tv Future of Argentina CSPAN December 1, 2017 6:49pm-8:01pm EST
latin america, they play an important role in the hemispher demands a second or third look when discussing argentina and the critical pre and post world war ii. the same is true concerning the most recent political developments in that nation. much of the drama is not really gone. judging by this, continues to display, to some extent, in electoral events. the history is more complex when looking at cristina kishner's attempts to elevate herself, or demean herself, when replaying the sordid drama of her government. and what are the current
perspectives of president mac knee? undoubtedly, argentina requires historians and political -- moral weight and talent. we are very fortunate to count on our friends and true analysts with great fame and a proven reputation. no better than my esteemed friend, hector schamis, to share his ideas on argentina, including the imprints, looking not only at the present juncture, but also the future. before we begin the -- mr. sh schamis' lecture, i want to welcome a very good friend, an
old friend of mine, and one of the founders of hudson. professor mike senior, who resides in israel. he comes to visit us once in a while. thank you, max. i also need to express our thanks to dr. john walters, vice president of our organization, who has been such a great supporter and a great friend to us. and, of course, we thank very much rachel cox, our director of public affairs. and my assistant -- what was her name?
lao. well, without any further ado, i turn the podium to dr. schamis. >> thank you. all right. well, thank you kindly for inviting me, for your kind words and for your friendship over the years. every time i've been here, it was rewarding and extremely motivating. and provocative discussion. and today i was invited to discuss my own country. which is, you know, a double challenge. it's nice and motivating. but at the same time it's like, you know, we have a task. given that i do go to argentina
frequently, i'm very involved as a columnist, and in addition to my job. i have a column in paris, and once in a while i do address argentina. i do write on argentina. although a lot less than australia, i must say, for reasons we all know. it's interesting, hudson institute entitled this session as a new political order in argentina. that's really pushing the boundaries. i mean, i would agree with a new political -- new party system in the making. not a new political order, because argentina has been democratic since 1983. and has -- i must say, quite
fortunately, some important crisis along the way. and there is democracy. and safe for the first year of the future. in the way i read argentina's politics these days, i'm optimistic. and everybody knows -- it's very argentinian to be optimistic. and i've been writing optimistic pieces on argentina for quite a while, actually. beginning with the crisis of 2001, 2002. if you want to know. i wrote a journal of democracy article the night of january 1st, 2001, when -- congress was the sixth president in a week. and after the resignation.
and i -- that was an optimistic story, in which -- for any similar crisis like that in the past, the military had been going to downtown bone ease aries and take over. and it didn't happen that time. and congress was open for a marathon to resolve the crisis. and with the agreement between the senator, they agreed to swear in the president. and for good or bad, the crisis was weathered. so let me go back to specifics. what's going on in argentina now? what is the presidency and the future of argentina's democracy, as well? let me go back and forth in time. and let me start with what -- by
now is an anecdote. i was buenos aires the night of the presidency. and that night i wrote a column -- i was in the bunker, as they say. until way late. but i went back to where i was staying, and i wrote a column for a piece that i sent in the middle of the night. and it was there that virtually during the morning hours in madrid, but, you know, late night, the title was a new republic in argentina. a new republic was the beginning of a new political time. a new republic in the metaphor -- as a metaphor of the way many countries do it when there is a significant change in
the political system. like the -- like france or brazil. in the americas. when there is a significant institutional change, and there is not necessarily a change of regime, but there is a new republic. a republic that starts to operate under different sets of mechanisms and incentives. and i said that it was a new republic for a variety of reasons right there that night. first, the first president in a century that is not a peer kneeist or a radical or in the military. and that is what happened that night. it was a -- what american politics would know as a -- i consider as a critical election,
paraphrasing. those elections that reorganize the coalition on the territory. and i saw that right there, and i was -- in looking at the projected results on the tvs and those, you know, beautiful maps that tell you in a snapshot what's going to happen. i always -- whenever there is an election in the u.s., the first thing i look at is the map. not at the map by states, but the map by counties. and that tells you what american politics is all about. and i try to do the same in argentina. but already there, the night of that election, it was suggesting what we know better now. which is that it was a critical election. there was a reorientation in the preferences of the electorate. it was the emergence of a new political party.
