Mexico Linkage Institutions By: Sheel Bhalani Thomas Darden Robby Pyles
Comparative Party Systems • Type of system: Multi-Party System • Relationship to Legislature: 3 parties well represented in the Legislature • Relationship to the Executive: Unclear, but most likely competitive relationship with Executive • Types of Parties: Parties on left and right
PRI • Officially: “PartidoRevolucionarioinstitucional” • 1920-2000: Ruled Continuously, so it has dominated for much of the last century • Party Platform: • Anti-Clericism (Keeping the church out of politics) • Centralization: Consolidating power to a central government body • Representing peasant and labor organizations • Characterized by: • Corporatist Structure (which brought competing elites into the cabinet) • Patron Client System • Appeal to rural people, residents of southern Mexico • Ejected Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, son of Mexico’s famous and revered president, Lazaro Cardenas, for demanding reform that emphasized social justice and populism, causing him to switch parties to PRD
PAN • Officially: “National Action Party” • Founded in 1939 • Platform: • Regional Autonomy • Less government intervention in the economy • clean and fair elections • Good rapport with the catholic church • support for private and religious education • Goal is to represent business interests, support regional autonomy • Voters are mainly northerners, middle class or professional, who are better educated • Misc.: Considered right-sided, opposes PRI, and President Filipe Calderon was a party member
PRD • Officially: Democratic Revolutionary Party • Party Platform: • Social Welfare • Greater state control of economy • Renegotiation of parts of NAFTA with the US and Canada • Considered to the left of the PRI • First was supported in the 1980s • They have had trouble defining their left of center alternative to the PRI’s market-oriented policies • Reforms emphasize social justice and populism • Leaders have been divided on issues and publically quarrel
Election Overview/Electoral System • Citizens of Mexico directly elect: • The President (through first past the post) • State and Local officials • Chamber of Deputy Representatives (Lower House): 300 seats determined by plurality within single-member districts, and 200 seats chosen by proportional representation. • Senators (Upper House): Each of Mexico’s 31 states elects three senators (two decided by majority vote, one by whichever party receives the second highest vote). Also, 32 senate seats are determined nationally through a system of proportional representation Both the Chamber and Senators are elected through a dual system of “first past the post” and proportional representation, and proportional representation came from a major reform law in 1986.
Voter Appeal • PRI: Small town or rural, less educated, older, poorer • PAN: From the north, middle-class professional or business, urban, better educated (at least high school, some college), religious (or those less strict about separation of church and state) • PRD: Younger, politically active, from the central states, some education, small town or urban; drew some middle-class and older voters in 2006
Elections of 2000 PAN Candidate, Vicente Fox, brought into presidency PAN captured 208 of 500 deputies in the lower house (Chamber of Deputies) PRI edged them out with 209 members 46 of 128 senators elected were from PAN, as opposed to 60 for PRI Gridlock may be currently occurring because coalitions are forming on the left and right of the PRI PAN’s Vicente Fox
Elections of 2006 PAN candidate Felipe Calderón (the victor) and PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador were virtually tied for the lead, with PRI’s Roberto Madrazo trailing. The official vote count put Claderón ahead by about 230,000 votes, out of 41.5 million votes (about ½ a % point) Obrador challenged and demanded a national recount, but the election tribunal only did a recount for 9% of the precincts, and said that the result was still the same. Throughout the recount disputes, Obrador encouraged his supporters to protest, and claimed to be the legitimate president After the recount results, Obrador claimed the election was “stolen” by a broad conspiracy between business leaders and the government (something which seems possible due to Mexico’s election corruption history) In Legislative Branch, PRI’s power weakened in both houses, as PAN received modest gains in the Chamber of Deputies, and PRD gained many seats in both houses. PAN’s Felipe Calderoñ PRD’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Mid-Term (Legislative) Election of 2009 • Both PAN and PRD lost a significant number of seats; PRI almost doubled the number of seats it held in the Chamber of Deputies. • PRI won five of the six state governorships in play and many important mayoralties • PRI’s rise could be attributed to a slogan “proven experience, new attitude,” and by factional splits in PRD that made Obrador’s (PRD’s leader at the time) leadership of that party controversial. • PRI’s rise indicated that Calderón (president at that time, and a PAN member) would govern for the last three years of his presidency in possible gridlock with a PRI-dominated legislature
Election of 2012 PRI: Enrique Peña Nieta PRD: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (or AMLO) PAN: Josefina Vazquez Mota The PRI has capitalized on a growing sense among voters that neither Pan nor PRD is any less corrupt than PRI, and many think the PRI is more able to deliver on political promises. Results: Nieta (PRI) wins 39% Obrador (PRD) wins 25% Vazquez Mota (PAN) wins 20% PRI’s Nieta experiences victory Riots Begin as Nieto Takes Office http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEdfjVZdcxU. Pre-Election Commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VXtZ5xBmbc.
Interest Groups • The government responds to the demands of interest groups through co-optation and accommodation. • When there’s an open conflict, it is usually met with efforts to find a solution. • In the past 30 years, business interests networked with political leaders to protect the growth of economy (State Corporatism).
Interest Groups cont. • Under State Corporatism, business elites have become wealthy, but not incorporated into the PRI. • Power of union bosses is declining. • Today, under PAN (when Calderon was president), there is a possibility for neo-corporatism. PAN controls the presidency, but does not control the legislature, and there is no clear evidence that businesses are controlling the government
Interest Groups Cont. • The most powerful interest group is Educational Workers’ Union. • Peasant organizations have been encouraged through the edijo system (which grants land from the Mexican government to the organizations themselves) by the PRI. • Since the 1980s, peasant groups have demanded independence from the government.
Popular Movements • Organizations are concerned with • Social welfare spending • City services • Neighborhood improvements • Economic development • Feminism • Professional identity
Media Under PRI (1929 to late 1990s) • Media could not criticize the government or influence public opinion. • The government rewarded media outlets that supported them with special favors, such as access to airwaves. • The government subsidized salaries of those who supported PRI initiatives.
Media Today • In the 1980s, the media began to become more independent as PRI lost its hold. • Mexican citizens now have more access to more outlets of media. • Today, several magazines and newspapers criticize government initiatives. • Mexican citizens have a broader range of political opinions than ever before.
Current Event: “Mexico Bar Shootings Leave Nine Dead in Caohuila State http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20929205. 1/6/2013 Heavily armed gunmen in northern Mexico have stormed two bars, killing at least nine people. “Police believe they were carried out by gangs fighting for control of drug trafficking in the Coahuila state.” “Also, others bars were targeted in similar attacks in Torreon in the past few days.” “The Mexican army has been at the forefront of the fight with drug cartels.”