Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, May 07, 2012

So's your old party, too

This report makes it seem that the Mexican candidates have learned how to handle televised debates from US candidates: answer the question you want to be asked regardless of what is asked.

Mexico election: TV debate sees candidates trade barbs
Mexico's election race has stepped up a gear with the four presidential hopefuls facing one another in their first TV debate ahead of July's poll.

Front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) faced sharp attacks from his rivals.

The barbed comments enlivened a rigidly controlled format, correspondents say.

But it is unclear how many voters were watching, with the main TV channels opting to show a dance show and a football match instead…

Perhaps the surprise of the night was outsider Gabriel Quadri from the New Alliance (PANAL), who portrayed himself as the anti-politician and refrained from personal attacks, says the BBC's Will Grant, in Mexico City.

Mr Quadri later told the BBC that the format of the debate prevented any genuine discussion.

"I think that the moderator has to have a more active role because the politicians just answer what they want even if that doesn't have anything to do with the questions."

The two-hour debate covered a range of issues, including the economy, job creation and Mexico's drug-related violence that has claimed some 50,000 lives.

The candidates spoke of the need to boost the police and maintain troops on streets until security has improved, but there were no new proposals, correspondents say…

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