26 June 2007

Strange days in politics

Strange days! I blogged on Saturday and Sunday, and that must be a first. And didn't blog yesterday and I almost didn't blog today, but I thought, everybody's talking about politics... well, at least everybody on TV, and a lot of people in the capital of our proudly macrocephalic country, plus a few thousands near the End of the World.

What to make of Macri? Well, for one he has a terrific image counselor — at times he can almost pretend he's a kind human being. Then, of course, he speaks outside his extremely limited script and we can all see his shadow turn into an old man with a mischievous smile joining the tips of his hands and muttering "Excellent!".

Macri has been praised by the right and derided by the left, and yet he's new to politics and to public life, so there's no way to know what he'll do once he's in power. He might be just what the average, fascist middle-class porteño wanted, or he might not have what it takes. Because "getting Buenos Aires in order" is not a task that you can accomplish without turning the streets into a battlefield, killing (by accident or design) a few protesters, and causing a fair amount of distress to those citizens who naïvely believe "order" can be achieved with a simple recipe (à la "Zero Tolerance"). Página/12 speculates a lot about this today (What kind of ruler will he want to be?).

If I were a porteño, I'd be more concerned about vice-Chief Gabriela Michetti. Mark my words: Macri might have the money and a lot of simplistic and dangerous upper-class ideas stemming from his upbringing as a spoiled brat, but Michetti is educated, conservative, devout, firm as a rock, relentless — the kind of person who can have tea with you and then send you to the firing squad with an unchanging smile on her face. (OK, maybe that was too much.) Just my impression.

Then there's Tierra del Fuego. In case you didn't hear (almost impossible, since it was repeated ad nauseam last Sunday on TV), Fabiana Ríos, a 43-year-old pharmacist born in Rosario who lives in Río Grande since she's 23, won the runoff election by a small but significant margin over the Kirchnerist governor Hugo Cóccaro, and is the first female governor to be elected to rule a
province. She looks younger than her age and seems a nice little lady, until you hear she intends to meet the president and tell him, basically, that she doesn't want the national government to mess with her province now that it's changed hands. Bear in mind this is a province that lives mostly on tourism and has a smaller population than some barrios of Buenos Aires... in fact, only half of Kirchner's Santa Cruz.

Ríos is also the first governor belonging to ARI, the continuously mutating party that Elisa Carrió founded and still leads on the national level... sort of. Carrió wants to be St. George to Kirchner's dragon — or, in less poetical terms, they hate each other's guts. Ríos cautiously (and truthfully) noted that this is a victory for her and her constituency and against an entrenched corrupt political class, not a triumph of Carrió against the president. But to Mr. K, this and Macri on the same day must have hurt really bad. Well, pain teaches you to keep away from some things, so let's hope K is beginning to learn that lesson.


  1. I wonder if the defeat of the both the Kirchnerist candidates will dispose K to run again instead of his wife. I doubt that K will have learnt his lesson – he’ll probably just see it as a sign that he needs to exert more control. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the vote was anti-K, rather than for the winning candidates.

    I think that being mayor of BsAs is sort of like being a cat herder – those Porteños sure don’t like being told what to do! At least it should make for some interesting politics.

    Michetti, release the hounds!


  2. Anonymous16:34

    Dude, you are just angry at everyone.
    Layoff your crazy comments for a while a be a bit happy. Otherwise, you will be seen as the old man with a mischievous smile joining the tips of his hands and muttering "Excellent!".

  3. I don't know the actual figures so I won't try to act like I do. Anyway, a lot of electronics assembly plants and petrol/gnc companies fuel Tierra Del Fuego too-just not sure how much compared to tourism.

    BGH, Philips, Motorola, and a few others have some of their products assembled down here.

    A ton of new stuff on the table:

    (Sorry for the the link but whoever runs the majority of news sites down here needs to learn a little about site management.)



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