2017 is an electoral year, and the National Electoral Chamber has already set out all the important dates for this year’s congressional elections, which will take place in October. They take place every four years – in between the presidential elections – and are usually a pretty good way of getting the feelers out and seeing what the public opinion of the government is like halfway through its term. But while they can be a good indicator, governments do tend to lose out in the mid-terms; Kirchnerism, then in office, lost the congressional elections in the Buenos Aires Province — arguably the main prize in every mid-term — both 2009 and 2013.
Here are the all-important dates for the diary.
April 25: Closing date for the temporary voting register for the PASO (the primary, open, simultaneous, obligatory vote). This will then be published on May 5.
July 14: The final electoral roll will be published, and the electoral campaign officially starts for the PASO.
July 29: The ban on any public events that could promote canvassing, in order to sway voters, will be implemented.
August 11: The Electoral veda – a ban on public acts of proselytism (i.e political events), as well as publishing and broadcasting surveys or pre-electoral polls – will be implemented.
August 13: PASO elections take place.
September 17: The electoral campaign for the general elections officially starts.
October 22: Date of the general elections. Luckily, people will only have to go to the polls two times. Compared to the 6 different dates the City of Buenos Aires had in 2015, this year doesn’t actually look bad voting-wise.
Campaigns are already starting; Macri obviously, wants a victory that reassures him and his party that they are on the lead, while his opposition want to make a strong come back. The Kirchnerist movement, still with no official candidate, started their campaign on social media this week, posting an interesting video… of penguins accompanied by a popular soccer chant, “We’re going to return.”
Although last month’s government surveys revealed that Macri had fallen 5 points in terms of popularity – now only 45 percent of the population are backing him, he still came out to say that “the majority of Argentines are going to support us in October, to carry on supporting the path of change.” His — and therefore his party’s — are dropping now, but considering that in Argentine political time 7 months are almost an eternity, much will probably change between now and then. Macri is confident the economy will bounce back as elections get closer, and that will boost the image of his party’s candidates.