By German Black
Like a mountain highway, building a third electoral road in Argentina appears, although not impossible, extremely complex from the political and from the technical. However, as if time had gone back four years, Juan Schiaretti and Juan Manuel Urtubey want to try again.
Beyond the initial enthusiasm and the boost that operators such as Guillermo Seita –the Cordovan’s star consultant in Buenos Aires- can provide, both know that to have concrete chances, the hook they threw on Tuesday must fish beyond the wounded of the Frente de Todos or Together for change.
The crossing of the different surveys that are known, and carried out before any launch, realize that a Peronist option outside the Frente de Todos has a floor that goes from 2 to 7 percent in voting intention. Far from the almost 30 percent that the two main political forces reap, and with liberalism trying to add wills that make the picture even more complex towards the PASO next August.
In just eight months, the anti-grievance force envisioned by Schiaretti and Urtubey should add more than 20 points in intention to aspire to the secure second round of elections, which no one could avoid in the October elections. Unless the desire of both is to add as much as possible and then try to tilt the destinies of the ballotage. A priori, too modest option.
Santa Fe, almost like Córdoba and CABA, has 8 percent of the electorate. One of the opportunities that the anti-grieta see is to add in that province the anti-k votes and those of Santa Fe’s socialism, which is usually pendulous. Governor Omar Perotti is one of the pieces coveted by Schiaretti to bring his army closer, but he – with his image in a tailspin – still does not show much intention of breaking with Vice President Cristina Fernández. The first and lukewarm act of rebellion was not having signed the last attack against the Court.
From an ideological point of view, the duo can hardly be differentiated from a moderate option of Together for Change or from the make-up that the Frente de Todos is going to try, hiding La Cámpora to show a face that seems more civilized, such as Sergio Massa’s. if it is not ejected before by the crisis that it cannot accommodate.
Any alternative to the FDT will need to have a very heavy foot in the all-powerful province of Buenos Aires, the territory where elections have been defined since the elimination of the Electoral College system in 1994. 40 percent of the national register is deployed there, and more than half is concentrated in 30 municipalities of that social Levitan that is the Conurbano.
There, along with the political needs, vital technical issues appear: in principle, an “army” of prosecutors is needed to cover the entire territorial space and face the chain vote, the purchase of voters, the transfer of voters and the pressure for social plans, among other stones in the road. Samples of an imperfect democracy.
However, beyond the doubts and difficulties, there is a situation that Schiaretti knows very well and few dare to anticipate: this year could be one of the most painful that the country can remember from an economic point of view, according to reports of some indicators.
Argentina is experiencing a crisis that cannot even manage its poverty numbers, a situation in which almost half of a country finds itself that, at the beginning of the 20th century, had the world’s first GDP for several months, and with all the chips to be great.
The agro-export sector, permanently ignored by Kirchnerism, settled in 2022 just over 40 billion dollars, a historic figure that was supported by the increase in international prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That mountain of dollars, which the Central Bank saw vanish due to malpractice, will be far from being repeated this year: the drought has already cooked at least 30 percent of the gross harvest.
This lack of foreign currency, no matter how much another crazy monetary issue is attempted, will undoubtedly increase social moodiness, which can make the electoral path as unpredictable as a flipping coin.
Read more: Schiaretti and Urtubey will compete for the Presidency