BY: ALLAN CULHAM / NOVEMBER 26, 2015
The Kirchner era in Argentine politics and economics is thankfully coming to an end. The importance of last weekend’s presidential elections in Argentina cannot be over estimated. With the election of Mauricio Macri as its new president, Argentina can now look forward to new and positive developments for its people and their society. But just as important, this historic change will hopefully give birth to a different and constructive role for Argentina in the Western Hemisphere and, of special interest for us in Canada, a rejuvenated and re-energized relationship.
From the election of Nestor Kirchner in 2003 and continuing with the succession after his death of his widow, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in 2007, the Kirchner rule has been characterized by the divisive and corrosive politics of populist nationalism. These policies were based on an ideology that worked hard to relentlessly confront Argentina’s perceived enemies, at home and abroad.
Internationally, Argentina vilified its “enemies” as represented by an array of foes, from the “vulture” hedge funds of international bond holders to the United Kingdom over Argentina’s claims to the Falkland Islands, called the Malvinas in Argentina.
The Kirchners also led Argentina into the warm embrace of the Bolivarian Alliance, which specialized in sowing its own divisive ideology and its hopes for a revolutionary “class struggle” across the hemisphere.