The PASO elections (as in “Open, Simultaneous and Compulsory Primaries.”, remember?) are just around the corner and a fresh wave of patriotism, democratic participation and civic responsibility is knocking the doors of our subconscious as we are bombarded with a massive political circus.
Or maybe you just feel accosted by it since democratic duty is just not your thing. Or maybe you just can’t vote because you’re a foreigner. Either way, there is a high chance that you all have been affected in some way by the political campaigns carried out by candidates from all over the political spectrum.
So if you enjoy theatricality as much as I do (specially when it’s applied to Argentine politics,) you will love the next five days.
I’m not gonna delve into every candidate’s political beliefs and inner desires to become a lawmaker (I really don’t want to deal with the splash of hatred that that would come my way) but I did embark on the lighter (and way funnier) job of finding some patterns among all the irreverent, bizarre and
unimaginative campaign spots that I’ve seen so far.
For the record, ALL spots fit into this description.
I don’t want to bug you too much with all this carnival of democracy that you may not care too much. But you should care, so grow up, be serious for a moment and laugh with me at these insane attempts to catch your attention (and votes) at ANY cost!
1. JUST FOR LAUGHS
My dry sense of humor and cynicism may have clouded my opinion here but I have to seriously assume politicians decided that laughter is the best medicine and created ads with the right amount of deliriousness and awkwardness so that you wouldn’t immediately jump at the conclusion that they are not really saying much about what they would do if they were in fact elected.
We have it all this time around: tasty choripanes, questionable wardrobe choices and even our dear friend the Ghost of Relegation, AKA El fantasma de la B.
So without any further ado, here. Try to keep a straight face.
- This one says that in a normal country politics means less choripanes.
- This one includes a Christmas-themed beret for Rudolph’s sake. See also: unnecessary close-ups.
- When even the Ghost of Relegation mocks you, Mr. Daniel Filmus, maybe it’s time to just give up. Seriously.
- There’s this one that portrays a polarized Argentina, so the clever minds that came up with it tried to find a football allegory because, of course. The “Argen” fans and the “Tina” fans don’t like each other. Oh and the Ghost of Relegation has a cameo. Seriously. And this is an OFFICIAL ad. You’re welcome.
- And look! Here’s another version in which they give grampa a stroke and you actually laugh about it.
2. OH ROMEO, MY ROMEO
Checking out the following ads will make you regret not taking drama classes in school. Since good taste and a lack of common sense are apparently a must in this electoral campaign, having a keen ability to control your body movements and facial expressions should be a part of “Becoming a Politician 101.” So let’s just celebrate the involvement of the arts in the campaign. Grab your 3-D glasses for no reason and a bucket of popcorn in order to get through what’s coming next.
Crying on the spot is for sure a toughy
- There’s this one in which people yell at Evita because the new Peronism is not like old Peronism.
- This one about how the AFIP will favor the rich and ruin you if you’re a poor, destitute teacher.
- There’s this one featuring the political exploitation of a Colla child, whose moving performance reminds us about the existence of the indigenous community. Then the ad ends and we’re like “what?”
- There’s this one with the can-OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT KILL IT! KILL IT!!!!!
Sure, I should also reference the you-won’t-win-the-elections-unless-you-kiss-a-baby tactics. But to see Cristina hugging the Pope (who used to be one of his top three enemies) for the cameras along with her congressional candidate Martín Insaurralde is just priceless.
This flamboyant display of civility still has a logic of its own: on the one side, the Government is making a great effort to remind us of “all their political accomplishments” so far. On the other side, the opposition presents itself as the solution to problems that many hope will be addressed soon, such as inflation, crime and judicial transparency.
At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to even remember that PASO may sound like a funky word but it is an actual political election that will decide the future for many small political parties (some of them you just saw on the spots above) that need a certain amount of votes to even run for Congress in October.
Don’t get fooled by crappy campaigns and false promises, find out what the candidates you like think of every major problem the country faces, see if they know how to tackle them and demand that they act according to what you voted them for and what you finance them to do with your taxes.
What’s that? You don’t vote because you’re a foreigner?
Screw it, then.