means republican proposal. that's -- what it means. and little by little, the map started to turn yellow in the cities. the map of that night. and now it's all the more clear, the last election, the congressional election, midterm election, a few weeks ago. but even now, that is the emergence of this coalition with the radical party and historical radical party was beginning to show that a dramatic event in the urban areas of argentina. and even more than the radical party. a party that was expressing from in the middle of the country,
and then, of course, also the biggest cities in argentina are in the middle of the country from the andes, men dosa, all the way to the east, concordia, santa fe, rosario you name it. and the important cities in the province of buenas aries. leading significantly comfortably in all the urban settings. and then playing a little bit with that, i began to speculate sort of theoretically in the column quickly on a number of issues. about what was going on there with this critical election, with this new republic. first of all, a couple of things. is the new political party not just because it was founded in the 21st century, that's the
interesting thing. is the newest political party -- is the first party of the 21st century to come to office in all over latin america. and when i say this, i say this with a sort of -- with a yes de of uncertainty in terms of what form will political parties -- what will be the shape of political parties in the future, knowing that we're in a dilemma in the democracy and the world generally. we can't do without parties. but we also know that parties are in trouble. parties are an organization that do not represent aspirations of societies in the same way they used to. aspirations that have changed dramatically, and that parties are very hierarchical, structured, organizations very disciplined organizations. and that doesn't work in societies these days. they have become more horizontal. it does not work in the
workplace. it does not work in politics, either. comes to the scene with a -- with a new conception of a political party. more like if you want -- like a social movement. than a political party in the traditional sense. it's a party with a -- with a horizontal political culture, if you may. if i may. it's the party of -- the crisis of 2001, 2002, sent argentinians to the street. and a process that lasted last year, literally. one way or another. and people went to the streets demanding everybody's resignation. everybody's -- everybody meaning the political elite. everybody's departure. they should all leave.
they meaning the political elite. and that was the origin. created in the wake of that important crisis. the urban component makes it the party of the middle class. par excellence. not only the middle class. but the party of the middle class. the party of the middle income, mobile and progressive electorate. the party of the professionals that -- argentina is a very urb urbanized country, as much as the taxi drivers. the party of the media -- to use the famous expression. the party of that wide middle ground.
the party of the pragmatic. and moderate voter. that has a middle class component and has aspirations of upper mobility. for themselves and for their children. more than anybody else. i saw emerging in 2015 and this past october consolidated. that people now have an expression in argentina, the yellow map. which is a yellow is a color of pro. distinctive color of pro. and the map is turning yellow again, in urban centers of the country. and that allowed the party to carry important provinces. the vast majority of the provinces. so again, let me play back and forth, continue to play back and
forth between '15 and '17. pro is also the party of the -- in both ways. in the barrington moore sense. famous phrase of barrington moore. and is the party in the sense of cities but also of income. the upper income -- the upper social strike thatta of society voted for the coalition, and massively participates in politics today. in the politics of a coalition. and that is in a way the hypothesis i play with in the original piece in '15, the
achilles' heel of argentina politics. since 1930, the upper social strike thatta abandoned politics to play politics with the military. it's an ongoing argument that the most prominent sociologists of argentina have developed way back, when they don't play politics, democratic politics, and starts playing politics with the military institution, and turns the military institution as its political party, the result would be serious instability in democracy. and pretty much that is an argument that fit the argentina story very well. and that was in many ways another unresolved issue. the upper social strata, the business elite, didn't participate in the democratic politics as strongly and as
convinced with conviction that group has today. and that's good news. that's good news for institutional stability of the democratic system. another discussion in argentina about pro. and i know he wanted me to say a couple things about pro. in certain political groups in argentina, pro is considered the right of the conservative party. in some ways, it is. in terms of representation of the upper social strata as a group. in another sense, it's way removed from any form of conservatism. i think in many ways, pro picks up two important trends in argentina history. in recent history. relatively recent history.
