Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mexico, Part 3

This election has three serious candidates for President.

Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena is the PRI candidate. He is running under the "Everyone for Mexico" coalition which includes the PRI, the Greens, and the liberal Alliance Party.

Ricardo Anaya Cortes is the PAN candidate. His alliance is the "Forward Mexico" coalition (Literally: For Mexico to the Front) which includes PAN, the progressive Citizens Movement, and, perhaps surprisingly, the PRD.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the candidate for MORENA. His party is in the "Together We Will Make History" coalition, which includes MORENA, the Labour party, and the right-evangelical PES.

Trying to explain exactly why the parties are backing who they are would be quite complicated as even I don't fully understand a lot of the nuance of Mexican politics.

The election has been rife with so many scandals and so much drama that trying to cover it here will be difficult; but I will touch on some of it. First, however, the polls.

For the past year, the momentum towards Obrador has been clear. He has lead polls since April of 2017. Recent polls have him at around 45% support, with Anaya between 25%-30%, and Meade between 20%-25%. Additionally, both his party, and his coalition, are doing well in the polls, suggesting a plurality in Congress, if not an outright Majority.

Despite the "left" and "right" labels, all 3 candidates are difficult to classify.

The election takes place on the 1st of July, so it seems likely Obrador will win.

Why will he win? That's a bit more complex.

Looking into the scandals may help understand, but unfortunately, I am not going to go in to that. This post is not going to be as robust as the others.

To get a bit personal,

I write these in advance when I can. Today, Wednesday, is a bit of a difficult day for me emotionally. I've learned of Gord Brown's passing, and just this morning was listening to Kevin Smith on Colbert talk about his own heart attack. I have never been very healthy, and things like this worry me.

Additionally, while I do feel I know enough about the situation in Mexico to help sum it up for others, the reality is that many aspects of politics in Latin America still confuse me.

Language plays a huge role on culture. In fact, in some ways, it can determine your future. Language can even change how you see colour.

There is a commonality in both Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, and their politics, that makes things very "fluid" in a way I find difficult to interpret. Consider here in Canada, in Quebec, the idea of laicite is seen as 'secular', whereas most of english speaking Canada has been seen as viewing it as anti-islam, or anti-semitic.

My strength comes from understanding politics as it is presented in the idealized Canadian structure. Where "The Party" is what you vote for, where "The Party" is what gets into the Parliament, and where "The Party" as its own organization, acts as needed to keep its own members in line.

Many countries have politics that operate in this manner. Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, and so on; but the further you get from this ideal, the less I can admit full understanding. The US, with its very weak party roles, often confounds me, despite the fact that I can see a lake from the sidewalk in front of my building that borders that country. Quite often, there will be attempts to translate certain documents into a "Western European Language" which often boils down to Spanish, French, or English. The unfortunate side effect of this is that countries that are predominantly France or Spanish tend to be harder to research, as there's less of an impetus to translate documents into English.

I'm not admitting defeat by any means, but wanted to give some context as to why some of this series on Mexico may have been slightly confusing. Quite simply, for someone who grew up in a Parliamentary system in and English speaking country, it simply is confusing.

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