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Taking the Gore approach just a little too far

Some politicians respond to electoral defeat with magnanimity, some let slip the dogs of law, but Mexican leftist loser Lopez Obrador has just taken 'an oath of office'. More here.

I cannot pretend to be that well up on Mexican law, but this sounds an awful lot like treason to me. Presumably the winner, Calderon, thinks it best to ignore him and trust he will go away. Given that Mexico has only had elections up to international standards since '94, and the gloriously named Partido Revolucionario Institucional ruled solidly from 1929 until 2000, the boat does not need to be rocked. A friend with relatives on both sides of the Rio Grande says that the system isn't corrupt, corruption is the system. I hope he's wrong.
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Anonymous Ellee said... 2:04 pm

That's really amusing, you couldn't make it up. He sounds a real nutter.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:24 pm

Anything but a nutter, Ellee. Gangster or thug is more like it. Plus he's the Al Gore of Mexican politics. He just cannot accept that he lost.

Yes, it was very close, but the Mexican government, under President Fox,immediately ordered a recount with international observers. They did everything right. Calderon still won.

This Obrador has been calling strikes in Mexico City - a city of more than 12m - so the chaos has been unimaginable. He's one of those who cares so much about the very poor, just like Evita Peron Thank God Harvard educated Calderon won. And, he won on a platform of taking Mexico further into the global economy. He's completely bilingual - so he speaks the language of international trade - and he's a sophisticated thinker.

It will take a long time to take corruption out of Mexico, but President Fox made a good fist of it and Calderon will continue along that path.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:44 pm

Thanks for the insight.  

Anonymous Verity said... 4:57 pm

I had to go and report something at some judicial centre - not sure what it was; a friend took me - and there were posters up saying: "All our services are free." Another poster showed a man being led away in handcuffs, clutching a 200 peso note and the message: "There is a price to pay for corruption."

Every graduate has to do six months of community service before proceeding with his/her career, and we dealt with a young law graduate who was doing his service. Just to see what the answer would be, my friend said, "Do we owe you anything for this?" and the young fellow said, "No, no!" and pointed at the sign.

It's going to take a while to go away, but the young coming up are being indoctrinated with being honest and proud to be of service. It's a long, long way from perfect, but one hell of a lot better than when I first started coming to Mexico. This has all happened during President Fox's six years in office. Calderon, who takes office in just over a week, will continue this course.

Plus, President Fox is the first president Mexico has ever had who didn't look like a drug dealer and who wore non-shiney, beautifully tailored suits. And his wife is elegant in the way that Laura Bush is elegant. Chic but very understated in the hair and make-up department.

I think it is interesting that Calderon won the election on the promise that he would take Mexico further into the global economy. This shows that people can grasp big ideas and see how they and their families would benefit from them. The voters weren't looking for immediate money to start flowing into their households, but were betting on the future.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:03 pm

Same San Antonine friend I'm forever crediting with anecdotes tells the tale of the small Mexican town on the Pan-American highway which has a flawless road surface and street lights, while either side are potholes and darkness. Turns out the mayor is the brother of the provincial governor.

Meanwhile, would I be correct in thinking that NAFTA has played rather well in México Lindo?  

Anonymous verity said... 5:57 pm

Yes, they mutter darkly about being exploited, because all the big American manufacturing companies are here now, and of course, they pay lower wages than they have to pay in their own countries. That's the point. Duh.

And then the finished products are sold in Mexico and exported to the US, Canada and wherever else the American home office wants them shipped, where they can be sold at competitive prices.

All the big cities and major towns now have Wal-Marts, which may not seem much of an achievement, but Wal-Mart (like the big manufacturers) has brought its management expertise and efficiency and customer service skills with it. Just as in the US, you can stop a passing employee and ask a question about, say, paint and they will go to the microphone and say an associate is required by a customer in the paint department. They're all associates, just as in the US. There are Home Depots and Office Depots and Costcos, shopping malls, all run along American lines and all generating business.

And the Mexican supermarket chains have had to revise their practices in order to compete. So the whole landscape has changed.

So in one breath they say they're being exploited, and in the next breath they remember to ask if you've had your parking ticket stamped (so you don't have to pay).
They're driving new cars, the working class are driving the old cars and the very, very working class is still taking the bus. But the difference NAFTA has made is very marked.

It was Fox who signed NAFTA against enormous opposition and accusations of "Anmerican exploitation". Of course. But he perservered and the trickle down effect is working.

Obrador is a dinosaur.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:45 pm

This is all highly encouraging, and I wish the much robbed and misgoverned Mexican people good government and the chance to get on with making a living.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:44 pm

They have social security now. Also key workers, like the police, have pensions. If they're caught taking bribes, not only do they get dismissed, but they lose their pensions. Old habits die hard,of course, and it will be quite a while before they can match, for squeaky cleanness, London's Met. Oh, wait a minute ...  

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