Friday, August 01, 2008

The Argentine People Finally Heard

It appears the Argentine people have finally been heard after the Fernández de Kirchner administration for months failed to successfully negotiate with the nation's farmers. The recent Senate vote against the government's legislation to raise export taxes demonstrates Fernández de Kirchner's inability to centralize power as her popularity crumbles.

It appears that Argentines have finally clearly been heard after the Fernandez de Kirchner administration for months failed to successfully negotiate with the nation's farmers ["Argentine Cabinet Chief Offers to Resign," July 23, 2008]. It is a relief to see the Senate strongly oppose the government's attempt to raise export taxes in recent months, which has failed to curb inflation, while adding to growing food shortages and rising food prices. 

The Senate's recent vote represents both a victory against Fernandez de Kirchner to centralize power and a positive step for the citizens who are now recognizing the all too familiar rhetoric of their leaders' illusory promises to help the impoverished locals within the capital district. While it is obvious that the President is trying to run the country based on the credibility of her husband's former administration, it is equally clear that she has little support from the Argentine people, as reflected by her narrow defeat in the Senate. Her basic problem is that by a slender majority, the Argentine public doesn't believe that the passing of an export tax would help curtail either food shortages or inflation rates, which today are among the top six in the world.

President Kirchner just doesn't have the political base to continue with her husband's "uncompromising political style." Now that Argentines have spoken through the Senate's negative vote, it appears the Kirchner administration needs to find different long-term alternatives to high inflation. Instead of pressing economic strategists and chief advisors with the task of solving national crises, Fernandez de Kirchner needs to realize she cannot always win and that acting by pressure, rather than through conciliation, rarely produces results. 

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