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December 15, 2013


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PAN and PRI... neither of which seem to have any ideological vision other than perpetuating themselves in power... have both consistently sought over the last several years to restrict ballot access to larger parties (continually upping the threshhold vote for permanent access and proportional representation). While none of our present leadership seems particularly long-sighted, both the neo-liberal parties recognize their interests are better served by a U.S. style duopoly (in Gore Vidal's memorable phrase democracy limited to a choice between "a Party of Wall Street and a Wall Street Party").

As it is, with the left having come in second in the latest two presidential elections, the last thing either PAN or PRI wants right now are run-offs for the Presidency.

A few reactions:

(1) You might be right about the PAN's change of heart regarding president run-off elections. The current plurality election clearly favors the PRI, but it is certainly possible that the PAN worries more about a PRD presidency than being locked out of power.

But do we have direct evidence that the above is true? The PRD is not really that scary a beast to the center-right once López Obrador is no longer heading it.

(2) Current U.S. politics has given me a new appreciation of political parties that do not "have any ideological vision other than perpetuating themselves in power." As long as perpetuating yourself in power means winning 50%+1 of the vote in fair elections, non-ideological parties produce pretty good outcomes. This is especially true in a presidential system with a weak executive, like Mexico.


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