Right before the end of the year, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta’s administration sent a political reform bill to the City of Buenos Aires’ Congress. The proposal is similar to a bill the national government failed to pass at the end of 2015 — but has some important differences, Infobae reports.
The most important distinction is that Larreta’s bill doesn’t take on implementing electronic voting, by far the most important factor that prevented the bill proposed by the federal government from becoming law. Opposition parties refused to vote for the measure after multiple experts claimed the electronic ballots could easily be manipulated. However, the City’s bill doesn’t include electronic voting because it was already implemented in the 2015 mayoral elections and will continue to be used in the future.
The bill would affect have an effect on elections though, mainly by creating an “Electoral Management Agency”, the equivalent to the National Electoral Chamber, which would be in charge of making sure the elections go smoothly; in addition to creating an entity that would “regulate and control campaign financing.”
The law would have the City abide by an article of the “National Register of Voters Law,” which establishes that all provinces can hold their elections at the same time as the national election. City residents who had to vote on six different Sundays in 2015 — primaries, general elections and second round in both the presidential and mayoral elections — would probably get on board with this decision.
The law would also establish a limit for campaign expenses and would have parties appoint public accountants tasked with preventing overspending. But perhaps most important change comes from the bill’s proposal that would enable businesses to contribute to campaigns, something that’s currently forbidden. The second component of Article 44 of the “Political Party Financing Law” only allows people to donate money to political campaigns in the City. They always have to identify themselves when making a donation and the party must then inform the Electoral Court on the amount and source of each donation.
A line later, the law forbids “all donations or contributions from businesses.” If this bill passes, this would no longer be the case in the city of Buenos Aires.