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A Comparative Analysis of Associations of Governors in Argentina and Mexico
Unformatted Document Text:  9 personal differences, in addition to being members of the party in opposition to the president, these governors headed “small”, yet overrepresented, provinces (see figure 4). The goals pursued by the governors who joined the association were revealed progressively since the inception of the Front and certainly influenced the positions that the block assumed later on. On the one hand, as they belonged to the opposition, governors were in need of establishing a direct channel of negotiations with the federal government, on the other, unionization would permit them to gain leverage and autonomy in their negotiations vis-à-vis the Peronist governors from the “big” provinces (Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe) who were already negotiating how to obtain financial support from federal authorities in the face of increasing provincial debt and public deficits. 6 Apart from particular political views, what clearly distinguished the governors members of the Front from those of the ‘big’ provinces were divergent fiscal preferences: the governors of the Front were interested in preserving the existing fiscal arrangements that clearly benefited small provinces. As Figure 2 shows, the members of the Front depended heavily on federal transfers (at least 80% of their total income). Governors from those provinces were well aware that, most likely, in the process to amend the Coparticipation Law, 7 large and more financially autonomous provinces would attempt to tilt the distribution of shares to their favor. In Mexico, the National Association of Governors (Anago), founded in 1999, was the first attempt of state executives to collectively protect their interests (especially financial interests) from infringement by the federal government. Anago was the creation of opposition party governors, member of the PRD and the PAN, under the PRIista government of President Zedillo; PRI-affiliated governors neither attended the meetings of the Anago, nor supported its demands, meeting separately in their own Foro Nacional 6 Diario Clarin, “Frente de nueve gobernadores” February 17 th 2000 7 In article No 75, the Constitution of 1994 established that a new “Ley de coparticipacion” had to be discussed and enacted by 1996. Although by 2000, the deadline had already passed, all the relevant actors knew that the new law was still a pending issue in the intergovernmental game. Furthermore, by 2001, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also started to press for the enactment of a new coparticipation law as one of the conditions to approve financial aid packages for Argentina.

Authors: Flamand, Laura. and Juan, Olmeda.
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9
personal differences, in addition to being members of the party in opposition to the
president, these governors headed “small”, yet overrepresented, provinces (see figure 4).
The goals pursued by the governors who joined the association were revealed
progressively since the inception of the Front and certainly influenced the positions that
the block assumed later on. On the one hand, as they belonged to the opposition,
governors were in need of establishing a direct channel of negotiations with the federal
government, on the other, unionization would permit them to gain leverage and
autonomy in their negotiations vis-à-vis the Peronist governors from the “big” provinces
(Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe) who were already negotiating how to obtain
financial support from federal authorities in the face of increasing provincial debt and
public deficits.
6
Apart from particular political views, what clearly distinguished the governors
members of the Front from those of the ‘big’ provinces were divergent fiscal preferences:
the governors of the Front were interested in preserving the existing fiscal arrangements
that clearly benefited small provinces. As Figure 2 shows, the members of the Front
depended heavily on federal transfers (at least 80% of their total income). Governors
from those provinces were well aware that, most likely, in the process to amend the
Coparticipation Law,
7
large and more financially autonomous provinces would attempt to
tilt the distribution of shares to their favor.
In Mexico, the National Association of Governors (Anago), founded in 1999, was the
first attempt of state executives to collectively protect their interests (especially financial
interests) from infringement by the federal government. Anago was the creation of
opposition party governors, member of the PRD and the PAN, under the PRIista
government of President Zedillo; PRI-affiliated governors neither attended the meetings
of the Anago, nor supported its demands, meeting separately in their own Foro Nacional
6
Diario Clarin, “Frente de nueve gobernadores” February 17
th
2000
7
In article No 75, the Constitution of 1994 established that a new “Ley de coparticipacion” had to be discussed and
enacted by 1996. Although by 2000, the deadline had already passed, all the relevant actors knew that the new law was
still a pending issue in the intergovernmental game. Furthermore, by 2001, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also
started to press for the enactment of a new coparticipation law as one of the conditions to approve financial aid
packages for Argentina.


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