Two leading businessmen, one of whom is a lawmaker, in Argentina, are offering large sums of money to their workers if neoliberal President Mauricio Macri succeeds in reaching the second round, and ultimately, wins. The offer of ‘cash for votes’ has been condemned as bribery and demagogic.
It began a few days ago when large agro-capitalist Gonzalo Blasco announced that he would pay his workers $5000 each if President Macri reached the second round run-off against progressive candidate Alberto Fernandez.
It was followed on Wednesday, when Luis Brodersen, who is a lawmaker for Macri’s ruling PRO party, as well as the owner of a large company called Tarjeta Premier, said that he would offer the same deal to his workers, hoping it would lead to Macri's victory. He defended Blasco and announced his intentions saying, “I totally agree with the Blasco initiative. Other farmers have already joined, and as a businessman, I have decided to follow them, offering those who work in my company an identical bonus ”
He continued, “I also do it with the idea that others should continue to add their contribution to support the Government that, in spite of the enormous difficulties that it faces as a result of the inheritance received, has marked the path of transformation that our country must follow ”
In response, opposition figures in the Tucuman region, where Broderson is from, have condemned the offer, saying, "It is a demagogic act, but more than that, it is cruel, because they believe that the worker has no right to think, nor to choose."
Right-wing sectors are concerned that neoliberal incumbent Mauricio Macri will lose in the first round, following the landslide victory at primary elections, of the progressive candidates, Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Kirchner.
Macri is lagging in the polls, following a multibillion-dollar IMF deal, that has brought austerity and privatization to Argentina. The effects of these policies have been to trigger runaway inflation of over 50%, as well as record unemployment.
The primary elections held in August gave the progressive Fernandez-Fernandez ticket 47.65%, and gave Macri just 32.08%. The full presidential elections are being held on October 27th, but the primary results give an indication of how that may pan out.