Fantasy Democracy in Mexico

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Fantasy Democracy in Mexico

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Honest elections in Mexico are a contradiction in terms. Fantasy democracy exists, not the real thing, not now or earlier.

On July 1, Mexican voters will elect a new president, 500 Chamber of Deputies members, and 128 senators.

According to the nation’s constitution, incumbent President Enrique Pena Nieto in ineligible for a second term.

Mexican-style democracy is enormously tainted, outcomes most often prearranged, generally decided before voters go to the polls.

This time perhaps is somewhat different with a non-establishment-sounding establishment candidate ahead in the polls.

Whether manipulating results keeps the front-runner from winning remains to be seen. More on this below. 

Election rigging was perfected in Mexico long ago, irregularities commonplace. As in America, candidates representing wealth and power exclusively win every time.

Results always preserve status quo indifference to popular needs and rights, revolutionary change off-the-table – promises otherwise by candidates empty rhetoric.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and National Action Party (PAN) dominate Mexican politics – the former holding power for seven decades, the latter succeeding it for 12 years before losing to the PRI in 2012.

Elections don’t change things. New names and faces replace old ones. Deplorable policies stay the same, serving privileged interests exclusively, rights and welfare of ordinary people ignored, the way it’s always been.

Polls show National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is favored to win on July 1.

Whether things turn out this way won’t be known until results are announced. Election rigging, murders, kidnappings, rapes, and other shenanigans are commonplace, public safety along with democracy the way it should be pure fantasy.

If elected president, AMLO won’t likely change things, popular reforms not an option, campaign promises to quickly fade post-election.

Governance serving everyone equitably isn’t how things are done in Mexico. Leadership attempting it would be vulnerable to removal from office violently, by parliamentary coup as in Brazil and Paraguay earlier, or by other means.

At least one recent poll showed AMLO’s lead over opposition PAN candidate Ricardo Anaya dropped from 22 to 7 points, slim enough perhaps to engineer his defeat if accurate regardless of popular sentiment.

Will it matter either way? AMLO is largely business friendly, cooperating with Mexican Business Council members.

He guaranteed them support for free market business as usual, promised not to nationalize industries, nor interfere with Mexico’s central bank or energy privatization plans – issues he expressed different views on earlier.

He’s populist in name only, intending to serve privileged interests if elected. 

Trump regime’s negotiation on NAFTA with Mexico and Canada remain unresolved.

About three-fourths of Mexico’s $400 billion in exports go to America. If NAFTA ends or is replaced by something less favorable to the country, its economy could suffer a severe body blow.

Its government retaliated against Trump imposed tariffs by imposing its own on US products. Brussels and Canada reacted the same way.

If things continue or worsen unresolved, a full-blown trade war could follow, harming countries involved and the world economy – a far more important issue than who prevails in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.