Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Spring Speaker Series Kicks Off with Dr. Ernesto Calvo

February 13th, 2017

On Friday, February 3, 2017, the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) hosted the first in a series of talks entitled “Latin America at a Crossroads.” Dr. Ernesto Calvo (UMD) discussed Argentina’s 2015 presidential elections, the current political environment in the country, and the political playing field for the 2017 midterm elections and beyond.

In his remarks on the 2015 elections, which led to Mauricio Macri being elected in a narrow runoff vote against Daniel Scioli, Dr. Calvo explained how voter preferences steadily shifted towards opposition candidate Mauricio Macri between the August 2015 primaries, the first round of voting in October 2015, and the runoff election that took place in November of that year, when Macri was ultimately victorious over Daniel Scioli, the government-backed candidate. While the runoff election between Macri and Scioli was decided by only a few percentage points, levels of political polarization in Argentina are still significantly lower than in the United States. Although Macri ran on a relatively conservative platform, since taking office he has largely refrained from cutting popular social programs implemented under the previous administration of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – a reflection of the fact that most Argentines have supported a greater role for the state since the country’s 2001 economic crisis. Finally, while midterm elections will take place later this year, Dr. Calvo pointed towards the country’s elections in 2019 – when President Macri will be standing for reelection – as the next key political turning point in the country.

The next talk in the series will be on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 4:00 PM. Dr. Timothy Power will be discussing recent political developments in Brazil.

This talk was organized by CIPR post-doctoral fellow Rachel Navarre .