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Argentina: Kirchner Wins Apathetic Election

The recent elections in Argentina are over. Some say that these elections have probably been received with the most amount of apathy since the return to democracy in 1983. A couple of days before the elections, there was almost no sign of them in the streets, except a few posters. Most citizens did not take active part in the process, but that doesn't mean there were no repercussions afterwards. In fact, the topic was tackled by many local blogs.

Controversy was not absent. Many blogs posted strong criticism against Nestor Kirchner's government and against his successor, Cristina Kirchner. If you take into consideration that the officialism's victory was quite solid, with almost 45% of the votes, such critics attract attention. If one take into account that the places where Cristina got less votes were the big urban areas, where most of these bloggers are located, one may understand this particular dissociation between the results of the election and these bloggers’ opinions.

Just by checking Twitter while the results of the poll were being released, one could find that most of the reactions, in general, were a condemnation of the victory of the current government party. Even blogs that promoted not to vote Cristina, such as No voto a Cristina [ES] (I don't vote for Cristina), were created. Of course, from the side of the officialism, there was also a use of Web tools as you can see in Sumate a Cristina [ES] (Join Cristina), with pictures in Flickr, Twitter news updates and even supporter assistance through MSN Messenger.

And if before the elections nothing much happened, the day of the poll was quite rocky. There were reports that the polling places opened late due to the lack of election officials. There were long waits to be able to vote, many parties’ ballots were missing, none of the government's though. Many political parties weren't even able to place observers at many polling places. After the election, it becomes clear that voting methods will have to be revised for the next time.

To see some of the critics and the level of aggressiveness of some opinions, check the comments at this entry: “El show de Cristina” at eBlog [ES]. There were opinions, from those against the government, that talked about fraud, government employees that stole, and being God's will at the results of the polls.

On the other side, there were the people who accused bloggers and participants of not understanding what was going on, and said that “Cristina's voters don't use Nokia n73 or have blogs”. This level of division is something to be concerned about in regards of the future of Argentina, but at the same it's a characteristic of any debate in Argentina where representations of Peronism and it's meaning for the local political life takes place.

Some interesting entries to see the local debate about the elections:

Al final son todos iguales (At the end, they're all the same): at Fresco y Batata [ES]. Italo Daffra criticizes the ideas of the future president:

la electa presidenta de la Argentina dijo la semana pasada que el periodismo no debe publicar temas que perjudiquen la imagen del país. Lo que sorprende de esa frase es la similitud con lo que propugnaba la última dictadura, que ejercía la censura basado en que se quería dañar la imagen de la Argentina. Tan diferentes, tan parecidos.

The President-elect of Argentina said last week that journalism should not publish topics that hurt the country's image. What surprises me is the similarity with what the last dictatorship said, that practiced censorship based on what wanted to hurt Argentina's image. So different, so similar.

La gran revelación de Morales Solá (The great revelation of Morales Sola): Darío Gallo, from Bloc de Periodista [ES], and a very ironic and controverted post about the state of Cristina Kirchner's neck, which had been noticed to be Photo-shopped in pictures.

El error de Carrió (The mistake of Carrio): Juan Tapiola points out what he believes are the mistakes in the political positioning of Elisa Carrio, the candidate of the Coalicion Civica, who got the second place in the elections.

Creo que Carrió ha cometido un error estratégico básico. Elisa se ha posicionado en el ciudadano argentino como la opción de la ética y la honestidad. Muchos años de denuncias públicas y una conducta impecable le han capitalizado en Carrió este posicionamiento tan fuerte en Argentina…Sin embargo el posicionamiento de Elisa es el de una idealista y no necesariamente el de una gestora. Y aquí es donde creo que ha cometido el error… Pero la gestión y el día a día la debería haber delegado a un personaje con una fuerte imagen de liderazgo en el ámbito de la administración

I think Carrió committed a basic strategic error. Elisa positioned herself to the Argentine people as the choice for ethics and honesty. After many years of public complaints and impeccable conduct, placed Carrió in a strong position in Argentina. However, Elisa's place is as an idealist and not necessarily as an administrator. This is where I think she made her mistake… The administration and daily management should have been delegated with a person with an image of a strong leader in regards to administration.

Jodete: about the lack of ballots in the elections, a topic of much institutional seriousness, and one that raised all kinds of comments.

El gobierno que elegimos (The government we chose): provides criticism of the results, where many of the legal scandals this government had been noticed.

La Nueva 2º Fuerza, la CC (The New 2° Force, the CC): a blog of Elisa Carrio supporters analyzes the results.

Preguntas sin respuesta (Questions without answer): at Uno más del montón [ES] they wonder about the legitimacy of the results, since there were so many complaints about problems at the time to vote.

At Sumate a Cristina [ES] (Join Cristina) there's a list of blogs that support the candidacy of Cristina Kirchner, although unfortunately many of them have not updated after the elections.

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