the national contest. Mauricio Macri, after two periods in the city, seems determined to give a fight for the chair of Rivadavia. Do the PASO determine anything? For sure, the candidate for the chief of government (mayor of the city of Buenos Aires) and vice-president. But Macri is PRO’s candidate for president.
The first party elected by the first democratic election in our country, the UCR, presents candidates but is willing to form alliances. Any names? Ricardo Alfonsín, son of the first president after the return of democracy, has left the fight and is seems close to Julio Cobos. Another name we have already said is Ernesto Sanz. Everything inside the UNEN. At least for now.
Finally, the left parties and other small parties will present their candidates, who have minimal chances in today’s scenario.
What do we know?
Kirchner will leave office. There is no reelection.
What don’t we know?
If there will be change or continuity, or continuity with change, or change with continuity.
Beyond the 2015 election, the Argentines deserve a change. But not necessarily a change in the characters who govern us or the model of country. We deserve a deeper change. A cultural one. We need to leave behind the ‘blacks and whites’. We need to establish a project of country and State policies, which are always mentioned but rarely applied.
And this is not to support any particular period in our recent history. But it is time to look forward, beyond our noses. I refuse to live the next 10 years demonizing Kirchnerism or Menemism and blaming them for all the ills and vices the Argentines have and will have. I don’t deny the errors made in both periods or the responsibilities of the politicians who have or might have to face justice, but I simply ask to avoid the easy tales of “we lived in hell and now we are in heaven” or vice versa. We live in Argentina, as Argentines, which is complicated enough to be reduced to such simplistic tales.
The 2015 decision is much more than continuity or change in the model. It is about the country we want to live in, and, I venture to say that many, most of us do not want to continue being tied to the cyclical changes with the successive crises and social costs. It is time to stop being capricious as a society and to mature.
Although it may not look like it, in the first instance this is not responsibility of the politicians. It is our. Of each one of us, the more than 40 million Argentines.
Argentina is worth it, what do you say?