Saturday, December 30, 2006

U.S. vs. Mexico elections in 2006

I apologize for being away for so long from this blog. My health has not been good, and I have been teaching in the U.S. This gave me a chance to observe first hand the November "midterm" elections in the country of my birth. I was pleased by both the process and the results.

Regarding the results, it is most apt to say that the Democrats did not win, the Republicans lost. In their dozen years in charge of the national congress, they became a perfect example of HOW NOT to behave in office. They forgot their initial agenda, the so-called "Contract with America" and behaved like career politicians. They were more concerned with the perquisites of office and soliticing funds for the next campaign. I see this corruption as the main issue, not the war in Iraq (to which the Democrats failed to provide a clear, let alone compelling, alternative strategy). As such, the Democrats have neither mandate or agenda (except, perhaps, to clean up the capitol).

Regarding the process, many elections were extremely close, being decided by a few hundred or a few thousand votes. Yet, there were no unreasonable calls for endless recounts, no obstructive demonstrations, no alternative candidates swearing themselves in to a fictious office. The Republicans lost, admitted it, and stepped down.

I was most pleased by the powers of discernment of the northamerican voters. In a state as blue as California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected (at the same time that Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein won overwhelmingly).

In the year 2006, voters on both sides of the border showed no blind party allegiance, but a tendency to reward honesty and competence rather than rhetoric. May that continue.

May the defeated parties, the Republican and the PRD, be cleansed of self-annointed saviors who seek only their own self-promotion, so that these parties may be loyal oppositions in their positions of minority, and worthy opponents in the next cycle of election.

May the victorious parties, the U.S. Democrats and the Mexican PAN, seek a bipartisan course leading to reforms of corruption. Congratulations to Calderon and Pelosi, but also a warning. You won because the voters rejected your opposition, and if you reject the reforms on which you ran, the voters will reject your party in the next cycle of elections.

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