Vote-Buying Efforts Remain Time-Honored as Mexicans Reap Gifts

Bloomberg Businessweek, 7/13/12

Enrique Peña Nieto

Like Garcia, poor Mexicans who make up about half of the population have grown to expect gifts come election season. While Lopez Obrador may have a tough time proving that fraud by Pena Nieto’s side swung the election, given the 3.3-million-vote margin, the charges illustrate one of the challenges facing Mexico’s young democracy, said Andrew Selee at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.Twelve years after one-party rule ended, parties have convinced some voters their support should go to the highest bidder, he said.

“Politicians are preying on peoples’ needs in a way that demeans the quality of their vote,” said Selee, director of the Washington-based center’s Mexico Institute. “It’s always a problem when people see their vote as a tool to get concrete benefits and not as a way of setting long-term policy.”

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