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POLITICS IN MEXICO. LUIS ESTRADA lmestrad@weber.ucsd.edu Spring quarter 2005. Conference USMEX 25 th Anniversary. Transition: Electorally driven No ideology in dispute, just to throw the PRI out of government Same politicians under different parties (same ruling elite)

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Spring quarter 2005

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Conference USMEX 25th Anniversary

  • Transition: Electorally driven

  • No ideology in dispute, just to throw the PRI out of government

  • Same politicians under different parties (same ruling elite)

  • Democracy still fragile, absence of majorities in the near future

  • Solution: MORE POLITICS

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Voting Behavior

  • Sociological theory: social environment

  • Psychological theory: party identification (emotional attachment)

  • Rational theory: retrospective evaluations of government performance

  • Electoral studies in Mexico: recent and increasingly methodologically sophisticated

  • Surveys also recent (‘good ones’ since 1997)

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Voting Behavior: Electoral Studies

  • Surveys: individual level data

  • Mostly focused on the determinants of vote choice

  • Parties’ constituencies are clearly differentiated

  • Ad-hoc studies, lack of data does nto give the chance to make long time-series

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Voting behavior

  • Education

  • Age

  • Income

  • Region

  • Participation

  • Party ID

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Voting Behavior (Domínguez & McCann 1996)

  • Two-step model: First, voters decide whether to support or not the PRI; if not, then they decide ‘ideologically’ between PAN or PRD

  • But, there is no ideology!

  • Those voters who do not support the PRI choose the party/candidate that can defeat the PRI with most certainty (Estrada 1999; 2005)

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Voting Behavior (Domínguez 1999)

  • Mexican democratic transition has been slowly, where the voter has been the most important protagonist (1988, 1997, 2000)

  • Diminishing risk aversion thanks to alternation at the municipal-state-federal levels

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Voting Behavior (Domínguez 2003)

  • Why the PRI lost/PAN won in 2000? If the opposition vote was divided; PRI most partisans; PRI strong support in the states; Zedillo’s approval was high

  • The 2000 campaign mattered, but only one issue was at discussion: “CHANGE”

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3: No ideological cues

  • Individuals hold opinions on issues

  • These opinions, however, are not connected to an ideological debate

  • Parties have been so embedded in the issue of alternation that have left aside their ideological origins and differences-this will not change in the near future

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Voting Behavior: Perspectives

  • Candidate-centered campaigns: trivial debates (personality, not issues)

  • Polarized situation (Presidential regime: “winner takes all” raises the stakes)

  • No candidate is expected to win more than 40 percent (divided government)