Mexico’s mid-term elections
This post is by no-means substantiated by polls, surveys, or serious academic inquiry. Everything herein is either anecdotal or pulled from about 5 news sources and Wikipedia. But, since I am in Mexico, a student of political science, and about witness a mid-term election it seems fitting that I put something down on virtual paper – at least for posterity’s sake.
Appearances seem to indicate that the Institutionalized Revolutionary Party (PRI) will gain ground in the elections. Currently, the PRI controls 106 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 35 in the Senate. The centrist PRI is campaigning on a platform (and this is going to be a gross generalization) to lessen taxes and liberalize markets. This article sheds some insight on how the economy is factoring in Mexico’s elections.
Following behind the PRI in likely vote-getting is the National Action Party (PAN), President Calderon’s party. Currently, PAN controls 52 Senate seats and 206 Deputy seats. PAN is the most right-wing of Mexico’s big three political parties. As it was explained to me, PAN is similar to some evangelical conservatives in the US as it is against abortion, gay rights, and has other Christian conservative political tendencies. PAN’s main platform, as I see it, is to be tough on crime. This is obvious to anyone who has been tracking the drug war and Calderon’s law-enforcement focus. To read about PAN’s tough stance on drug crime see this article.
Following the PRI and PAN, and apparently losing some appeal, is the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD). Currently, PRD controls 127 Deputy seats and 31 Senate seats. The most left-wing of Mexico’s main parties, the PRD is campaigning for wider social benefits and “fairer” trade practices. PRD’s biggest influence can be found in central and southeastern Mexico. Whereas the PAN and PRI carry more weight in the north and southwest. For a commentary on one reason why the PRD is losing votes to the PAN and PRI read this blog post.
Along with these “big-three” are several smaller parties, to include a worker’s party (PT), socialist party (PSD), and a green/environment party (PVEM). These parties are expected to gain some seats but not many.
In total, here’s what’s at stake in the election:
- 128 seats in the Senate (Camara de Senadores)
- 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados)
There are also a lot of disenfranchised voters in Mexico who are upset with the political system, as can be seen in the above cartoon of the voter throwing his vote away rather than give it to one of the big-three. In this regard, there is a strong push to “Vota en Blanco” or “Vote No” by simply not casting a ballot for any party.