first, the coalition picks up on things concerned with constitutional democracy. the first person of argentina, 1983, after the military regime, who campaigned reading the preamble of the constitution. and just to talk about things that sounded weird for argentinians. like constitutional checks and balances. and separation of powers. and that was his, you know, campaign and made a difference, a change to some extent, the grammar of politics in argentina. picks that up, and takes it forward. very strongly. the concern not just with democracy as a series -- as a method for choosing a government, right? like the old argument, democracy is a method of getting to power. and democracy is also a method
about exercising power once you're there. and in the spirit, the current coalition in power picks that up. democracy as a mechanism for electing a government and democracy as a series of institutional mechanisms determining how power must be exercised. and, again, separation of powers with checks and balances with limited terms in office, et cetera, et cetera, in a percentage of system, of course. also picks up on a previous important trend in argentinian history. which this is developed mentalism. the president in the late '50s and early '60s, there was a president that had a project for argentina. energy. developing energy resources. developing infrastructure. and signing central role to the state.
in developing both important areas. energy autonomy and infrastructure development in order to foster economic growth. rapid economic growth. the coalition picks up that as well. so it's constitutional democracy with a central role of the state in the economy. not as a producer but as a propeller of economic growth. via infrastructure and energy. all these trends, i argue, got consolidated in the recent election. as i said. both august and october argentina has a weird election system. a mandatory primary. open primary. which happened in august. and then the real midterm election which took place in october.
that marks perhaps the definite of transformation of the political system. aside from we'll be complete in 2019. the next presidential election cycle. couple of important things happened. first, now will have a majority in the house. not in the senate or major in the house. after this next election. the coalition controls the majority of the provinces. and the important changes in terms of composition of the other parties outside of cambiemos.
couple of things that i want to mention about a new political of order in argentina. number one the end of by partisan ship. a system that was by partisan since the return of 1983 with the historical parties. the term of the radical party has a third player. in a coalition with one of them. but as the majority partner in the coalition at the same time. pro is a majority partner. not the radical party. so this change in the system in argentina makes it look a little bit like there are two options. a little bit like chile is a coalition. like chile in the transition. the alliance in the left and the christian democrats that later
on change, and that changed slightly. but i would like to see the political system in argentina very similar, and i think it does look very similar to the early transition years and the three first presidencies after chile. with two party in the coalition and another party outside. a formula that worked very well and that provided stability and that provided all the tools necessary for a smooth transition as possible. in those years people tend to forget how unstable chile was in the early '90s and how uncertain the transition was. as commander in chief of the army. in the '90s. another option for argentina in order to keep it in the neighborhood is that coalition
cambiemos doesn't continue in the future and the parties' coalitions may or may not last. and then if we have a three party system, look a little bit like uruguay. in which the center is -- the traditional biparty system, blanco kordell, liberal and conservative, changed with the emergence with the left becoming viable electorally and having had now three consecutive presidents. this is a quite interesting because we know that when there's a change in political party in the political party system, there's a stability generally and oftentimes deep conflict. the example of uruguay is interesting. because it happened without any conflict, any serious conflict. without any stability. and it's been working quite well.
that's a possibility for argentina. sort of going the chile way with the continuation of the. coalition from cambiemos and without the continuation of the coalition, the three-party system. and several other minor parties around this three big traditional and historical political forces. i predict the coalition will continue. because both parties the radical party and the pro have incentives to maintain it. i think it's the most effective mechanism to go in and we call in political science coalition presidentialism. the presidential institution is an american invention. but is an american invention that relies on a two-party system. and for all experts in the political science, that's the way presidential constitution works.
