Vox populi, vox Dei

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Democracy is a very recent phenomennon in Mexico. Never before has our country faced such an uncertain sucession in power (outside of civil war, I mean). It's exciting, yet scary. It's wonderful, yet unsettling. Long live democracy!

I believed, until recently that is, that the current ruling party (PAN) would easily win the elections. I was wrong. They're in second place, by at least 8 percentage points (as of March 2006). Not a clear victory for the PAN. They ousted the PRI, who ruled over Mexico for over 70 years. It was the perfect dictatorship masked as a democracy, in which the outgoing President hand-chose his sucessor and a mock election was held. The pageantry was pathetic; the results, mediocre. In 1989 the PAN won the state governorship of my home state of Baja California. Change was finally on the horizon. It wasn't until 2000 that the PAN won the presidential race. Change had finally arrived for everyone.

It's been a bumpy six years since then. Partisan politics have matured in Mexico, and now the opposition has supposedly done all it can do to discredit the rulling party. Big deal, welcome to a modern parliamentary democracy. I say "'Tis life", and it's like that here and everywhere. You have to be smarter to play the game.

Now we have three strong contenders for President. The PRI candidate, Roberto Madrazo. A ruthless thug, son of the previously corrupt and shameless PRI system. An awful choice, by any standard. Fun fact: even though he was the party head, he had to unceremoniously beat out he's fiercest contender, Arturo Montiel. He was actually gaining on Madrazo when all suddenly his extremely corrupt past was put out for everyone to see. Mysteriously. Out of nowhere. And he dropped out of the race. Neat, huh? That's what happens when you cross Madrazo. 'Nuff said.

The next candidate is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felipe_Calder%C3%B3n, for the PAN. Hands down the most handsome of th three. The fact that he even won the internal PAN election was extremely surprising for me (and most other people). A lot of us believed that our Secretary of State, Santiago Creel, would be the sure winner. Not to be. I honestly think this Calderón guy is our best bet, but as more time goes by I become more disenchanted with the PAN. They are extreme right wingers, vehemently opposing abortion and most probably against any sort of gay rights. Their party ideology I just do not share. But the candidate seems nice. Oh well.

And now we come to the final candidate, the one who's ahead in the polls: Adrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO, as everyone affectionately calls him, or at least to save space and ink, haha). He was the mayor of Mexico City and actually comes from the same state as Madrazo: Tabasco (wtf?!?!). He's been called many things, among them a demagogue, a populist, an egomaniacal tyrant, a crazy person, loose cannnon, Hugo Chávez, you name it. What is true is that people like him. He's popular and has an image of looking out for the little guy. His political coalition is actually called "Alliance for the welfare of all", give me a break. Anyways, he's a political powerhouse, there's no denying that. Lately the PAN has succeeded in knocking a popularity point or two off of AMLO in the polls by comparing him to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Why is this such a bad thing? I dare anyone to say why Chávez is such a bad President. Really. Just because the media says so, doesn't make it true. Make up you rown minds, people!

I sometimes wonder what it will be like to have AMLO as Prez (as it seems a more likely scenario with each passing day). I sincerely do not believe the economy will tumble, one of his main backers being Carlos Slim, the third richest man in the world. I wonder just how much his egotistical ways will affect Mexican foreign policy (not that much anybody cares what we think). I wonder...

Well, that's Germy's Mexican Political roundup. Who will Germy vote for??? Right now, probably PAN. Will AMLO convince Germy? Who knows, I'm still pondering...
and who cares what Germy thinks, who's realy gonna win? It looks like AMLO, but the election is still three months away and it could be anybody's race, seriously. Whatever happens, I'm pretty sure that once again it will be the voice of the people that will be heard. See ya'll laterz...

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