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Argentina’s Presidential elections of 2015: The challenge of governance and unity

Argentina’s Presidential elections of 2015: The challenge of governance and unity

by Pablo Blanco Gonzalez

Argentina dawned last November 23rd of 2015 with a very special political mood. There was not an overflowing joy, nor apparently a change of political mood in people’s faces: they rather expressed restraint.

There were 2.8 percentage points, which is to say 704,860 votes, the difference that allowed Mauricio Macri (Cambiemos) to be elected as President of Argentina, which resulted in a 51.40%, against a percentage of 48.60% for Daniel Scioli (Frente para la Victoria).

First conclusion: “Cambiemos” has won by tight margins. Second conclusion: Argentina is divided in two: between those who preferred continuity and those who wanted a change. Third conclusion: most of the people are still waiting to know the specific content of “the change” they voted (or did not vote).

Chiara Lubich said that political vocation is “a personal call that is clear from the circumstances and speaks through the conscience”, therefore at this time, we should ask in conscience, which are these circumstances calling for, in Argentina.

The deepest feeling is that the most important challenge ahead, is the unity of these “two” countries. Yes, necessarily a country that voted for a change should be able to include the other that doesn’t want everything to be changed, and the latter must give credit to those who honestly believe that a change is necessary.

We cannot say with certainty what blocks and forces will work together, from December 10th. The “Frente para la Victoria” and its allies will have 113 deputies, “Cambiemos” 88, “Frente Renovador” and allies 31, “Progresistas” 7, “Compromiso Federal” 4, the Lefts 4 and the remaining 10 complete it under “other”.

In the Senate the “Frente para la Victoria” will have 38 senators plus 4 allies, thus ensuring the proper quorum (37), accounting for two-thirds of the House. “Cambiemos” will be the first minority with 15; the dissident Peronistas have 9, “Progresistas” 3 and “other” the remaining 3.

It is clear that, from immediate political scenario, arises a major challenge for the whole political forces: governance will depend on the search for consensus and agreements that favor the inclusion of as many political, social, labor and economic actors. We should remember that governance has not to do only with the legality but also with legitimacy, and building the legitimacy requires generosity and maturity.

So, for those who have the political responsibility to govern Argentina from next December 10th, it is worth recalling here the words of Dr. Luis María Drago ‘victory does not give rights’; in other words, victory ‘gives responsibilities’. For those who have the task of being the political opposition, to remember that they comprise the legislative power, which is a deliberative body but a part of the “government” too, and here I emphasize the word “government”. Therefore, the two political forces will be co-responsible for ensuring governance in Argentina, with an inexcusable task: to work for the unity of all argentine people.

Chiara Lubich said “I have a dream. What the world would be like if, individuals, also people, ethnic groups, states put into practice the golden rule: to love others, as one.”

Is it possible to love the one who does not think like me? Is it possible to love his country idea like mine? It is the challenge posed by Unity.


Original version in spanish: “Revista Ciudad Nueva” (Argentina)