10 August 2007

Quis custodiet custodes?

The elections in Santa Fe are in three weeks. In the primaries, the opposition candidate Hermes Binner got about 2% less votes than the two ruling party candidates combined... but those were provisional numbers. Two weeks after that, the final count gave 15,000 more votes to Binner. The Peronist candidates added a few thousands as well, but the distance decreased significantly. Binner said "I want international overseers from OAS." The provincial government sneered at it: "We don't know why he's so uptight about transparency, but we'll get those overseers." So far, so far good.

Yet Government Minister Roberto Rosúa now says there's no need to bother OAS with a request of international overseers for the main elections, and proposes, instead, that we employ overseers provided by CIPPEC, a national NGO which I have nothing bad to say about a priori... except it's recommended by national Interior Minister Aníbal Fernández (that would be the Luiggi to Alberto Fernández's Mario). Fernández, I don't know why, seems to have power to decide over the transparency controls of the elections.

Not only that, but we learn that members of the provincial police force vote in special double envelopes, and those votes are not counted in the provisional tally. That's because of the special circumstances in which the police have to vote (they're on duty during the election, maybe guarding places far away from their legal addresses, etc.). Fine. Except there are 6,000 policemen in Santa Fe. That's 6,000 employees of the provincial administration, and that's also 6,000 votes that may suddenly pop out of nowhere if needed, after the polls are closed. We're talking of a party that doesn't like to lose, that hasn't lost an election in 24 years, that has people in every place where it may need them to avert a defeat, and that has a lot, a lot to lose. The ones who have to control the elections and the vote count are employees of this government, members of this party, and people recommended by a notorious member of the party.

Quis, indeed.


  1. Who would have thought that Juvenal could have so much insight into the future Argentina? (Well apart from Enrique Piniti).

    ... iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses. ...
    (Juvenal, Satire 10.77-81)

    ... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses. ...

    Who's playing Wario in the panoply of Argentine politics?


  2. Anonymous20:02

    Can't poor Mr. Binner have someone fly into town with a valise fulla $$$ to help him out? Seems to work for Mrs. K A-OK! Roberto desde Miami


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