14 August 2007

Campaign daze

There are so many ways to go about a political campaign! If you're the government, that's made easy by the fact that you can unveil public works and you can do it at the exact moment you want. If they actually serve a useful purpose, better yet.

This the Arturo Illia Tunnel on Monday, August 13:

This is the same tunnel on Tuesday, August 14 (the time of the day is about the same, but the lighting and the exposure are different):

The municipality changed the lighting system of the tunnel: they took out the fluorescent lights on both sides, and installed a double row of zenital cut-off sodium lamps, "for power efficiency and safety". So far, so good. Only the mayor Miguel Lifschitz, went there to inaugurate the lights. It was a lot of work, I get it, but I don't get a will-never-be-the-same feeling from the change. Lifschitz is campaigning for his reelection, though — which explains why he not only mounted a show to unveil the lights at a scheduled event on Tuesday although they were basically ready on Monday, but also why he's also unveiling a level crossing on a very minor street in a forgotten spot of the city tomorrow, and advertising it with pamphlets carrying the internationally recognizable symbol of the rose in the fist.

In his defense, I may say these things are actually useful, and they're working already. Other government authorities have a tendency to unveil things that are not complete, or worse, to gather thousands of people just to announce future works, which may or may not be impossible to do. Think the Rosario-Buenos Aires "bullet train", which I still refuse to dismiss as pure fantasy, but also remember how Carlos Menem infamously promised we'd have an airport for "stratospheric planes", and how he "unveiled" the Rosario–Victoria Bridge four years before it was completed.

Another way of going about your campaign if you're in the government is, of course, giving away money to public employees. This is even more useful if you avert a possible teachers' strike, and need not cost a lot. In the case of the Province of Santa Fe, less than 100 dollars per employee, one payment only, and lest someone think this is an electoral measure, it will be done after the elections (it's announced now so that people can adjust their monthly budgets, surely, and because nobody likes a surprise raise... I guess?).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.