it doesn't work well when you have a multi-party system. we've had in latin america, a discussion for the last 30 years, at least, on whether we should go parliamentarian, given that we have multiparty systems in all countries in latin america. and moreover, not only we have a multiparty system, but that -- those systems have become more and more fragmented since the transitions of the '80s. so how do we govern the democracy with a presidential institution. and with a fragmented party system. and recently new ideas have been developed and have worked quite well. what we call a coalition of presidentialism. president that creates a coalition and certain institutional tools providing incentive to make the presidential systems a little
more parliamentarian, if you want. the french system is one of them. all latin america countries have a french system. double round electoral system. what's going to happen in chile now is the two candidates that will go for the second round are going to start making their own coalition. and whoever gathers their most -- you know, the strongest support will be elected president. in a way, that's the french system incorporated to the presidential institution is a good idea, it makes the system more governable. i think that for those reasons the coalition will continue. think about peru for example. or chile itself or brazil. in peru, since after fuji mora, no president has had a parliamentary majority. and they managed to weather that opposition quite well.
if you look at peru, it has been stable. its economy has grown. all of that while in a divided government. all of that with the strong incentive to create this parliamentary. this congressional coalition. to be able to govern. no president neither before, you go back to the post years. coalition presidentialism made peru quite stable. and policy making, by the way. very effective economic policymaking. for those reasons, i think the argentina will continue with this new political system. and the cycle. unless something happens something dramatic happens in the next three years, i can't foresee winning the presidential election in 2019.
most likely will not go for a second term. also keep in mind another interesting aspect. contrast that with chile, just to make an argument. peru has very many presidentials, mnot just marketing. marcos pena himself. it's a young party. a party that has broaden renewal of political elites to argentina. something many country ts in latin america are struggling. chile among them. after her second term, he got elected will be a second term. lagos was originally a candidate. also would have been a second term on the side on the left. participation is very low in chile. there's quite a bit of fatigue with the political elite in
chile. not with argentina's political elite, because there's been a renewal of political leaders. and that is to be -- generation of young people have have come to power and are ready to go and have been doing it. so that's also part of my source of optimism. okay. to conclude, i want to say something about what you're all expecting me to say. whenever you go to talk about argentina, it all comes down to one thing and only one thing. the bet noire. that's it's been we said in grad school that whatever you want to talk about argentina if you are writing about the military or
writing about economy or development. you don't have to write about any of that. you just need to write about personism. because it's the independent variable. the over determinecy is personism spa personism explains everything, right? the undesirable force that we don't want it we don't like it. it's a culprit of everything. i tend to be -- quite a bit more agnostic about this characterization. now, i do think that the argentina's democracy needs personism to make a couple of decisions. it wouldn't be the first time. let me tell you. because in the construction of this myth of the.
there is a self-fulfilling prophecy that the pyrenees have said for a number of years and everybody else have repeated, which is unwarranted. number one, it said pyreneesism wins all election. the hegemonic party. i've been in academic conferences almost fighting with people who say peyreneesism is the hegemonic party. no, the hegemonic party doesn't lose elections. the hegemonic party wins elections. why? because it won all elections. that's the indicator of led hegemonic party. pyreneesism lost, 1983. forget that. pyreneesism lost. in the election right after that, they lost in beuenos aire,
the district that decides everything. one-third of the country. one-third of voters in the province of buenos aires. pyrenees lost in 1989. and it lost in 2015. and yet again lost the. in buenos aires, and then lost again in 2017. so because of that,th myth conditions. pyreneesism is the only one that can finish a presidential term. that's not true either. when he came to office, threw congress. by a congressional crisis or solution. also had to leave office earlier. had to call for early election because in the argentina of those days he couldn't go on either. and he was sworn in to finish the previous president term. but had to anticipate a call for election. and that's the way it happened.
