05 June 2012

Election Day

Today is the primary election day in the United States.  And I can't help but have Mexico on my mind.  Their presidential elections are just weeks away... on July 1st.

It is an important event, because in Mexico a president only serves ONE term that last 6 years.  That way the incumbent president is not seeking re-election while they are trying to run the country.  I am no expert about Mexico, or their political system but I know a few things worth sharing:

(unofficial) GRINGA GUIDE TO 

There are currently three dominant political parties in Mexico, all of which are referred to by acronyms: the PRI, PAN and PRD.

Recent presidents of Mexico:

2006 - 2012: PAN Party / Felipe Calderon
2000 - 2006: PRD Party / Vicente Fox  
1928 - 2000: PRI  Party dominated the political scene

The 2000 elections were historic marking the moment Mexico no longer under the dictatorial rule of the PRI party.  Mexico was now a democracy.

For 2012 the two leading candidates up for election are:

          Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI                            Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD 

Obrador was the actual winner of the 2006 elections, the elections had been rigged and Calderon actually eluded to this during his acceptance speech!

There has been corruption and campaign sabotage during the last months as we inch closer and closer to yet another momental moment for Mexico.

Having the PRI back in power in Mexico, IS NOT GOOD.  As a friend of mine in Mexico said "I'm afraid we will lose what little progress we have made as a democracy if the PRI return to presidential power."

Overcoming the PRI's power hungry dominance in the country is still an uphill battle, the PRI holds power throughout local, state, and national-level offices.

A word or two on the PRI:

The PRI has been widely described as a coalition of networks of aspiring politicians seeking not only positions of power and prestige but also the concomitant opportunity for personal enrichment. At the highest levels of the political system, the major vehicles for corruption have been illegal landholdings and the manipulation of public-sector enterprises. In the lower reaches of the party and governmental hierarchies, the preferred methods of corruption have been bribery, charging the public for legally free public services, charging members of unions for positions, nepotism, and outright theft of public money.

Why I support the PRD:

The PRD is a revolutionary party born out of the political upheaval of the 1980s.  The PRD's party program emphasizes social welfare concerns and promotes economic nationalism, as opposed to the structural neoliberal changes that focus on increasing trade and foreign investment to boost the Mexican economy introduced by the PRI.

You might know about NAFTA - a disastrous neoliberal program created under the PRI - it is the North American Free Trade Agreement involving Mexico, the US and Canada.  This made the US rich, fast and was hugely beneficial at first, now its a mess.  If you need to know why NAFTA still sucks for everyone and has killed jobs in all three countries, read this.  The PRD seeks to boost Mexico's economic autonomy. A stronger healthier Mexico is a good thing.  A co-dependent unequal relationship with the US, bad news for everyone.

As Hilary Clinton recently commented - The PRI will return to presidential power in Mexico - over my dead body!

Please keep your ears open in the next 25 days leading to election day.

Change in Mexico = OBRADOR  2012 - 2018. 

Also, check out the ANTI-Peña Nieto student protest that has gone viral in the twittersphere - #YoSoy132


  1. Even though I'm not allowed to vote, I'm also pulling for Obrador. :)

  2. Yes! :) How long until you can vote?