BY MARIA ZALDIVAR
After a series of blunders, the national government finally reacted and launched the President’s wife’s presidential candidacy. Just like that: with no primaries, no debate or discussions with party leaders or members, with the same arbitrary attitude they criticized in others, Nestor Kirchner appointed the First Lady as if political power was a community asset or part of an inheritance.
But, apart from being harshly criticized for having no interest in the problems of the district she represents —she did not put forward one bill for that district—, Cristina Kirchner can’t hide that she has a weakness for traveling and designer clothes.
Her campaigning activities in the twenty four provinces are yet to be determined, which comes as no surprise to governors, since they remember that neither did she go round Buenos Aires when she was a district candidate for the National Senate. However, her schedule of travels abroad has already been communicated to the press: Cristina loves not only to travel and shop, but also to have public attention. This is why, just like Eva Peron, she has a large team that records her trips on camera and photographs and then distributes the material to the media.
Leaving her weaknesses aside, someone should suggest to her that votes must be collected within, not outside the territory of Argentina, and that it would be wise, for once, to devote some miles to domestic flights, even when these are not nearly as glamorous as those to Europe and the Big Apple. Even more so when one takes into account her husband’s hunch that “In October, the Argentine people will fill the ballots with good memory”. We all know what he meant. He wants us to remember the salient episodes in his administration, that is:
the energy crisis that is keeping the country in the shadows, production at a halt and fees frozen;
the exponential growth of crime indices for the last four years;
the 250,000 dollar bag found in a rest room at the Ministry of Economy;
the “emergency” decree that distributed radio and TV frequencies among supporting businessmen;
the anarchy of blocked roads and streets;
the illegal actions of the Skanska case, which involved politicians in office;
the year gone by without a head for the National University of Buenos Aires;
the manipulation of the Consejo de la Magistratura (the judicature council);
the chaos and insecurity at airports and the national airspace;
the effect of the Broadcasting Act, criticized for having been enacted during the last dictatorship;
the political support to Anibal Ibarra, responsible for the Cromagnon tragedy;
the price control and upper bounds;
the inflation projected for 2007, a 20% annual rate;
the subsidies to companies owned by supporting businessmen;
the 500 million dollars the province of Santa Cruz sent out of the country ten years ago and whose whereabouts are still unknown;
the abuse of the entity in charge of calculating the country’s economic indexes;
the isolation from the rest of the world;
“In October, the Argentine people will fill the ballots with good memory”, said President Kirchner. Let him be right, this time.
María Zaldívar is a TV journalist from Argentina and Bachelor of Political Science (UCA, Catholic University of Argentina). This article was originally published by the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research (HACER). Republished with permission.