by the way, the president or the competition between three pyrenees candidates in that election, 2003, is also evidence of -- that, you know, what you say about argentina politics you might as well say about pyreneesism. pyreneesism, the party, the movement, the identity, has to make a couple of decisions. number one, it has to decide whether it's going to continue as hostage of cristina deer shallner or drop along the way. because kish near has been part of pyreneesism and also a peculiar political group within pyreneesism, as well. in a number of ways. the deer shallners came to
office with their best economic decade in the last 100 years. with the strongest prices and the super cycle and the $600. and et cetera. and they used to the windfall to develop a new political scheme. that even went beyond the traditional way of doing politics. and it was to foster fragmentation. fragmentation of the political system, including fran mgmentat of pyreneesism. and to pursue using the resources it planned to list a structure that would allow them to stay in office forever. if not forever, for a long time. the original design was four years next term and four years again.
cristina had to run for two consecutive terms. they were toying with an indefinite reelection as well. until the supreme court stopped that dream. the dream of perpetration. something that was very popular in latin america -- it's popular in bolivia right now with morales, of course. and something that was going on in latin america. in the days of the boom. the economic cycling has changed however and there are not enough resources to define it. political perpetuation. and nothing like that is viable today. pyreneesism has to decide whether it wants to continue again as a hostage of the kirshners, or if it wants to go back to particularly positive and democratic moment in pyreneesism. which was in the '80s, with when
pyreneesism was in opposition and a loyal opposition. those were the days in which the leader was governor, senator. some point presidential candidate. and who was a good partner with the president. this is important. it's important because i do think that argentina society doesn't want any more perpetration in power. argentinian society doesn't want any more -- [ speaking in foreign language ] doesn't want a president that gets into people's living rooms every day. argentinians wantality nation in power. argentinians want democracy with institutional equality.
and pyreneesism has to make a decision. if it wants to go to the old cristina kirschner type of leadership, its future will be at stake. and it's going to make the democratic road perhaps a little rough. but if pyreneesism goes back to that moment of democracy, that moment in which it was used to say we have to drop the idea of a movement, and we have to build the party. he used to say those words. in the '80s. a normal political party. that party that wins elections and a party that loses elections. and a party that when an election is lost, when the defeating an election, nothing happens. it's not the end of it. it's the beginning of a new future. if we're not he uses if we're not able to do that, we will miss the boat.
because that was in the '80s. democracy is here to stay. and the fact that we lost in 1983 in the hands of a candidate that used to talk that talk. that was -- his discourse. we need to realize that. i think pyreneesism -- the bed noire is less bad than we tend to think. but it has a decision to make. that will also be the full circle for argentina democracy. and stability. whether it's going to again whether it will continue in the cristi cristina kirschner neighborhood or go back to the '80s. and become a normal political party. if it becomes a normal political party it will continue to have a future.
it will continue to have an identity. if it doesn't, it might as well disappear. i was there in the run up to the -- in the previous period before the election of 2015, i wrote a column saying the end of pyreneesism. and may parents' friends, you know, called me from argentina furious with me. how dare you say something like that. what are you thinking? we'll see. but i do think, if it goes back to democracy, it has a future. if it doesn't, the constitutional democracy, the checks and balances and all the democracy, not as a method to getting votes, but as a method of exercising power. if it doesn't, then my optimism about argentina will become even stronger. much, much stronger. thank you very much.
[ applause ] [ speaking in foreign language ] >> i'm going to stay here. >> okay. questions? >> no questions? oh, yeah. >> yeah, over there. >> henry hatger. perhaps you remember years ago, five, ten years, a decision was made to try to balance a trade deficit, which was looming out of control and get it back in a position where the currency wouldn't be affected or possibly demolished by it. and they decided that regarding china, the trade would have to be even. whatever was imported to argentina, would have to balance with its exports. i don't know how far the concept went. it appeared to be strong for a time -- >> what was the decision?
