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08 August 2006
Will Mexico have an interim president?
Carrying on from yesterday's posting about the contested Mexican presidential elections, the radio and TV are today full of debate about the possible installation of an interim president, come the 1st December. The president would then call fresh elections, and the whole cycle would repeat itself. Given that Felipe Calderon seems to have emerged the victor by roughly 250,000 votes, one is inclined to wonder what is going on?

The first thing that the reader needs to remember is that this is Mexico and the media would not be discussing the notion of an interim president were the idea not being discussed seriously at elite level. Mexican hacks know where their bread is buttered and someone must have given the word, otherwise the idea would not have been aired publicly.

This begs the question, why are the elite planning to deny Calderon the fruits of his victory? The answer must be that they are afraid of the urban mass of the population, most of whom live in Mexico City and the poor southern states. It is far better to annoy a group of dodgy northern businessmen who may rage at losing their president, but who are not in a position to mount a major challenge where it matters: on the streets. Those business interests can cause damage to the economy by refusing to pay their taxes - something that they are already threatening to do - but they cannot turn the capital's streets into a war zone, so the thinking goes.

The key to understanding this is to remember that, as with all Third World countries, the local elite live in the capital city. That city has to be held until the end no matter what the cost. That way if things really do go pear shaped, the elite have time to get themselves, their families and their ill-gotten loot out of the country. The problem that the Mexican elite has is that Mexico City is not only the capital, it is the Democratic Revolutionary Party's (PRD) base. In other words, stealing the election from Calderon makes sense because it will keep the slums quiet.

The problem is that it relies on the northern states accepting the deal and keeping quiet. The deal could be that Calderon would win - by hook or crook - the next election and the results would be presented in such a way as to ensure that the PRD is seen to be clearly defeated.

Will the right accept this, or do they have some tricks of their own? Only time will tell.

Here's the deal: the election was stolen. Period. And the only honest way forward from here is to count every vote. However, that would expose the fraud, and reveal the elite for what they really are; so the elite most naturally would want to do the next best thing and call a new election, in order to sidestep the mess they have created. It's either that -- or face the masses in the streets, one way or another.

But the only reason the election was so close in the first place (besides the fraud) was because:

1: López Obrador's party are social-democrat wusses who soft-pedaled their message to the masses (like Humala did in Perú -- and lost) -- who are looking for real, revolutionary leadership; and so, many were not swayed towards the PRD that way, as a strong, clear Left message would have done. However, such a strategy would have endangered the bourgeois order...

2: Many voters were manipulated by U.S.-style attack ads (apparently a novelty in México), which pushed a lot of hot buttons people are not used to reflecting on (are they here, even yet?) And this could only have been countered by a... strong, clear Left message. Add to this all the other illegal and unethical activities by the Rich at election time: no level playing field here. Never is, under the bourgeoisie. And so fear and ignorance drove a lot of people to 'vote for the Devil the know'. Might not be so easy the second time `round.

Whatever happens, one class or the other will be very unhappy in this quickly polarizing country (isn't the entire world polarizing quickly, after the decades-long phony stasis of the Cold War..?)

[And here is one good way to understand the irrelevance of pacifism and 'unity' for unity's sake. There is no objective basis for 'unity' in a class society: there is only the class struggle. Until we get rid of classes, that is. Then we have fucking unity. Of some type.]

11 August 2006 at 23:38  

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