The head of state shared the stage with Axel Kicillof and Mario Ishii after the political crisis after the defeat in the PASO
Alberto Fernández included a short and almost lost phrase in one of his recent speeches to say that the measures that the Government has been taking in these days were planned before the STEP. In other words, that they would not be a hasty reaction from the shock of defeat. “We planned to take them in advance,” he said, barely. Perhaps he realized that clarification would not have much effect. Ultimately, the problem is not only the electoral sense of the advertisements but also their conception. Everything is born from the reductionist view – even offensive – on the electoral message and especially, on the causes of the loss of votes considered “own”.
The President tried this clarification in the swearing-in act of the new ministers. A strong fact in itself: it was the postcard that summarized the state of affairs after the last offensive by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, which had a correlation in Axel Kicillof’s cabinet and which perhaps belatedly replaced the attempt to lean on the governors of the PJ by Alberto Fernández. After November 14, the next battle will surely ensue.
The changes and rearrangements of ministers constitute, together with the new measures, the first campaign response. The ruling party’s reading of what happened in the primary elections ten days ago includes obvious elements, such as the corrosive effect of the worsening of the economic and social crisis together with the broader deterioration generated by the mismanagement of the restrictions against the coronavirus. The shock was profound due to the national numbers of the defeat, the fall in the province of Buenos Aires and the significant loss of votes compared to 2019 and even 2017. That seems to restrict the focus on votes discounted as their own.
Juan Manzur with Minister Carla Vizzotti. Announce the end of most restrictions
There are internal considerations that appear very tied to the microclimate itself, as if they did not have a wide impact and beyond the limits of power. There is much talk, for example, of the “volume” that each new minister could contribute. This alludes to their status as veterans in public service, which also means that they are not unknown, for better or for worse. There are also interpretations that recommend not making a linear reading on alignments or proper play between the President and CFK. This refers above all to Juan Manzur and Aníbal Fernández.
These considerations, strictly speaking, are subordinated to a broader signal in terms of image. Her entry into the cabinet was the result of a change that Alberto Fernández preferred to postpone until after the November elections and that the former president forced last week, after exhausting critical hours for the ruling party in general and particularly for Olivos. Another advance by CFK was crowned, which in fact conditions the management of the economic area and which, at the same time, generates uncertainty pending the effect that the next election may have.
The ruling party now adjusts the campaign in an elemental way. It is exposed by the announcements that seem to indicate the end of the pandemic and the decisions on minimum wage, modification of the Earnings scale for workers in dependency relationship, bonus for retirees and possibly a new delivery of IFE.
Such decisions, in the logic that is allowed to transcend, would point not to the dispute with the opposition -in a broad sense, that is, to the two-thirds of the electorate that did not vote for the ruling party-, but basically to recover a strip that had chosen by the Frente de Todos two years ago and this time the “no vote” gained weight. Of course, the low turnout is at the same time a disturbing fact for Juntos por el Cambio.
The gaze of the ruling party points, at the territorial level, to the eight districts that renew national senators and to the province of Buenos Aires. But two signs of underestimation are also exposed. The first, offensive, expresses that the answer to win back wills is “to put money in your pocket.” There are practical and not exclusively conceptual data that have put this criterion in crisis. The second, limited, does not assess other elements that may have determined the disenchantment or rejection of voters who had opted for the Frente de Todos two years ago.
In this last area, the increasingly noticeable fading of the initial image of the President could be weighing. The candidacy of Alberto Fernández and the contribution of Sergio Massa were decisive in assembling a sense of moderation as an addition to the hard core of CFK. A combination that proved successful in the presidential election.
That scheme was altering more and more quickly. The advance of the former president on sensitive issues, such as the judicial front, and the offensive on the cabinet are examples to be seen. Also, the turn of the President’s speech, the decision not to build his own power and the breaking of bridges with the opposition, after the initial stage of quarantine. The topic does not end there. You can add the gestures of privileges of power, especially those most linked to the pandemic: VIP vaccines and activity in Olivos.
The rejection of such expositions of power and the painting of the inmate explain at least in part the result of the PASO. It would also be one of the weighting factors in the decline in participation. Faced with this picture, the image left by the change of cabinet after the CFK offensive and the measures announced by the Government would go against the history that the ruling party is trying to reverse.
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