>> is it still in effect or has it been forgotten? >> what was the decision? >> balance of payment. a decision regarding imports and exports with china. the total value of it had to be even. they wanted it even. distribution. of import and export. so the trade imbalance wouldn't -- >> protectionism. >> how does that look right now? has it changed? >> it's been gradually. open. the trade account has been gradually open. one aspect of this is that argentina has had a with the exception of has had a deficit for a long time. largely because of the anchor to control inflation. the exchange rate. to control for inflation. which resulted in balance after that. and that has happened with pretty much all presidents.
that was sporadic. and right now haven't seen the numbers recently, but i think there is a -- there's a trade deficit again. with the economy more open. now there's more access to financing now. compared to the last years of cristina kirschner under the second default, right? particularly after the second default. so, no. we'll see. how to figure out that equation is one of the big challenges of the government. because of how to finance the current account as well. there's a limited time horizon when you're running a -- the deficit is growing. and that's why he was here. just a couple of weeks ago in new york to -- there's been investment going into argentina. but it's been largely in financial instrument.
argentina has to produce enough of this political new phase when it's open for business to more long term investment. that's a big challenge. yeah? go ahead. >> thank you. alex sanchez. two questions. if the pyrenees do expel kirschner, the will try to create a party for of her own? that's common in latin america. one person will create a party based on that person's ideology and two, you mention the argentina open for business in investment. just in both chile and argentina protested again saying they're against investment of people going out, taking over their land, deforestation and so forth. in this new political order in
argentina and mac re presidency, what were the rights, land? are they going to be protected more under kirschner, or is this an ongoing problem that's not going to be solved? thank you. >> yeah, well first i don't cristina kirschner has to be expelled. there's a reality to hear, that after -- this is not the first attempt of creating an identity within pyreneesism, right? many did the same. he was president for ten years. there was which disappeared the moment he left power. when he wanted to come back in the election he got 5%. and that was it. then he can go for the second round. if you remember that, that was quite something.
so i think that pyreneesism -- politics is renewal. and the kirchners are the past. and cristina just lost an election the other day. which historically had been the stronghold pyreneesism. and it's not the first time, by the way, that pyreneesism loses an election in buenos aires. so that's democracy. that's what politics is about. you win today and lose tomorrow. rightly so. pyreneesism is sort of inducing soul searching about this experience of authoritarianism. of very harsh authoritarianism under cristina kirchner. and if it continues that way, it's going to continue declining.
if it goes through a period of renewal and renewal of the democratic convictions, then it will have a future. it's interesting there's no argentina -- something about argentina that this weekend was a president of the senate. whose roots are conservativism. and it was an extraordinary interview in a magazine. he says, well, there is something that pyreneesism left to us that belongs to all of us now. it's been quite a long period of history. and there's something about social justice and social equality that is adhering to our way of understanding society. and understanding politics. that goes beyond pyreneesism. it belongs to all of us. the discussion that where the it is right or not right. and it's a new set of categories to understand this thing.
and back to my point as well, they were very much tied to -- there's a conflict. it's the fraction of the conflict of chili. if nothing less because of sheer size of the population in one country and the other. which in argentina is much smaller. than in chile. and by the way the groups are in chile has been active for 25 years. at least. using violent methods, also. and it's been a lot less like that. than that in argentina. and it's been exacerbated or magnified because of this tragedy of the case of this guy who lived close by and sympathized. and then he disappeared.
and now we know what happened. it was constructed as the government doing -- kidnapping him and disappearing. in argentina to say the government there's a verb that doesn't exist in real spanish. it exists about the verb to disappear. and in the colloquial way of speaking. and they say, well, the government disappeared him and created quite a bit of conflict. now we know he crossed the river and didn't know how to swim. and drowned there. and the government didn't disappear anybody. it was used and manipulated for election purposes. it is unfortunate for the family and for political for normal political process. now when i think about we live in a time in the world and tribalism.
