Similar but different Institutions of Mexican Government Mexicos
Similar but different Institutions of Mexican Government Mexicos Key Concepts: Presidential system, mixed proportional / single member district representation One-party dominant system ( PRI) 70+yrs. Sexenio one term of 6 years IFE Institutuo Federal Electoral: combats electoral fraud Camarilla system network of PRI supporters within federal
Mexicos Key Concepts cont. Public policy challenges: unstable economy, illegal drug trade, and emigration to the US Federal System: 36 states, one federal district North is more developed and conservative, South is less developed and more liberal Mexicos Ethnic Cleavages Mexico is Ethnically diverse Spanish descendants, native
populations, descendants of African slaves, and Mestizos ( mixed population) Chiapas: large poor population that lives in the south, has rebelled against the government and alleged discrimination Most citizens in Mexico are Catholic Constitution of 1917 Still in effect today, modeled somewhat after the US. Sexenio non-reelection, no national leader can succeed himself/herself (all Fed pos.) State controlled national resources (PEMEX oil industry)
Banks were nationalized, peso devalued, hurting the wealthy. Haciendas ( huge land estates) were broken up in favor of ejidos ( state owned land worked by peasants) Linkage Institutions Mexicos political parties, interest groups, and media all work to link Mexican citizens to their government During the PRI era all of this took place under the authority of the PRI party so a true civil society did not exist
As democratization began and civil society began to develop, these structures were already in place, so activating democracy was easier than it would have been otherwise Political Parties Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) National Action Party (PAN)
Democratic (PRD) Revolutionary Party PRI In power from 1920-2000 Originally elites agreed to trade favors and pass around power from one cacique to another (Sexenio) Corporatist structure interest groups woven into the structure of the party. Patron-client system party traditionally gets its support from rural areas where patron-client system is still in control. Patron-client system allowed the
PRI to remain in control of Mexicans as long as majority of population was ruralbased, this began to change in the late PAN (Right of Center) Founded in 1939 Represents business interests opposed to centralization and anti-clericalism PAN support strongest in the north
PAN generally considered PRIs opposition to the Right PAN candidate Vicente Fox won 2000 presidential election, Felipe Calderon won 2006 election Platform Regional autonomy Less government intervention in the economy Clean & fair elections Good rapport with Catholic Church Support for private and religious education
Supporters are urban, middle class, wealthy PRD (Left of Center) PRD considered PRIs opposition to the Left Presidential candidate in 1988 & 1994 was Cuahtemoc Cardenas (son of Lazaro Cardenas) PRD has been plagued by poor organization, lack of charismatic leadership, and most importantly
the lack of an economic alternative to the marketoriented policies of the PRI & PAN (a more socialist party) Supporters are working class, younger, better educated, active Voter Profiles PRI small town or rural, less educated, older, poorer PAN
PRD from the north, middle-class professional or business, urban, better educated (at least high school, some college) religious (or those less strict regarding separation of church & state) younger, politically active, from the central states, some education, small town or urban Elections
Citizens in Mexico directly elect the president, Chamber of Deputy Representatives, and Senators as well as most local & state officials Elections are generally competitive, specifically in urban areas Members of congress elected through dual system of first-past-the-post and proportional representation Proportional representation was increased in a major reform law in 1986, a change
that gave power to political parties that challenged PRI control Elections Cont. Each of Mexicos 31 states elects three senators, 2 are determined by majority vote, the other is determined by whichever party receives the second highest number of votes 32 senate seats are determined nationally through a system of proportional representation that divides the seats according to the number of votes cast for each party (128 Senate seats in total)
In the Chamber of Deputies, 300 seats are determined by plurality within single-member districts, and 200 are chosen by proportional representation Election of 2000 PAN/PRD candidate Vicente Fox won presidency (43% of the vote compared to 36% garnered for PRI candidate Francisco Labastida) New, competitive election system has encouraged coalitions to form to the right &
left of the PRI Split in votes has encourage gridlock, phenomenon unknown to Mexico under the old PRI-controlled governments Interest Groups & Popular Movements Business Interests networked with political leaders to protect the growth of commerce, finance, industry, and agriculture
Labor accommodated within system Wage levels for union workers increased Economic crisis of lowering oil prices in the 80s caused wages to drop. Power of union bosses has decreased as unions weaken and members become more independent Media
