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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Tomorrow's election in Argentina
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tomorrow's election in Argentina


a triumph of vacuousness... sigh...
In the waning minutes of “Showmatch,” the most popular entertainment show on Argentine television, the host managed on Thursday night to finally connect with Néstor Kirchner, the former president and now a candidate for Congress.

The suspense had been building for more than 90 minutes — “Will Néstor come?” was the title of the show — and the host, Marcelo Tinelli, periodically went to the street to check for signs of Mr. Kirchner’s motorcade. With the show nearing its end, Mr. Tinelli telephoned Mr. Kirchner at the presidential residence that he shares with his wife, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

“What’s up with you calling at this hour, Marcelo?” Mr. Kirchner asked jokingly.

Mr. Kirchner’s appearance had been rumored for days as a potential last-ditch effort to charm voters and perhaps save the Kirchners’ political future in congressional elections scheduled for Sunday. With a dearth of political television in Argentina and Mr. Kirchner’s refusal to debate his rivals, the political sketches of “Showmatch” have filled a void.

In what analysts say are further signs of desperation, the Kirchners have encouraged dozens of city council members and even Daniel Scioli, the governor of Buenos Aires Province, to run on their ticket as “testimonial candidates,” who do not expect to actually assume their positions if they win, a practice that has not been challenged in Argentina.

“This is one of the most vacuous legislative campaigns I have ever seen in this country,” said Graciela Romer, a veteran political analyst in Buenos Aires. “This is a campaign that has been almost entirely waged through Tinelli’s show.”

what a shame... argentina is such a wonderful country in so many ways and yet this is the kind of charade that passes for democracy... where's the real leadership...? that said, i could say virtually the same thing about my own country...

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