Friday, September 15, 2006
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Mexico returns to normality
James C. McKinley reports in the New York Times that after an interesting period of protest, Mexico is now returning to normal:
Supporters of a leftist candidate who narrowly lost the presidential election this summer were tearing down five miles of tents on Thursday that have blockaded this capital’s central avenues for six weeks.It is an interesting irony that one of the reasons for this is Mr. López Obrador's self-defeating strategy -- by alienating so many of his supporters, he created a consensus for Calderón that did not exist at the time of the election:
Now even Mr. López Obrador’s aides acknowledge that he is losing some support among middle-class liberals and influential leftist politicians and intellectuals, as Mexicans seem prepared to move on from the election dispute, even if Mr. López Obrador is not.posted by Dan on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM
The argument here hinges on two propositions:
My $.02: Options a values order more than democracy. In Mexico, with a politically stacked electoral tribunal, option b would also have conceded that order matters more than democracy. Option c was the most democratic of the options available, though there was never any guarantee it would work. Those happy to smear AMLO after the failure of option c can now contemplate the prospect of option d.posted by: Michael McIntyre on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
I think AMLO needs to look at the fate of Al Gore and his party, before proceeding with (d). Gore faced the same phenomenon as AMLO -- plunge in support -- during his quest to be recognized as the winner in Florida, and Democrats who brought to the nation their tales of stolen elections in 2002 were defeated pretty badly.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
I don't think that AMLO is likely to go down the road of option d. (Unfortunately, my links failed to embed). I was thinking of the ongoing rebellion in Oaxaca.
Galbraith's point, as I read him, is that we have substantial evidence of fraud, i.e., electoral tampering. We can't know whether that tampering changed the outcome without a recount (which we will now never have).
I looked at the refutation. It's spectacularly weak. Anyone who wants to refute these charges, in any serious sense, is going to have to engage Mochán's analysis. I have yet to see anyone do that.
Now doubt this is a typo, but it certainly seems and sounds like it could be a useful word.
The Oaxaca rebellion is amazingly underreported. (Looks like the state government has been replaced in a genuine revolution.) I only know about it because I was researching a possible vacation down there! That plan was scratched.
I am curious exactly what's going on doen there. The only stuff in English that's easy to find is something called NarcoNews, which has a very definite point of view.
Problem is -- to have a revolution, you need real disaffection with the government and a populace willing to tolerate the revolutionaries. I think AMLO may have created conditions that would PREVENT a revolution. What may happen in the provinces, however, may be different.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
As I have written before, this is not the same IFE that rubberstamped PRI victories for 70 years. If there had been fraud, AMLO had ample opportunity to provide evidence and failed. His behavior since his loss only goes to show what a disaster Mexico narrowly avoided on July 2. Let's get on with the serious business of solving Mexico's formidable problems.posted by: OpenBorderMan on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
This whole thing was a non-event from the beginning. The only one who suffered here was AMLO himself: he could have ended up with a cushy post within Calderon's administration, which could have made everyone look wise and good. But he overplayed his hand and screwed himself.posted by: St. James the Lesser on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
This was another shot over the bow of the ruling elite in Mexico. As is the Oaxaca rebellion.
Watching much of their population stream across our border and become our problem, it is harder and harder to see what "stability" is gaining us.posted by: Babar on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
Babar, I'm not sure that those coming across the border are such a "problem". They normally find jobs and economically speaking, the free(-ish) flow of labor is good.
And don't forget that more and more (and a whole bunch more starting in a few more years) retired Americans will be migrating to Mexico because its the only place they can afford to live.
Imperfect, perhaps, but not so bad in the balance.
I think you might be surprised by how much of the labor participation on this side of the border is resulting in cash flowing right back over it to maintain people in Mexico. Factor in the social costs in emergency healthcare and other public staples and its no longer so benign.
This is part of the reason why I believe the jury is still out on to what degree the free-flow of labor is beneficial and at what point it becomes harmful.
While Mazatlan sounds tempting, I am not sure that replacing a local land owning class with a "gringo" land owning class is going to go over any better with the locals.
The campaign slogan "Its the Feudalism stupid!" comes to mind.posted by: Babar on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
Babar, I'm with SJL on this one. In addition, the best solution to Mexico's poverty and class division problems is a growing healthy middle class. Many gringos seem to be unaware that, although progress is slow, this process has been underway for at least 6 years, since the demise of one-party rule. Some of the changes in the past 6 years are:
1. True competition between parties and ideas.
It's true that by "allowing" their poor to move north, they are exporting their poverty problem. But how can you blame them? It's not as if either govt can stop the exodus.posted by: OpenBorderMan on 09.15.06 at 09:02 AM [permalink]
Babar, the US-Mexico-flow-of-labor-social-costs aspects are complicated and you're probably right that the jury is still out on that, although clearly there is demand: you don't see too many Mexican beggars in the US (interestingly, there are muchos in Mexico itself).
But one correction: the American senior citizens moving to Mexico aren't/won't be going there to become landlords and have peasants work the land for them. These are people moving to places like Ajijic or San Miguel where the weather is benign, they can but a little house and afford medical care. The American wealthy don't retire (full time) to Mexico.
And OpenBorder makes a good point: I lived in Mexico for almost six years and remember very well that middle class Mexicans (and especially upper class Mexicans) have absolutely no interest in emmigrating to the US: it's probably hard to see this point of view, but they consider America to be generally uncouth, violent and boring, whose saving grace is great shopping.
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