Friday, May 8, 2009

A new breed of family dynasties?

This is an article I wrote for my writing class in November 2007.

On October 28th 2007, Argentina elected its new President: Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner. The 54 year-old former senator and wife to outgoing president Nestor De Kirchner celebrated her victory with more than 45% of the overall votes, leapfrogging her nearest rival Elisa Carrio by a 23% margin. According to the rules for Argentine general elections, since Cristina de Kirchner had more than 40% of votes with at least a 10% difference to the second candidate, there was no need for a run-off election in November. She will take office at the “Casa de Gobierno”, more commonly known as “Casa Rosada” (Spanish for the “Pink House”,) on December 10th 2007 for a four-year term.

The new president, simply called Cristina Kirchner, is not only the first lady to soon former president Nestor De Kirchner. But she made history as she is the first female president to be elected in Argentina. In her victory speech, Mrs. Kirchner admits that she feels pressured because of this privilege. She believes that winning the election will put her country and herself “in a position of greater responsibilities and obligations.”

She represents the center-left party named “Front for Victory.” President Kirchner is planning to follow the footsteps of her husband, who brought the country to the top again after the economic and political collapse from the early 1990’s to 2001. Nonetheless, although the situation got better during his presidential term, Argentina still wishes to reach higher stability. Contrary to her husband, she is known to have a more flamboyant personality. During her term, one of Cristina Kirchner’s goals is to promote better relations with foreign leaders and bring them to invest in Argentina.

Mrs. Kirchner is often compared to Hilary Clinton, who is also running for US President in the 2008 elections. Cristina, like Hilary, is a senator whose husband was a governor who climbed to the presidencies. Both women want to follow their husbands as national leaders. These first ladies coming to power compels to embrace the reality that some kind of a new breed of family dynasties has risen. In other words, the political power rests in the family. In the case of the Kirchner family, some experts are assured that president Nestor Kirchner did not run for a second term so he could run again in four years. If both decide to run twice, this could mean that the Kirchners will be in the Pink House for 16 years. Whether these family dynasties are for the better or worse, only the outcome will tell.