Elecciones México 2018
June 12, 2018 4:31 PM   Subscribe

The Mexican general election will be held on July 1. The likely winner of the presidency is Andrés Manuel López Obrador (aka AMLO), a left-wing populist representing the Juntos Haremos Historia coalition (“Together We’ll Make History”). The election has already been marred by significant violence, with at least 112 politicians killed and 80 withdrawing since the start of election season in late 2017.

[Note: English language links used where possible, although there is relatively little up-to-date English coverage of the election. Many links are to Wikipedia. Names commonly used to refer to candidates in bold.]

As well as voting for president, the Mexican people will elect 120 Senators and 500 deputies to the upper and lower houses of Mexico’s congress, and take part in local elections in 30 of 32 states. Current single-term limits bar all currently elected members of the legislature from seeking re-election for the next sexenio (six-year term), as well as the incumbent president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Having narrowly lost the last two presidential elections, this time around AMLO could be up to 26 points ahead in polling, significantly past the other candidates who have split the centre-right vote: Ricardo Anaya Cortez of the Por Mexico al Frente coalition (“For Advancing Mexico”, a left-right coalition that involves the PAN and the PRD, two of the major parties); José Antonio Meade Kuribreña of the Todos por México coalition (“All for Mexico”, including the PRI, the party of the current president); and independent Jaime Rodríguez Calderón (aka “El Bronco”).

Peña Nieto's approval rating recently rose to 21% from a historic low of 12% a year previously. In the wake of years of violence and frequent corruption scandals, is Mexico ready for a populist president?

AMLO, a NAFTA critic, is frequently described as an economic populist and protectionist. While promising "no nationalisations or expropriations", his policies include referenda on or reversals of Peña Nieto's flagship reforms, especially the 2014 loosening of Mexico’s energy sector monopoly and education reforms, agricultural self-sufficiency in key products, pension and minimum wage rises, amnesties for repentant drug war combatants, the possible cancellation of the new Mexico City airport, and a raft of measures against the political class: reducing politician’s salaries, selling off the president’s private aircraft, allowing the president to be tried for corruption, dispersing the national government throughout the country, and holding referendums every two years on presidential performance, so as to provide more accountability during the sexenio.

AMLO would also prefer to end Mexico’s current policy of stopping Latin American immigration from the country’s southern border and has compared Donald Trump to Hitler. Given his polarising nature and the potential for significant political change in a US neighbour, it’s not surprising that other actors have been accused of interference with the election: the current US administration (against AMLO), Russia (for AMLO) and Cambridge Analytica (for Meade and the PRI).

The third and final debate between the candidates will take place today, Tuesday June 12, at 9:00pm (Zona Centro).
posted by chappell, ambrose (14 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Just to note that I'm not an expert in Mexican politics and that my intentions with this post were to draw attention to the debate tonight and the elections in a couple of weeks, especially given the likely winner of the presidency and the effect that this could have on Mexico-US relations.

Linkwise, I tried to provide a balance of minimally partisan left- and right-wing sources while remaining relatively up-to-date and in English. (I also haven't linked statements in the post supported by earlier links, if anyone is feeling twitchy about citations).

Apologies in advance for any factual errors or oversights I've made; I'd be delighted to be corrected on them.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 4:38 PM on June 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

My girlfriend and I are just settling in to watch the debate here in Guadalajara (I'm US, she's MEX), and while I doubt that I'm any more an expert in Mexican politics than chappell, ambrose, I can add a little bit of color.

AMLO has been up in the polls for a long time now, inasmuch as Mexican election seasons are restricted to a couple of months. AMLO emerged as a leader of the left PRD and then founded his own, similarly-left Morena party, and he did legitimately almost win and probably actually win (and then had stolen from him) two past elections.

All the same, he's not exactly a leftist dream:

> His long stint on the outskirts of power has left him significantly enriched, both definitely by Mexico's less-than-ideal system of public financing for political parties and through what seem to be less-than-ideal financial transactions (that have left not him but his family, on paper, pretty wealthy, which is a bog-standard corrupt Mexican politician move).

