Mexico’s 2009 Midterm Elections and Future Energy Reform

George Baker,, 7/13/2009

In Mexico’s political system the mechanism of the popular vote has a place, but that place is typically reserved for junior persons who merely aspire to a political career. The senators and federal deputies who will become the leaders of the key committees will be those who take their seats by a uniquely Mexican system known by an untranslatable name of “plurinominal.”

The idea, as described in MEI Report 566 (“Introduction to the Mexican Congress”), is that 200 of the 500 seats in the federal congress are reserved for persons who will be named by party leaders on the strength of the showing of the party in the popular vote in each of 5 electoral regions (called by another untranslatable name of “circunscripciones”).

Of those who will likely occupy leadership positions few will have taken their seats by popular election; most will be appointed by party leadership on the basis of kinship ties, union power or former government service. On the PRI list, for example, there is a niece and a nephew of a former president of Mexico.

Read More…


Opposition Wins Majority in Mexican Midterm Vote

Elisabeth Malkinei, New York Times, 7/6/2009

With nearly all votes counted early Monday, it was clear that President Felipe Calderón had suffered a setback in midterm elections, as the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party unseated his party as the dominant force in Mexico’s fractured Congress.

The Sunday vote heralded a renaissance in the opposition party, known as the PRI, which dominated Mexican politics for much of the 20th century. Its comeback reflected both the effects of the global economic crisis and voter weariness with the violence caused by the government’s crackdown on drug traffickers.

Read More…

Leftist party reclaims political primacy in Mexico

Photo by Flickr user StarrGazr
Photo by Flickr user StarrGazr
Oscar Laski, AFP, 7/6/2009

Midterm elections in Mexico, which dealt a heavy blow to President Felipe Calderon’s conservative ruling party, marked the resurgence of the leftist opposition that ruled the country for most of the last century.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which held an ironclad grip on power in Mexico from 1929 until losing to Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) in 2000, now reclaims its historical role as the biggest bloc in the legislature after Sunday’s vote, the party’s leaders said.

“We have become the number one political force in the Chamber of Deputies and with our alliance with the Green party, not only will we be the main force, but we will have an absolute majority,” said the party’s jubilant chairwoman Beatriz Paredes, after results were released.

Read More…

Mexico opposition holds lead in July election

Reuters, 6/30/2009

Mexico’s opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, held a firm lead heading into congressional elections on July 5, according to a poll by Consulta Mitofsky published on Tuesday.

The centrist PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century until its defeat by the National Action Party, or PAN, in 2000, is set to win 34 percent of the vote for the lower house of Congress, making it the biggest party in the chamber, according to the poll.

Read more…

At Last Mexico’s Midterm Elections seem less Insipid

PRD, 6/29/2009

On Sunday, July 5, Mexico will hold midterm elections for its 500-member Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the federal bicameral Congress. Usually ho-hum affairs, excepting one supposes among candidates, political parties, those who govern and the media, this year’s campaigns and the forthcoming elections have a number of sidebar stories that are adding color to the scene.PRI logo

Moreover, the results will be important insofar as the partisan makeup of Congress over the next three years well may influence the success or failure of the proposals, plans and aspirations of President Felipe Calderón and his government. It would be unfortunate – and sad – if Calderón would become a virtual lame duck through 2012.

Read more…

Mexico election seen weighing on economy prospects

Photo by Flickr user StarrGazr
Photo by Flickr user StarrGazr

Reuters, 6/24/2009

Mexico’s upcoming congressional elections could be decisive for President Felipe Calderon’s plans to overhaul the economy to boost growth analysts say as Mexico seeks to emerge from its deepest recession since 1995.

All 500 seats in Mexico’s lower house are up for grabs on July 5, and polls show a centrist opposition party is poised to replace Calderon’s conservatives as the biggest force in Congress.

A key issue will be the willingness of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to work with Calderon to boost tax collection and wean the federal budget off oil revenues as the country’s black gold runs out.

Read more…

Mexico’s Election Rebellion: Just Vote No

Time, 6/18/2009

One election spot shows a masked wrestler fighting drug traffickers and promising to crack down on cartels. Another ad vows to give the death penalty to kidnappers. A third pledges to hand out free medicine to the poor. But the campaign for Mexico’s midterm elections that is getting the most media attention is promising nothing at all and urging people to vote for nobody.

Dubbed the voto en blanco, or “blank vote,” the curious movement emerged on blogs and in YouTube videos when campaigns kicked off last month. Since then it has snowballed, with prominent intellectuals and several politicians themselves joining its ranks.

Read more…