Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A bit of confusing (confused?) reporting

I found this to be a bit confusing. I think the editors and the writer had too many points to make and too little space in the magazine. However, there are some ideas worth thinking about.

Political horse-trading: Why are opposition parties going along with a pact that benefits their arch-enemy?
FEW political parties are as cunning at forging alliances of convenience as Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)…

[W]hen thrown into opposition from 2000-12, the PRI resolutely blocked calls for co-operation. Its obstinacy helped to frustrate the presidency of Felipe Calderón… Why, then, have Mexico’s opposition parties obediently tagged along with the PRI in a new alliance, known as the “Pact for Mexico”, which is allowing Mr Peña to race through his legislative agenda?

The pact… secures cross-party backing for a package of long-overdue reforms. It has already made possible an overhaul of education and a law to tackle monopolies in telephony and broadcasting. But the alliance is under strain. In the run-up to local elections held in almost half the states on July 7th, the PAN and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) threatened to pull out of the pact, demanding that the government stop local PRI bosses from using electoral dirty tricks…

[N]either opposition party appears ready to renege on the pact just yet. The PAN says that its careful dealing with the PRI in the 1990s helped to earn it the public support necessary to win the presidency in 2000… Like the PAN, [the PRD] hopes to use the alliance to negotiate political reforms that would weaken the PRI in some of its regional strongholds…

The drug-related violence that has racked Mexico in recent years provides [another] reason for politicians to pull together. “This pact is truly something of great merit,” says Mr Krauze. “For the first time in our history the parties are learning to work together in a democratic context.” Yet there is also something familiar about the deal: its principal beneficiary, as so often before, is the wily PRI.

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