Friday, September 29, 2006

some old myths are still around

Even as things have returned to normal in Mexico (notwithstanding Oaxaca) and as most international reporters and academics have endorsed the election procedures, it is frustrating to still see some international propaganda attempt to tarnish the results of the July 2 election.

Here is an example of an anti-globalist site in Canada.

"Divided Mexico: The Bankers’ Alliance Holds on to Power"
by John W. Warnock (September 27, 2006)

The first part of this long article is a fairly accurate historical description of (pre IFE) electoral fraud, followed by a one sided (but not inaccurate) view of the presidential campaign (e.g., bankers and business wanted Calderon to win). However, when discussing the post July 2 news, factual distortions abound.

"The two television networks, Televisa and TV Azteca, did extensive exit polls which indicated that AMLO had won, but they did not report the results."

and the conclusion is that this election was a redux of 1988.

Let's compare this analysis with a July 5 interview with Warren Mitofsky, published on the Pew site:

During the (first) ballot recount, Mitofsky was asked

"Do you think Calderón's current lead will hold up?

Right at the moment he is leading by just about the 200,000 votes I expect him to win by.

That's a thin margin, why do you think it will hold up?

Well look, there were two counts of the votes in Mexico. One is the preliminary count, which they put out on election night; the other is the real count, which has taken place over the past two days. In the real count, 99.5% of precincts have been counted and they show the same 200,000-vote lead they found in the preliminary count. And no one challenged the preliminary count -- no one said it was wrong -- so I expect the final count to mirror that.

Do you think the results of the exit poll will reduce chances of fraud in the recount?

This election commission is so squeaky clean, I don't anticipate fraud. There were international observers there who said this election was as clean as anything they had seen. The way the election commission works, is that it represents all the parties -- not just the major ones -- equally. They all have an equal voice, and they all got to inspect every last count that took place, at every polling place, at the 300 deputy districts where the votes were collected, and again at the national level. I don't see a whole lot of room for fraud.

So you think there is less chance for fraud in a Mexican election than in an American election?

I would think the Mexican system with its strong election commission that is uniform across the country would be better than anything we are doing in the U.S.

It is apparent that political extremists live by ideology rather than fact, and that certain events are too precious to be examined factually: Sacco & Vanzetti, the Rosenbergs. The actual determination of a trial or the count of an election is subordinated to the requirements for propaganda.


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