Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Eternal Campaign

Even for political junkies, the United States' process of choosing presidential nominees and the ensuing campaign seem nearly endless, but usually after the election there's a breather. The same should be true in Argentina, since Cristina Fernández won the presidential election last October and replaced her husband Néstor Kirchner in office on December 10th.

Campaigning continues but, oddly enough, for another country. Spain is holding presidential elections on March 9th, and Spanish citizens resident in Argentina--even those with dual nationality who may never have never been to Spain--are eligible to vote. Thus, both the Socialist party of current Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the opposition Partido Popular of Mariano Rajoy are plastering Buenos Aires city buses and utility boxes with campaign posters. Maybe when March 9th passes, electioneering can finally take a holiday.

Or maybe not. Italian elections are set for April 13-14, and according to some estimates there are 400,000 Argentines of Italian extraction who are eligible to vote. In fact, Italians resident in Argentina have their own representation in the Italian parliament.

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