which is, you know, the excessration of the politics of identity. this is minor in the south of argentina compared today of course many other parts in europe. which is unfortunate it has to do with this nationalism as a sort of response as a part of the antiliberal response. to democracy. and in liberal and european terms. not in american terms. this antiliberal response it politics in many parts of the world. and exacerbating nationalism is one version of that. which is unfortunate. also short-sighted. very short-sighted. because, you know, how small would you desegregate a nation? right? say if catalonia becomes a state.
what do we do with multiculturalism in catalonia? what do we do with a very sizeable population that emigrated from other parts of spain? there is a very large community, for example, in catalonia. very large community. then if the catalonians, you know, propose secession, what will catalonia do, right? and so on and so forth. for every tribe, there is a state. then there's no world, right? having said this, i don't think the conflict could be or was in any way what were investors in terms of deciding this making this decision of the right investment.
what was making them wait was the october election. if it would consolidate the government. or it would give a victory to cristina kirchner and signal a return of cristina kirchner in 2019. if she had won -- the party was one-sided, she would be talking about returning. so it's a blessing in disguise. pore for pyreneesism that they lost. they can go through renewal. going back in time in politics is it's very unforgiving. so, yeah? >> thank you for your very clear presentation. i wonder if you could comment on the strength of judicial system. how strong and independent is it today?
and as a corollary, what is happening with the investigation? >> well, to tell you the truth all i know about the case is what i read in the paper. it has been determined now ruled a murder. assassination. and the investigation is going to be reopened. it has been reopened. and we'll wait and see. i don't know the specifics whether it is too late. some people say it's too late to come up with there's a new suspects. people were at the time close to nisman and had not been charged. and now it appears they have been charged or will be. i don't know for sure. yeah, it's the most serious
death, crime, in argentina democracy since 1983. most definitely. that's one thing that you also said something else. the judicial. that's interesting i was there for a seminar on judicial cooperation just two weeks ago. and the judiciary has done i think has done a commendable task. and job. in argentina for the last ten years. it's interesting because now when there's charging people one every day for corruption. right? and then even said in a conference in a seminar the day when the charges the former vice president. and arrested the former vice president. she the judiciary for fast now
and slow if the in the past. i don't think that's fair. because, number one, the former vice president had been charged when he was vice president. now, if the case didn't move fast enough. well, i don't think it's fair to expect anybody to commit to suicide. and in the sense that you know, why would the judges be in charge of moving faster than they could. let's put it that way. all things consider they remain independent. the supreme court ruled in a number of very important cases in protecting the institution and protecting constitution democracy. there was a project to modify
the way the judges are appointed. and that would have led to her reelection. most likely. and the supreme court stopped it right there. when cristina kirchner was very strong, by the way, that was in 2012. she had just been reelected with 52% of the vote. and the supreme court stopped it. the judiciary is doing, you know, a good job. if it goes -- and it's truly independent. if it goes faster, or it goes , it's a matter of opinion. now what we know is that there is another important aspect of this, that, you know, corruption is being punished. and people who the leader fts a former minister. of kirchner, known to be the cashier, right? his nickname was cashier. that defines why. well, is in jail now, and with a process open.
and had been stripped of his immunity. because he was a member of congress. so in all of that has to do with the judiciary. so that is -- that is quite okay. and quite unprecedented. because the judiciary has been independent of the government. and several instances. yeah. all right. >> thank you. i have two interrelated questions. the first one is you talked about having at least two viable presidential candidates in the future. so i wonder if you can define or you can see the future in between the three of them. or the two of them. what are the divisions you're beginning to see?
