Political scene: a low-calorie campaign in Bahia

Maximiliano Allica / [email protected]

The campaign does not finish starting in Bahía Blanca, especially the internal one between the Pro and the UCR within the Juntos coalition. Although there is a unit list on the ballot of councilors, at the sectional level they will clash with the Santilli-Compagnoni and Manes-Lorenzo tandems, although there is almost no climate of dispute in a city that represents about half of the Sixth register, the terrain to conquer.

Stillness favors yellows. Just as in boxing, the obligation to take the initiative belongs to the challenger, in this case the Pro is the reigning match and it will be until someone puts him on the ropes. The call for the radio and TV host had to do with showing a figure with a good image that contributes to improving the chances of radicalism in the area. But, after the first shock of Lorenzo Natali’s arrival in politics, little has been done to keep it burning.

It probably has to do with the provincial non-aggression pact between the two forces, in the understanding that bleeding in the primaries weakens the final proposal of Juntos for the November general elections. It makes sense, there is almost no history of primaries that have been really competitive without leaving serious injuries.

However, that the UCR has decided to compete to finally take the foot off the gas is a rare strategy. So the question is worth: Does the Bahian radicalism, in full, want a victory in the internal? Or do many settle for playing a good role because the goal of gaining consideration within the alliance has already been achieved and the idea is not to discuss the leadership of the Gay, Moirano, Nardelli trinity?

Lorenzo has an obvious advantage over the rest, his high level of knowledge, in contrast to leaders like Fernando Compagnoni or Adrián Jouglard, referenced on campaign posters by their nicknames “Compa” and “Chopper”. In theory, it also adds that it comes from outside the political system, in moments of immense distrust of the citizenry with the ruling class. That potential does not seem to be fully exploited.

Local and regional polls give an advantage to one or the other, depending on who you ask. Yes there is a coincidence throughout the province that Manes would be losing positions in the duel with Santilli and that would have a drag effect in the lower part of the ballots. However, September 12 is still missing.

An eloquent fact is that the Pro is taking all his figures, hawks and pigeons, to the field to collect for each of the slopes. Mauricio Macri, loser to Horacio Rodríguez Larreta in the design of the candidacies, joined the campaign with television interviews and events with Santilli and María Eugenia Vidal, yellow candidates in Province and CABA. Another benchmark of the hard wing, Patricia Bullrich, who will come to Bahia in the next few days, also maintains a leading role.

Larreta, Macri and Bullrich, who are not running for anything, are walking the previous election so that the Pro does not lose votes in the center or on the right. It could be read as esprit de corps. In other words, it is about a vocation to power and then they will see who gets what part. You don’t see the same momentum among your internal adversaries.

The Buenos Aires head of government, it has already been said several times, a good part of his presidential project is at stake in the success of this election. Radicalism also plays the position for a candidacy in 2023 within the alliance. A defeat for Manes, above all due to an important difference, would keep the centennial party in a subordinate role. That begins to settle in just 18 days.

The Frente de Todos continues to be shaken by the photo of Olivos. However, the most optimistic foresee that the electoral impact will not be so serious and that the improvement in the health outlook, plus some hint of recovery in the economic sphere, will end up crystallizing its core of voters.

The risk of this hypothesis would be an increase in the circulation of the delta variant, which forces us to think about a tightening of the restrictions. That scenario would once again expose the presidential scandal: how to tell a merchant to limit his hours, to a boy who does not go to school, to a family who does not meet again, if Alberto Fernández could well be making “the mistake” to participate in a toast.

The national and provincial governments of the Frente de Todos, mounted to improve the epidemiological situation, come with an open plan. Yesterday it was announced that the first football match with the public will be one of the national team on September 9, just on the edge of the electoral ban, and the flexibility of school protocols was also raised.

For the tastes of each consumer, the question will remain as to whether these are openings linked to epidemiological conditions or are they electoralist measures. The truth is that both communicated the same day it was established that the delta began to circulate in the Conurbano. Until a month or two ago they would have been unexpected easing, coming from an official as strict as Axel Kicillof.

At the regional level, there were sparks in Peronism because during Victoria Tolosa Paz’s visit to Bahía Blanca, the person who heads the list of provincial deputies for the Sixth Section, Alejandro Dichiara, was not invited. The mayor of Monte Hermoso was enchanted because the day before Máximo Kirchner had named him in one of the most important party events of the year.

But 24 hours later he was left out of the press conference in the sectional head and the presentation of local candidates. A leader of many years in Peronism joked: “I give you the title of the note. The man who raised Máximo in the Unique Stadium, Susbielles took him down from the act in Bahía Blanca.”

The formal explanation is that the activity in Villa Miter was exclusive to Bahia candidates, for that reason, representing the Buenos Aires deputies was Maite Alvado, second on that list. The camper leader was also one of the three faces in the central image, shared with Tolosa Paz and the first candidate for councilor Gisela Ghigliani.

The image lent itself to confusion, to the point that Tolosa Paz understood that Alvado headed that section of the ballot and not Dichiara. He said so and then tweeted it, although it seems that the sea air brought a call where the gaffe was noticed and ended up deleting the post.

There are two views regarding the absence of Montehermoseño. The malicious indicates that they want to hide it in the main district of La Sexta because it is not to the liking of the average Bahian and can scare voters. The most diplomatic maintains that never in Bahía Blanca posters are put up with leaders of other localities when they lead the sectional ballots. In 2017 he headed Cuto Moreno and, in 2019, Alfredo Fisher, and they never appeared in any photo.

“It would not make any electoral sense,” they explain in the campaign command. “In fact two years ago Federico was accompanied by Marcelo Feliú in the main images, despite the fact that he was third in provincial senators.”

As a basic point, the maximum short-term risk for the national Front of All is not a negative result in these elections. Of course, the thermometer at the polls will decisively mark the agenda for the second half of the term, both for the president and the governor. But the central problem of the governing coalition is to maintain the source of its political power, which is the abroqueamiento of all its currents.

The impact of the Olivos photo is still uncertain. Immediately the front page of Peronism came out to surround Alberto Fernández in public to cushion him at his most critical moment, even worse than with the VIP vaccination. We must not lose sight of the fact that, just as Ginés González García was ejected from the cabinet, any minister or front-line leader would also have been expelled if he celebrated a birthday in full strict quarantine. Only the president has no choice but to support him.

The maximum risk for the FdT is that a weakening of the presidential figure results in a bid for how to manage the government almost completely without Alberto. A de facto intervention by Cristina and the harsh Kirchnerism embodied in La Cámpora (perhaps those who most prepared to occupy the different springs of the State) could generate internal dissidents that alter the delicate balances of the ruling coalition.

The north of the Frente de Todos if it wants to stay in power should be to consolidate unity, an objective that would be facilitated with an electoral victory this year, although it does not guarantee it. Likewise, an eventual defeat would not be an unequivocal sign of decline. Kirchnerism lost the last three midterm elections, in 2009, 2013 and 2017. And it still holds the reins of Argentine politics today.

Leave a Comment