President Mauricio Macri posted a picture on Facebook with the hashtag #NoAflojemos (#LetsNotGiveUp) and asked his supporters to do the same thing at midnight last night.
“Travelling around the country, I was told over and over ‘don’t give up Mauricio, don’t give up.’ Now I tell you: let’s not give up. Let’s not give up. Let’s not listen to the voices that want to bring us down,” Macri says. The post’s content is pretty self explanatory, as is who it is directed at: it’s been a rough year, but let’s not listen to the opposition’s apocalyptic forecasting, we are going down the right path.
With this hashtag, the Cambiemos coalition seems to consolidate the message it wants to send to the people, as the campaign for this year’s congressional elections slowly starts to gain some steam. The messaging seems to be saying: Don’t give up on us because if you do, the alternative is going back to Kirchnerism, and we know you don’t want that. This is the tactic that got them the Casa Rosada in 2015 after all, so why change?
Cambiemos has already begun to implement this strategy. Not only by capitalizing on the fact that practically every headline Kirchnerite leaders have made their way into since leaving office have been linked to corruption, but also by taking out some of the middle ground talking points from the larger conversation.
The ideal scenario for Cambiemos is the clash between the two extremes. That’s why, every time they could, representatives reminded people that most leaders within the coalition are presenting themselves as more open to dialogue in comparison the to parties that used to align themselves with the Victory Front (FpV).
The most emblematic cases of this come from Renewal Front (FR) leader, Sergio Massa, and Justicialist Caucus (PJ) leader in the Lower House, Diego Bossio. Massa, although he would like to forget it, served as Chief of Staff during former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s first administration before creating his own party to compete in 2013’s elections.
Bossio was an FpV deputy, but broke with the rest of the caucus and took 11 deputies with him after Macri took office, due to differences regarding what he considered was the best way to provide opposition to Cambiemos.
The most illustrative example of Cambiemos’ strategy concerning this happened when most opposition parties joined forces to pass their own income tax reform bill, at the expense of the Macri administration’s project. Cambiemos representatives were quick to capitalize on the image of all opposition leaders being at the same table to put them all in the same bag.
Yesterday in his State of the Nation address Macri criticized Kirchnerism yet again: “Let’s ratify our conviction for change. Let’s not listen to those who never wanted it and don’t even reflect on what they did in the past,” he said in a passage of his speech. That’s the scenario where they are the most comfortable and where they have higher chances of winning.
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By eliminating alternatives, those who voted for Macri in 2015 but became more and more skeptical of his administration as a result of last year’s economic recession — this group is not small according to multiple polls — would find themselves facing a similar election to the one that took place in 2015.