Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Resistance to change

We often think of right wing politicians as conservatives. How can it be then, that the leftists in Mexico are opposing change (being conservative)?

Mexico's left wages campaign to derail Peña Nieto's agenda
They have taken to the streets by the thousands, generating headlines and dramatically disrupting the day-to-day rhythms of the hemisphere's largest city.

But do the Mexicans opposing the government's proposed reforms have any real political stroke?

That is the question dogging the forces of the Mexican left. They hope that a wave of demonstrations will derail President Enrique Peña Nieto's ambitious policy agenda, which includes what he calls "transformational" changes to the federal tax structure, the education system and the state-run oil company…

While the protesters dominate the streets, the reformers have the upper hand in government: Peña Nieto's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, holds majorities in both chambers of Congress. The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, controls only about 20% of each house.

As a result, while the protesting teachers commandeered the media spotlight this week, lawmakers managed to pass the teacher evaluation portion of the education reform package, which also includes measures to curtail union power…

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