Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Argentina Bids Farewell To The Kirchnerista Movement And Welcomes Change In Macri

Cristina Kirchner
The Kirchnerista/Peronista movement came to an end when Argentinians voted for Mauricio Macri, who represents the The Republican Proposal/Cambiemos (Let's Change) Movement on November 22nd, 2015. 
Mauricio Macri
Back in October, there was a vote that was meant to narrow down the presidential candidates to just two. As I reported in a previous post, the voting system is fairly simple. 
The first thing you do is sign in at the table and they'll give you an envelope where you'll stick the pamphlet with the candidate you've selected.

All you get is a sheet of paper with the face and the name of the candidate along with the names of all the elected officials that they represent. In other words, one vote counts for all offices in that party. Then the ballot gets sealed in an envelope and placed in a box by the edge of the table.
It came down to Daniel Scioli, who represents the same party as the current Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner and Mauricio Macri, who represents a completely different ideology. The people spoke and Scioli lost. However, Cristina Kirchner has mentioned that she would run for president in 2019. If she succeeds, this would be her 3rd term, which is a concept I found ironic since in the States a president can only serve a maximum of two terms.

I'm not going to get into the political stuff about who is better or who is worse because I honestly don't know. I do know that when Macri takes office on December 10th, things will change. Whether it's for the best or the worst that remains to be seen. While some of his agendas seem promising, such as allowing import and export to once again flow freely in Argentina, research suggests that he was involved in the financial crisis that struck Argentina in 2001-2002. So… am I little worried? The answer is yes.

Allegations of voting fraud (like the Gore/Bush voting scandal) were made, but a recount of the voting ballots on November 30th determined that Macri was indeed the winner. 

For Argentine citizens, voting is not an option. Having dual citizenship allowed me the privilege of adding my voice to the chorus of millions that wanted what was best for this country. 

Now there's only one thing left to do and that is to concentrate on the elections back home for 2016. Being thousands of miles away, and with a budget too limited to return even for a visit, means that I have to submit an absentee ballot. 

So how do I do this? 

I went to this site: 

It was super easy. I just had to add the last address that I lived in when I was in the U.S., my social security number and answer some generic questions such as whether I was interested in voting for every state election or just the major ones like the presidential election. After that, I printed the form out, signed it and sent it to my voting district back home. 

Since the mail in Argentina is not very reliable when sending or receiving things abroad, I have no way of knowing whether they will receive my voter's registration application. But I'm not the kind of person to leave things to chance, so I will probably find an expat that is traveling home and have them send the application through the U.S. postal service. Then it's just a matter of getting my ballot in the mail when the time comes (and hope it actually gets to me) so I can vote. 

There are some people back in the States, and even some expats here in Argentina who have told me that they won't vote because they literally don't care. I'll just end this entry by saying that voting for change in one country is wonderful, but to get to vote for two countries is beyond a right or a privilege… it is an honor. It's just sad that some people would throw that right away.