Part of the patron-client system under the PRI, with rewards and favors doled out in return for political support Have become more independent as PRI-political structure has been reorganized Many Mexicans have access to international newspapers, magazines, CNN and the BBC Media has become more investigative, but still has government interference. ( Elections)
Executive Branch Center of policy-making Sexenio: non-renewable six-year term (Under PRI similar to dictator) Selected successor Appointed officials to all positions of power in the government Named PRI candidates for other public office Control over rubber-stamp Congress
Executive Branch Powers of President Initiate legislation In charge of foreign policy Create government agencies Issues decrees and regulations with force of law (Similarities to US) (trends?) Bureaucracy High & Middle level officials have a good deal of power
Civil servants work for patrons more than the statethe staff will follow minister when gets a new job Under PRI: corruption and bribes quite common amongst officials in the bureaucracy Parastatal Sector semiautonomous government agencies that often produce goods & services PEMEX (state owned petroleum company) After 1980s oil bust reforms cut the number of para-statals, and many are now privately owned President Fox tried unsuccessfully to privatize PEMEX
Legislature Bicameral Chamber of Deputies (500-member), Senate (128-member) All legislators directly elected-members cant serve consecutive terms Election held every three years Until 1980s legislature remained under strict control
of the president PRIs lost hold on legislature earlier than it did on the presidency Lost majority in the Chamber of Deputies in 1997 Women in both houses has risen significantly since 1996 election law required parties to sponsor female candidates Local governments
36 states and federal district Depend on federal government for funding Patronage very important The Breakdown of the PRI has hurt these networks Attempts to reform the system have been thwarted by government agencies and the governors who retain control of the money when it is given to the states Judiciary
Strong judicial branch necessary for a country to operate on the Rule of Law Mexico does not have an independent judiciary or judicial review system Most laws are federal, limiting the authority of state courts Much more dependent on written law than precedence Supreme Court On paper has judicial review, but it never overrules important government policy or actions Historically has been controlled by the
executive branch Judges appointed for life, but in practice resigned at the beginning of each sexenio Military Dominated Mexican political life into the early 20th century Government control of the military one of PRIs most important accomplishments Strong ties between military officers and
drug barons Military heavily involved in drug-enforcement Some corruption with drug cartels through the military Policies & Issues Economy Mexican Miracle 1940-1960 economy grew more than 6% per year Industrial production up nearly 9% per year during 1960s Agricultural share of production down: 25% to 11% Manufacturing share of production up: 25% to 34% Problems Growing gap between rich & poor Rapid/Unplanned Urbanization
Economics II Debt Crisis Mexican government borrowed heavily in order to industrialize, Maquiladoras ( factories on border of Mex/US) Most of the economic growth based on oil economy Oil plummet in 1982, caused Mexican economy to plummet as well 1987, Mexico over $107 billion in debt, debt represented 70% of GNP Economics III Reform Begun by President Miguel de la Madrid in 1982, continued by presidents Salinas &
Zedillo (the tecnicos) Sharp cuts in Government Spending Mexico greatly reduced government spending by eliminating public enterprises cutting government subsidies cutting hundreds of thousands of public jobs Economic Policy NAFTAZapatista movement This conflict brought to light the
significant economic disparity between the mostly impoverished southern regions and the more heavily industrialized northern regions !!! Proof of Ethnic Cleavages Chiapas, largely poor population in the south, has rebelled and alleged Foreign Policy GATT/WTO
NAFTA in 1986 Mexico joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the precursor to the World Trade Organization economics still dominates even in terms of foreign policy Has brought more transparency to Mexican politics and economics Immigration & Drug Trafficking
Communication Technology has made America still the key focus for Mexican foreign policy Mexicos problems more global (Zapatista Issues of Democracy Election Reform CFE (Federal Election Reform) created as an independent regulatory body to safeguard honest and accurate election results Campaign Finance Restriction laws that limit campaign contributions International Watch Teams so Mexico could convince other countries that elections are fair and competitive
Election monitoring done by opposition party members Mexican Videos Mexicos Drug War http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn8hEoVYfyU Mexicos Drug War: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfRAVONRyZ4
Election of 2012: http:// www.economist.com/node/21557337 Votes for Sale http:// www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mexican %20elections&sm=3 A tale of Two Economies: Mexico and China http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YWyFW00RTM
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