Policy wonk digest: Argentina


  • There’s a proposal being mooted here to make motorcyclists wear their numberplate on their jacket and helmet. They say that’ll make them feel like prisoners. We saw them campaigning in a very effective (and loud) protest. True we’ve only seen their pamphlet, and not the government spiel. But we’re sympathetic to their cause. They could no longer carry a bag, nor a passenger. And more than that the proposal seems to be a solution looking for a problem.
  • Gay marriage is legal here. Abortion isn’t. In South America, it’s only legal in Uruguay.
  • Central Buenos Aires has massive avenues. Six lanes in either direction is common. I’ve not seen traffic move so freely anywhere else in such a large city.
  • The subte, or metro, here is only open until eleven at night. This seems at odds with Argentine culture where eleven is about time to sit down to dinner and three am is when clubs open up. Apparently there’s some logic about getting people to drinking establishments, but not back, because on the return journey they’re likely to be more disruptive, and grubby things up.
  • Firefighters here, including in the middle of big cities, are volunteers. Their employers are obliged to give them time off whenever there’s a fire.

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