Calderon wins in Mexico - a good result for the US?

It’s beginning to look as if Calderon, the Conservative candidate, has won the Mexican election.

“Mexico’s conservative presidential candidate Felipe Calderon declared victory on Monday in a bitterly contested election and official returns appeared to show his leftist rival could no longer catch him.”


As an Englishman, far removed from this arena and politically neutral, I wonder, is this a good result for the US, and if so, why?

They’ve both declared victory

Calderon was one of Fox’s ministers, so I don’t think there’d be much of a change in policy from him. This would mean continued good times for US manufacturers doing business just accross the border where labor is cheap. Then again, Fox has been insistant on policies that bring much-valued remittances into his country, which many in the US Government aren’t too happy with.

But is Obrador’s policy on that any different?

From what I’ve read, from the POV of U.S. interests, Obrador wants to renegotiate NAFTA and Calderon doesn’t.

As an American, I have no objection to renegotiating NAFTA. I mean, it hasn’t worked out too well for us so far!

I’m not sure. Although I am pretty conservative, I think Mexico has been so fucked up for so long that it needs change. Calderon, I fear, will just allow the coruption to continue with the sham imprimatur of a real government. What Mexico needs is a revolution. A rising up from the street to overthrow the power structure that exists solely to perpetuate itself.

Maybe Obrador can begin a more populist movement that would force real change.

Either way, I am not hopeful. Corruption is the way the country operates.

We’ll be right behind the US when they revolt over the corrupt elections they had in 2000 and 2004. C’mon magellan, rise up and set your own fucked up country straight.

I’m tryin’, man: Tancredo in '08! Just for you.

And while we do have our problems, at least we’re not so fucked up that people risk their lives and the lives of their children to get out.

I truly wish you guys would get your shit together. I mean, no matter what we do, it’s hard to fathom a situation where you guys are the better alternative and we start trying to sneak in.

So, who did you vote for? And why?

Of course, we have no way to know, yet, whether the PRD is any less fundamentally corrupt than the PRI or PAN. (Because PRD has not yet had a crack at real power.)

But we may hope, and I do.

Expound on this a bit more, would you? I know we’ve disagreed quite vehemently in the past on some issues related to immigration and its illegal equivalents. But I’d be extremely interested in seeing your perspectives on the problems of the country that have caused the majority of those immigration problems.

I do, too. The Mexican people, like any people, deserve much better than they’ve gotten.

I work for a major financial analysis company on contract (can’t say who, Canadian, used to own a lot of newspapers…) and the financial markets were rooting for Calderon, fearing that Lopez Obrador was at best another inept Lula and at worst another Chavez.

Although corruption and deepset poverty are indeed major problems, the economic indicators in Mexico had been doing better recently.

The government is corrupt, seemingly from the top all the way to to the smallest municipality. I read that corruption accounts for 12% of Mexico’s GNP. I quick search found these articles that pretty much sum up the situation, although they cite a 9.5% corruption rate. The first two have charts and might be worth a click.

The way I see it, corruption is the major problem. Next, their desire to ship out so many workers takes some of the heat off them.In two ways: 1) They get rid of millions of people, largely poor, that they don’t have to provide services for. 2) These people come to the U.S. and send back billions; if I recall correctly making it the number 1 or 2 source for funds to the GNP.

My feeling is that if Mexico didn’t have the benefit of a pressure volve (the U.S. border) and they had to deal with their whole population, that the government would have to lessen there own take and spend on job creation and infrastructure. Maybe things would eben come to a head and people wold take a stand against the corrupt.

You can do your part to help us stem corruption magellan. Get drugs legalized in the US and that would help immensely. Americans insatiable appetite for illegal drugs generates the huge sums of money used to corrupt our judicial system. How about it?

That would help, but corruption in Mexico seems to run really deep and is a lot older than the cross-border drug trade.

All of your cites are pre-PAN, though (and the 2001 cite barely can reflect Fox’s assupmtion of office in December 2000). The Fox administration has done a lot to clean up the PRI-led corruption. Remember that corruption is a way of life for the PRI because they’d been able to institutionalize corruption for 71 years! That’s not to say that everything is coming up roses; Mexico is a federal republic with many, many, many levels of government, each of which can have officials that rake in their share. On the national level, though, the administration itself is spotless. They can’t clean up everything in six years, and hopefully Calderon’s administration will continue Fox’s initiatives in cleaning up the government. Fox is going to retire at his ranch in San Cristobo, Guanajuato. Do you know how many other ex-presidents have fled the country upon their retirement? Hell, the same goes for state governers!

Yeah, US money is a big, big part of their GNP. Fox and Bush both want a reasonable guest worker program. We really depend on the workers – legal or not – to maintain our cheap way of life. Yeah, we could pay Canadian-style taxes, but we’re not willing to. It’s our own damn fault, in other words. That said, there’s no active government program to export their workers, although some of the states are assholes – comic books on how to survive the crossing, for example. Emigration truly isn’t Mexico’s problem; they’re not friggin’ Cuba after all. As free as our celebrities are to emigrate to Canada when Bush wins, they’re free to go where they want (even if they’re not free to enter the USA via our perspective). It’s a free country, even freer than the USA in many respects. Poverty is the root cause; not any deliberate action of the government. But you know what? If Somalia were on our border, they’d be crossing illegally into the USA, too. Why don’t we criticize their lack of economic development?

The real solution is to encourage Mexico’s economic development so that there’s no reason for financial immigrants. That won’t stop the cultural and family immigration, though. It’s thought here in Mexico that a great portion of the emigrants leave due to existing family in the USA, or “it’s the thing to do.” It’s not all economic. There are jobs in Mexico, and if you consider the high cost of living in the USA versus the higher salary, it’s not all about money for many illegals, although it is for others.

Can you say Bribiesca Sahagún? Or how about explaining the Diego Hildebrando Zavala Gómez del Campo mess?

BTW did you know AMLO didn’t accept any private campaign contributions?


I wonder how the PRD will learn from that – start taking contributions, or fight for totally public campaign financing?

Well, there will be a *lot * of difference.

Obrador would have blamed everything bad in Mexico on the USA, and insisted that the USA open it’s borders to Migrant Mexican workers.

On the other hand, Calderon will insist that the USA open it’s borders to Mexican Migrants, and blame everything bad in Mexico on the USA.

How about you clean your own house and take responsibility for your own mess? No pushing the poor over the border to leech money out of the U.S., no blaming “drug money” for your corrupt system, no more sucking off the generosity of Los Estados Unitos?

Heh. For some reason, one of the Google ads on this page is for live catch traps right now (I’m guessing because of El Presidente FOX). I had a wild thought that maybe it was suggesting a solution to the illegal immigration problem: We should put huge, no-kill traps along the border. When an illegal comes along, SNAP!, we’d catch him and then we could humainly release him back in the wilds of Mexico to frolic with his own kind. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: