Argentina: Democracy and the Probablity of a Coup
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II) Blog for course on Democratization – INTA 4241
Between 1930 and 1976
Which are the main reasons for such a change and what are the chances of a new coup in the next five years?
In the past two decades
When researching the question above it becomes increasingly apparent that there is overwhelming evidence to support the opinion that
will not be able to withstand its current level of democracy. To begin with,
fall into political chaos.
country that has reached a high level of democracy and still had repeated
coups. “Part of the problem is that the fate of "democracy" (whether in its social, liberal and republican definition) is in the hands of those who neither care for nor understand the importance of the core institutions of democracy: the rule of law, separation of powers (including, crucially, an independent judiciary), accountability of government, freedom of the press, and a culture of compromise and tolerance. These are dismissed by Peronists and populists alike (the categories of course overlap) as "rightwing concerns": not what "the people" need or demand, but what "the enemies of the people" use to conceal their evil intentions.”
When you combine the Peronist approach with the countries current international standing, the effect is devastating. By just analyzing a few national comparisons, the Gini coefficient, type of political system, and transparency to name a few, one encounters the heart of the problem.
Not only has
The two modern systems of government that have the most influence over society are the Parliamentary system and the Presidential system. The Presidential system is not favorable for maintaining a strong democracy because it concentrates power in a single individual not allowing for the diversity of opinion that the populous holds. Instead, it is a ´winner take all´ system that only rewards the highest percentage rather than reflecting the distribution of beliefs. For example, if the vote turn out between three parties was 30% A, 20% B, and 50% C then in a presidential system the entire nation would be upholding a C vote. However, in a Parliamentary system the split would be recognized with 30% of the vote getting 30% of the seats, 20% getting 20% of the seats, etc; power is shared among the actors.
Within a Presidential system, criticism can be found in how offices are relinquished. Fixed office systems make for difficult transitions as party regimes and sharply pulled in and out. They make it difficult for popular presidents to stay longer, and unpopular presidents to be removed. In the
President Kirchner is widely known for being a Peronist. “True to the definition of the post-1945 populist leader Juan Perón himself, Kirchner conceives politics as "the art of leading men". Yet this "art" is conceived in military and authoritarian rather than democratic or relational terms: it is all about the personification of power, strict discipline and obedience to the "leader", accumulation of power and hegemonic dominance.” None of the previous qualities support the view that democracy
However, with that being said, there is compelling evidence that
in fact still be a democratic nation in five years. The past decade has lent itself to strong support of a future stability. Most impressive is the maintenance of democracy during the most devastating economic crisis in the history of the country. This, in addition to the ideology of transparency and acknowledgement of global actors makes proving our opinion, that the country will fall out of a democracy in the next five years, even more difficult.
It is globally recognized that in certain nations ”Citizens rarely understand how government decisions are made. …Lack of transparency prevents the public from actively participating in government and from raising questions or protesting unfair or ill-advised decisions. A lack of transparency can conceal” corruption and preferential behavior.
External actors play a large role in the maintenance of a strong democracy. Currently, the most influential external actor is the
The previous ideas are very good criticisms but our rebuttal is simple: the government of the United States promotes trade as a first priority, and if the nation of Argentina can publicly feign a democracy with an increase in trade then the United States will back them. Just as Juan and Evita feigned a democracy, so too can Kitchner; similarly, the
I) Blog for course on Economy and Regional Integration - INTA 4340
Argentina's GDP has grown, on average, 0.4% per year during 1975-2002, year when it fell into its last economic crisis. Since 2003 the economy has rebounded reaching a GDP growth of nearly 10% in 2005.
You should discuss if this economic growth is sustainable in the next five years, building your arguments from what you have read, learned and talked about Argentina's path to development.
The unimaginable and remarkable turnaround of Argentina´s economy in just the past five years has not been without skepticism. Drastic economic flucatations have been the norm in Argentina for decades, and with this, one can only be curious of what is in store for the Argentine economy. Just five years ago, in 2001 Argentina suffered one of its worst economic collapses in its history. A three year recession persisted, completely wiping out the high growth of the 90s. Although this particular economic and political collapse sent the entire country into complete chaos, the numbers show that there may be hope for the Argentine economy.
The figures show that since 2003 the economy has rebounded reaching a GDP growth rate of nearly 10% by 2005. Although this economic growth seems substaintial and promising on the superficial level, one must not forget that significant economic problems still remain. Risks of hyperinflation, high unemployement, poverty, and massive domestic and national debts, to name a few.
The volatile and unpredictable nature of the Argentine governement is again furthered when determining the effects of the devaluation of the currency in 2002. Annual inflation seems to have steadied over the years, avearaging less than 5% per year, however consumer prices seem to not be steadying. Relative costs on many goods are still being adjusted, leading to fluctuating and rising consumer prices. Although the effects of the devaluation of the currency is mostly out of the hands of the government, much still can be done to prevent the upward drive of inflation.
In order for Argentina to safegaurd, and reduce its vulnerability of another chaotic economic collapse it is crucial that the government agressively reduce its domestic and national debts. This entails reducing government speding, tax reforms designed to increase government revenues, and policies to stimulate export growth over the long run. Unfortunately the trends show contrary to this, which makes one believe that the recent 10% increase in GDP is not sustainable in the next five years.
A recent article in the Economists mentions a notable 22% increase in federal government spending in the run-up to last October´s legislative elections. (http://www.economist.com
In addition to keeping the value of the peso down, Kirchner´s meathods for keeping inflation down are far from democatic. A recent article by the Economist revealed scandelously that Kitchner was using “mob-type” meathods, specifically threatening large corperations with taxes amd agreeing o negotiate labor union quarrels, to coerce companies into freezing their prices. This is contrary to the idea of democracy and free market. Just as the Peso fell when previous regimes tried to fool the market, so too an economic plague sound throughout the coutry because of an attempted market disguise.
Finally, Kirchner´s and his Peronist party will not support an increase in interest rates, which have been declining and are now at an all time low. For the business world and Argentine financial district this translates into companies invested in the Argentine economy, invested in some part of the future economic growth of the coutry, looking else where to do business. Prices, even interest rates that are not carried by the market are quick to fall. Although Kirchner has been able to convince many investors to remain, it is our belief that at any moment a domino effect will occur with one large company deciding it can make more profit in another country and then the rest of the investors will follow in kind leave, once again, the shell of a once powerful nation.Although this is a very sensitive topic, and there is much ambiguity on the future of the Argentine government, we feel that due to the policies of Kirchner’s cabinet and minister´s of finance, the economy will not yeild sustainable growth in the near future.