> He has proposed everything ambrose mentioned, and more, but he's also backtracked and contradicted himself on every point too. He has a (it's been noted) very Trump-like vagueness when it comes to policy and a Trump-like willingness to say whatever sounds good in the moment.

> He has continually advanced the idea that he'll submit new laws (and current laws, like gay marriage in Mexico City) "to the people," a process which he hasn't explained but which seems to sound like national plebiscites, which are conspicuously absent from the Mexican Constitution.

> He very much is the consummate outsider down here, but he's packed his current slate of Morena candidates with the openly corrupt and the previously-convicted, and more than one member of his campaign staff has been caught on camera accepting bribes.

The situation seems to be, the tragedy of it anyway, is that AMLO may have lived long past what should have been his political moment and what might have been a better one than this election. Likewise, that even if you are (like most people I know here, but obviously not more than 5X% of Mexicans) totally skeezed by AMLO this time around, there's not really any other better option. The other established parties are guaranteed to be as corrupt if not more, and the current runner-up in the polls, the PAN's Ricardo Anaya, just had his own corruption video drop last week.

If anybody's really interested, I'll dig up links to support all that, but in sum: I'm about to head back to the US after five years in Mexico for law school, and between rapidly escalating violence in the state I'm in and this election, it feels like both my homes are pretty much going straight to hell.

(Edit: typos)
posted by TheProfessor at 5:09 PM on June 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

Oh, and he's pulled enough of the other parties' candidates into his congressional slate this time around that it looks pretty likely that he'll have absolute and maybe-even-better-than-that majorities in both houses of Congress, meaning he may well be able to actually push through all the stuff he's been talking about.
posted by TheProfessor at 5:12 PM on June 12, 2018

After a weeklong heat wave, a very heavy storm in Mexico City right now is causing power outages.

Probably not what the PRI wants to happen at the point that people are firing up their electronic devices while thinking about politics.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

What better day for a Mexican election than Canada Day!
posted by rokusan at 6:02 PM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

I spent 3 weeks in MX last February. Talked to a lot of cab drivers, etc., came away with a pretty clear picture of how most people felt that all the politicians where corrupt and the people are screwed no matter who wins.
posted by signal at 6:12 PM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Dissent did a good writeup on AMLO. Nuanced, but not precisely glowing.
posted by duffell at 7:11 PM on June 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Speaking to people in Mexico gave me the impression that while yes corruption is universal, nieto is particularly despised.
posted by moorooka at 2:10 AM on June 14, 2018

News from the 95% of the world is one of my favorite kinds of posts and comments here.

That number of 112 politicians killed is appalling. On top of the personal human tragedies, who is going to enter politics like that? Some devil-may-care idealists, but mostly people who already have clout and their own security force before. The Guardian says "Drug cartels are suspected in many political murders" but doesn't go into whether the killed politicians were anti-cartel or if the cartel is the triggerman for another conflict.

[In the 2012 election, Andrea Noel researched a troll factory that worked for the PRI. Their product was not even so much opinion-pushing as it was sheer online noise. Which... could be happening a lot on this Internet.]
posted by away for regrooving at 2:16 AM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Any MeFites in Mexico have election news in realtime?
posted by Apocryphon at 6:19 PM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Apocryphon, I was able to google "AMLO" and get live election updates from Reuters. Only 1% reporting so far.
posted by duffell at 7:07 PM on July 1, 2018

AMLOs won; the others have already conceded
posted by dhruva at 7:31 PM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

AMLO has definitely won in a landslide; as dhruva says, the other candidates have conceded. It looks as though his party (Morena) has a plurality of the vote in both chambers as well, although it’ll take some time to work out exactly who took which seat and which coalitions are viable. For the moment it looks as if AMLO has a strong mandate to pursue his policies; it’ll be interesting to see what he prioritises.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:05 PM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older E³   |   Island Hopping in Search of Sounds.… Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments