If you are planning on going out and having fun on Saturday night, I have some bad news for you: you can’t.
The PASO primary elections are being held this Sunday and the government, in its infinite wisdom, is enforcing since this morning at 8 am the so-called “veda electoral” (or “electoral ban”), which means that not only politicians are banned from campaigning, but also you can’t go drinking on Saturday night.
I mean, technically you can. You can go out drinking and legally buy alcoholic beverages on Saturday evening. But once the clock strikes midnight and Sunday officially comes to invade our lives, all alcohol sales are (theoretically) banned throughout the country until 3 hours after the polls have closed on Sunday evening.
This means that all nightclubs and bars must close early so ideally 30 million potential voters in Argentina wake up fresh on Sunday and head straight to the polls. Since voting is compulsory in Argentina, there’s nothing you can do about it.
And I know what you’re saying: “Perhaps I could enjoy another great Argentine tradition, like football or an asado?” Guess again. The weather is miserable, even God seems pissed. And also, don’t forget that the ban also indicates that no massive social, cultural or sporting event is allowed on Sunday. Netflix and chill it will have to be.
On Sunday, 33,104,626 million people are qualified to cast their vote and pick the candidates that will be running in the October midterms, in which 24 senate seats and 127 Lower House seats are up for grabs. The midterms are scheduled to take place on October 22.
For those of you who have never been in Buenos Aires during an election season, enforcing a shorter license on bars is possibly the cruelest thing you could do. In the bizarre world of Argentine political campaigning sometimes a trip to the bar is needed.
Oh, but hey! At least the ban doesn’t affect social media! So instead of being able to let your hair down and enjoying the best nightlife this city has to offer, you run the very real risk of staying in and biting your lip not rising to the obscene amount of politically related tweets and Facebook statuses that are bound to clog up every megabyte of internet traffic.