Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Anyone outside of Minnesota remember Jesse Ventura?

Some comparisons in comparative politics start out sounding impossible. But then they begin to make sense: Governor Jaime Rodríguez as the Governor Jesse Ventura of Mexican politics.

El Bronco: Blunt, Frequently Vulgar, and Aiming to Run Nuevo León
He goes by the nickname El Bronco, and he aims to buck the political system in Mexico.

For the first time since a constitutional change in Mexico in 2012 allowing independent candidates, one is making a serious run for governor…

[T]he insurgent comes in the form of Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, 57, a cursing former mayor and rancher in cowboy hat and boots who wants to run Nuevo León, a large state along the Texas border that is a hub for big business as well as organized crime.

Mr. Rodríguez, in interviews and on the campaign trail, veers from humility to arrogance, calling himself a simple, unvarnished rancher while making it clear, over and over, that he has the fortitude — he uses an anatomically vulgar synonym — to set things right…

His strong showing in the polls, a campaign built largely on social media exposure and his blunt, obscenity-laced talk… have made people take notice and wonder if the main established parties are under threat.

“Whether he wins or not,” said Miguel Treviño, an anticorruption activist in Monterrey, Nuevo León’s largest city, “this election will go down in history as a case study: the country’s first important election where social media plays a key role in communication strategy…

Recent polls show faith and confidence in the major political parties at an all-time low…

His opponents have taken him to task as a frivolous candidate with few real proposals…

But Mr. Rodríguez presses on.

As for solutions to the state’s economic and crime problems, Mr. Rodríguez keeps it vague, saying he will appoint smart, educated advisers. “We’ll figure it out as it goes,” he said in the interview. “We’ll try new things.”

Many voters seem charmed.

“He comes here and speaks that rudely and cursing, and he shouldn’t do that, but at the same time, who are we kidding?” said Jessica Guzman, 30, who attended a recent rally. “That is the language we really understand.”

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At 7:40 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Tough-Talking El Bronco Wins Mexican Governor’s Race

A cussing rancher known as El Bronco, who made the first serious run for governor as an independent candidate in Mexico, trounced his competition in midterm elections, according to preliminary official results on Monday, in a race closely watched as a sign of voter frustration with entrenched, established parties often seen as ineffectual and corrupt.

The candidate, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, running for governor of Nuevo León State, a business and industrial hub near the Texas border, received 49 percent of the vote. He defeated his closest rival, a candidate from the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, by 25 percentage points…


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