Sunday, November 20, 2011

Election Day!

In Argentina, a couple weeks ago, they held their Presidential elections. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was running for her second term and her opposition one who had any chance of winning. Basically, she was running for a second term unopposed, but that's not say everyone likes her. In fact, she has a lot of critics. But, if you thought politics in the US was corrupt, you have no concept of the corruption here. At least that's what we've been told. Anyways, Cristina was originally sort of grandfathered into the Presidency for her first term because her husband, Nestor Kirchner was President for the two terms prior. Many people in Argentina loved Nestor (they've erected a statue of him at Plaza de Mayo), so it was an easy transition to Cristina, especially since Nestor died last year. Needless to say, Cristina was the obvious winner for 2011.

Even though Cristina was expected to win the election, there was still a big to-do that evening. We turned on election coverage on TV, and then remembered that we live 5 blocks from Casa Rosada. For those of you who don't know, Casa Rosada (the pink house) which is surrounded by Plaza de Mayo, is the equivalent of the White House. So we put on our shoes and marched down to Plaza de Mayo to join the crowd. There was music, choripan grilling, and vendors slinging beer. We estimated there was around 2,000-3,000 people packed into Plaza de Mayo singing, waving flags, and waiting to hear the official announcement and Cristina's Inaugural speech. Cristina's speech moved some people to tears (even though it went on, and on, and on...), and was concluded by cheering and fireworks.

We weren't really invested in the outcome of this election, but it was a really cool experience to have, to be able to see the President of another country be elected.

Here are some videos!

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