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The Mexican Presidential Debate 2012

The Mexican Presidential Candidates 2012

Mexico, with its wealth of natural resources, its geographic position, and a young hard-working population should be among the wealthiest nations on the planet. However the population of 113,000,000 is mired in an endless circle of violence, corruption and inequality. Since 1810 when it fought for independence from Spain, Mexico has been bogged down by (to be charitable) ineffective leadership. The 2012presidential election is an extremely important one.

Last night, June 10th, we watched the second and final debate of the four candidates in the Mexican presidential race. The election will be held on Sunday July 1st. The candidates are:

  • Enrique Pena Nieto: PRI
  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: PRD
  • Josefina Vazquez Mota: PAN
  • Gabriel Quadri of the New Alliance party.

Most polls show the New Alliance’s Gabriel Quadri is in fourth place; the PAN’s Vazquez Mota is in third place; Lopez    Obrador of the PRD is in second place; and the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto in first place.

All of the candidates have negative associations that the others play up.

Enrique Peña Nieto is the candidate for the party that held the presidency in Mexico for 70+ years. The PRI ruled the country with a combination of benevolence and iron fist tactics. The Mexican people are nervous of a return of the old regimen.

Nonetheless, they seem to prefer even this over another term with the PAN administration in the driver’s seat. This party ousted the PRI in 2000 and both their presidents have ended their 6 year terms with low approval ratings. Josefina Vazquez Mota the PAN candidate touts herself as “different” which many see as a weak position for the incumbent party to take.

Meanwhile the PRD’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador carries the stigma of being a hot-headed rabble rouser following his behavior after the last presidential election in 2006. At that time he maintained that the election had been stolen from him by means of the electoral fraud. Many believe the accusation to be true.

Finally Gabriel Quadri of the New Alliance presents an interesting platform but his party is simply not well known enough to be a serious contender.

The “debate” was more of an opportunity for each candidate to present their opinions and in some cases, dish the others:

  • The PAN candidate spent a good part of her allotted time accusing the other candidates of evil deeds. They pretty much defended their positions with solid counter opinions.
  • The PRI candidates tried to underscore the negative effect that the student movement (#Yo Soy 132) is having   on his campaign.
  • The PRD candidate stressed the social responsibility that is characteristic of his party and downplayed the notion that he would be the next Hugo Chavez.
  • The New Alliance urged the Mexican voters to rid their country of past policies that did not work and vote in a new option.

How will the Mexican electorate vote? Traditionally, they show amazing courage and conviction when they are under stress. Whatever the results determine on July 1st, the entire population needs to stand squarely behind the elected candidate. Pulling together is paramount if the country is to shake itself out of the negativity of the past.

* All photos are from Google Images. The top one shows the four candidates. The single shots  (in order of appearance) are of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD), Josefina Vasquez Mota (PAN), Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI) and Gabriel Quadri (New Alliance)

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