and the second question is their relationship. a good example of this was prior to winning the election in 2015, he was the one who revealed the statue with everyone around him, right? i'm wondering how you see him as integrating his movement. as an electoral force. for example right now they passed the labor reform. and also the fiscal with the provinces. which many are still. so i'm wondering if you can talk about that relationship. >> all i was trying to say is i can't imagine that if the next
three years are relatively smooth, can't imagine the candidate for 2019 will not be macri himself. many people are viable. now that i know that any of them were the candidate in 2019 or anything of that sort. a different matter is with the partners in the coalition. they're part of pro. but a different issue would be with the -- right now in the process of discussion of what would be the shape of the coalition in the next two years after this election? and with a new congress as of december 10th, right?
it's a legitimate concern? what do they have to do? and what if, as you say, he wants to have a candidate. the next one is ours. like the christian democrats and the socialists in chile, they were christian democrats. but then it was clear the next one -- if you did say if you want to keep it the coalition, the next one will be a socialist. so that may happen. it may happen now, in the future. parties have to have candidates, otherwise they disappear. you wouldn't know who they are anymore. the other thing -- you know, it's a big tent. a very het rogenius tent.
and special these days doesn't have much of a cohesion center of gravity. so, by the way, with a minority congress, with an opposition senate, the governor has had a -- to rethink a relationship with the senators, most of them who control the senate. in the northwest and so on and so forth and the governor had a very good relationship with them, all of them. all the different story in their house. but in the senate they did. yes, in the u.s. the senators are more pragmatic. they have a longer time horizon. here is unfortunate because it's every two years everybody comes up for reelection in the house. which is a little dysfunctional for the normal operation.
but they have different if had sentive. it's four years for members of congress and six years for senators. so that has worked. the other thing you know a little bit of anan anecdote, wanted to track macri to parentism and that doesn't work. to make the point that good news is that it's not ante. it's renewest. whether you like it or not, 25/30% of the electorate for the foreseeable future, which is not enough and then you need a different kind of politician. i don't see anybody else.
by the way there are several companies and most of them in government and in congress that decided to break with the -- are you from argentina? what? okay. he just died a couple months ago. he was a labor leader who broke up with the kishners and very explicitly years ago said they don't represent me anymore. they don't represent what we want. and was part of a pro and was elected to house. he just died a few months ago while being a congressman. so i don't see that as a serious problem whatsoever.
yeah. this lady here. >> thank you. thanks for your presentation. could you tell me more about the social, economic, political background? what percentage are nonvoters and how did their people education and how is their reaction about trump's immigrations and nationalism? >> not much. argentina has 1/3 population poverty. it was partly -- yeah. years of the keersners. world immigration.
>> immigration, trump -- >> immigration here? >> to the u.s. >> in the u.s.? it's not as significant. geography alone is not as significant as other countries in latin apair cucan, by geography alone. i don't know if that answers your question. >> i suppose. trump have a different policy than obama on cuba. any difference from america and argentina's? >> yeah, i know about the change of policy, change of cuba policy but what is the implication? >> any change political reaction favoritism or unfavor against
trump? >> no, i don't think there's going to be any decision against trump, even if everybody's very aware of the fact that his perfectionism will hurt eventually argentina's exports to the u.s., like everybody else and they're concerned about that. there's been aneshue with the bio diesel by argentina exports bio diesel to the u.s. and now that has fallen under the new protectionest measures and argentina has complained about that. macri himself has complained about that. vice president pence was in argentina and macri in boinueno air aires, that equal rules,
reciprocity. >> so oil distribution stream towards 1% or something like that? >> i don't remember the gd over my head but argentina has 30% of the population in poverty. that i do know. it's a term of normal political debate of the regular every day political debate. >> how about prison population? incarcerate political opponents? >> i don't know. >> okay. we have come to the end of our event. we thank you for attending and of course we thank the professor for giving us a taste of his vast knowledge on latin america
to become the next health and human services secretary. he would replace john price who rezuned in september. this is three hours. >> the senate committee on health education, labor and pengszs will come to order. the nominated to serve as department of health and human services. while we hold a courtesy hearing on