Mexico's enduring election process

It's hard to focus on Mexico while Olmert & Peretz are trying to start the next World War in Lebanon. But maybe they won't succeed, and we in the U.S. can get back to our more usual activities of misunderstanding Mexico and the other countries to our south.

I'm not a big fan of any of the three major candidates in the last election, Calderón, López Obrador or Madrazo. I'm even less enchanted with that master of guerrilla theater, Subcomandante Marcos, but that's another story. However, something very important and very good did happen in this election: despite Andrés Manuel López Obrador's claims of fraud, it was far fairer and more open than any previous election in the country's history. Still, shenanigans undoubtedly did occur, and because the difference between Calderón & AMLO was so slender, a few thousands of recounted votes could change the outcome. And given the history of fraud in previous elections, and AMLO's insistence & his ability to mobilize big crowds, it would be wise for the electoral commission & court to recount.

If I were advising the left in Mexico (so far they haven't asked me), I'd say, Accept the IFE (Instituto Federal Electoral) results and take your huge electoral success, the largest vote ever for a party of the left, to create an effective opposition. President Calderón is going to need your votes to get anything passed in Congress. And you (the PRD, the leftish party that AMLO comes from) won again in Mexico City, which in itself is a tremendous power base. Maybe in 6 years the PRD and allies can win the presidency, but more important than that is to build effective governments in the states and localities where you won, and to become an effective force in parliament.

Cartoon by Ángel Carreño in today's El Universal

No comments: