The midterm primaries are three weeks away, which means that the National Electoral Direction — the entity in charge of organizing the elections — gave the green light to the parties to begin airing their campaign ads on the radio and television. According to campaign regulation, 10 percent of TV and radio programming has to be destined to campaign messaging, so get ready soo see and hear a whole lot of these guys over the next few weeks.
The major parties have already aired the ads showcasing their candidates for deputies and senators in the Buenos Aires Province, arguably the big prize in every congressional election. Let’s take a look at them.
Cambiemos’ ad compresses all its political tools in less than a minute: it takes a jab at the Kirchner administrations and all parties that identify themselves as Peronists, highlights its administration’s achievements and, while it highlights that there’s “still a lot to do,” indicates that the answer is voting for them in the upcoming election. To introduce its relatively unknown candidates, Cambiemos uses its ace of spades: Governor María Eugenia Vidal, the politician with the best positive image in the country.
Vidal appears in the images along the candidates and introduces them, highlighting the area they focus in: Graciela Ocaña: fight against corruption; Héctor “Toty” Flores: his work with cooperatives and low-income sectors of the population. The third candidate, Guillermo Montenegro, didn’t get an introduction in the ad, but was the Buenos Aires City’s Minister of Security and Justice during President Mauricio Macri’s tenure as City Mayor, and that’s his area of expertise.
In keeping with the running theme of her campaign rallies, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner points the spotlight at citizens who, in the ad, were negatively affected by the Macri administration’s economic policies.
Different people can be seen introducing a piece of paper in a ballot box after doing a regular, everyday activity. The ballot box is then opened to reveal that the pieces of papers hold messages criticizing the current government: “I don’t want to live fearing I will get fired”; “prices keep rising and our salaries remain the same”; “I can’t make ends meet with my pension,” are some of the messages.
“In this elections, the message is your vote,” is the ad’s final message, which doesn’t show the former president at any moment.
Sergio Massa chose to air a fragment of the speech where he presented the electoral front he leads, in which he proposes to lower taxes on basic goods such as foods and medicine, and public services. Mixing images of his main ally, Margarita Stolbizer, and high profile aides such as former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna, Massa finishes the ad criticizing the Macri administration: “What is this? They rise utility bills and also increase taxes?” he says.
The former Interior and Transportation Minister focuses on highlighting that he honored the promises he made during his tenure in Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s cabinet: revamping the process to issue national IDs (DNI) and passports, and renewing the train fleet were the ones he chose.
Following the same line, the ad finishes with a jab to the former president, recalling that Randazzo decided to cut ties with her after she prevented him from competing against Daniel Scioli in a primary for the Victory Front’s 2015 presidential candidacy. “He said that he’d either compete in a primary or go home, and he honored that promise,” the ad finishes.