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Memo From Middle America | Mexico Votes On July 1—How Does It Affect Us?
Mexico is in the midst of a presidential election. Since Mexico has its elections every six years, and the U.S. every four years, that means that every 12 years both countries have elections the same year.
As I am currently visiting Mexico, you could say I’m right in the middle of it, but of course, as an American citizen I don’t vote, campaign or meddle in the election, though I do find it very interesting and entertaining.
The election is scheduled for Sunday, July 1. The winner is scheduled to take office in early December.
I’ve been writing quite a bit about the Mexican election for other websites. My Mexidata.info archive has recent articles on the election (click here). For a more general explanation, you can read my article Elections in Mexico and the US: Comparisons and Contrasts.
Here at VDARE.COM, our main emphasis is the National Question. What can we learn from the Mexican election that affects our immigration policies?
There are three principal parties in Mexico:
- The Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
The PRI ran Mexico from 1929 to 2000, when it was defeated by Vicente Fox, of the
- Partido Acción Nacional (PAN). Fox was president 2000-2006. He was succeeded by another PAN president Felipe Calderon (2006 to this year, when his term expires).
- The Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)--populist leftist.
In addition there are smaller parties which may or may not make alliances with larger parties.
In this election there are actually four candidates, listed here by their positions in the polls:
- Enrique Pena Nieto (photo here) is the candidate of the PRI and the smaller Green Party.
- Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador , known by the initials AMLO (photo here) is the candidate of 3 parties: the PRD, the PT (Labor Party) and Movimiento Ciudadano. AMLO was the PRD candidate in 2006, who was edged out by less than 1% of the vote by Felipe Calderon. AMLO refused to accept defeat and organized massive protests in Mexico City which lasted for months.
- Josefina Vazquez Mota(photo here) , known publicly as “Josefina”, is candidate of the PAN.
- Gabriel Quadri de la Torre (photo here) is the candidate for the micro-party known as Nueva Alianza, or PANAL.
Vicente Fox had many fans in the Republican Party who identified the PAN with the GOP. They assured us that we had to give Fox what he wanted on immigration because he was “conservative” and “pro-American”.
But Fox has actually betrayed PAN in this election and is supporting the PRI candidate Pena Nieto.
The truth is that Mexican political parties are Mexican political parties. They don’t match up to our parties because they derive from a different political atmosphere. Mexico, remember, is a different country.
Currently, I don’t really see a whole lot of difference, economically between the PRI and the PAN. The PRD is farther to the left, but its radical nature has been exaggerated (among others, by Dick Morris).
None of the Mexican political parties are for limited government, nor should we expect Mexican immigrants to be attracted to limited government in the U.S.
All of the candidates are promising the Mexican electorate all sorts of things. AMLO says he’ll bring 6% economic growth with no tax hikes and lower energy prices. Josefina says she’ll capture narco baron Chapo Guzman. Pena Nieto says he’ll cut homicides in half and put Mexico in the #1 spot in Latin America in the international PISA educational scores. And so on.
There’s a Spanish saying about that: “El prometer no empobrece - El dar es lo que aniquila.” (To promise does not impoverish – to give is what annihilates.)
What about immigration? As Mexico is our #1 source of immigrants, it is helpful to look at what Mexican politicians say about it.
As I have explained in umpteen jillion articles through the years, the Mexican government openly meddles in U.S. immigration policy. That’s not going to change no matter who wins.
Interestingly though, there’s been less rhetoric on the topic than the 2006 election, when U.S. immigration policy was a topic discussed at a presidential debate.
This year, it was only a sub-topic of the Mexico in the World segment of the debate held on June 10th. The transcript and analysis are available at the Mexican website Adqat.com: Análisis del segundo debate presidencial México 2012, June 12, 2012. (Translations are by me—this is exclusive to VDARE.com!)
In the debate, AMLO said he was going to have good relations with the United States for three reasons, (1) there are millions of Mexicans who live and work there, (2) we have a border of more than 3,000 kilometers and (3) the U.S. is Mexico’s biggest trading partner.
Of course, AMLO doesn’t want us enforcing immigration law:
“We are also, in the agenda that I’m going to present to the U.S. government, going to deal with the topic of migratory reform, so they don’t keep chasing our fellow Mexicans…that there is no mistreatment, that there is no racism, that they don’t think they can resolve the problem with walls, militarizing the border, we are going to convince them. “
Josefina was very upfront about her meddling:
“…I want to directly address the Mexican communities in the United States. …I know your extraordinary effort, and that’s why I am committed to open an undersecretary post for the migrant in the foreign ministry, headed of course, by one of you….I pledge with you to have the best lawyers that can defend you. I categorically reject the criminalization of Mexicans in the United States…..”
Pena Nieto approached the problem as a question of integration:
“I’m convinced that the proximity with the United States should permit us first, to achieve a greater integration, a productive integration to compete with the rest of the world and to go beyond what is in the Free Trade accord to achieve a greater integration with the region of North America and to compete in this way with the world, where blocs have integrated that are no competing: the European Union, the countries of Asia Pacific, the countries of South America.”
“Secondly, to work on a bilateral agenda, that, respecting our sovereignties, permits a more secure border for the transit of persons and of products between both countries, to achieve also a greater attention to the Mexicans who live in the United States–12 million Mexicans and the majority of them live there in an undocumented manner. “
“That’s why I propose to head a government that, no matter where Mexicans are, they shall always have the certainty that my government will hold them close in alliance and in support of their necessities.”
Quadri actually criticized Mexican treatment of Central Americans:
“…while we don’t treat Central Americans in Mexico in a dignified and humane manner, excuse me, but we can’t face the United States to ask that they treat Mexicans in a dignified manner. Here, we murder them, rob them, imprison them in dirty jails and …that it is absolutely unacceptable. Therefore I propose that the Central Americans on Mexican soil have the same rights as each one of us, the same rights.”
Current polls indicate that Pena Nieto is the man to beat. The candidate has several advantages. One is that, since the PRI has been out of the presidency 12 years, he can actually run as a candidate of change. Also, Pena Nieto, despite his personal scandals, projects more of a presidential demeanor.
AMLO is in second place, and he’s trying to be a kinder, gentler populist.
Josefina, of the PAN, is doing poorly. She has actually dropped from second place to third place. Part of her problem is her party has held the presidency for 12 years, so it seems ridiculous for her to run as a candidate of change.
Lately Josefina has been getting desperate, moving into a shrieking feminist mode . She’s been running on the platform that voters should vote for her because she’s a woman and would be Mexico’s first woman president. At one of her women-only rallies, she told women to withhold “cuchi-cuchi” from their husbands if they didn’t accompany them to vote for Josefina. (And this was reiterated in a later campaign speech. Talk about desperate!
As for Quadri, he’s an interesting, professorial-type character, but is running in low single digits.
But guess what, my conclusion is, that from our point of view as American immigration patriots, it doesn’t matter who wins the presidency of Mexico! We shouldn’t be worried about it.
The solution to our immigration problems lies in the U.S.A.--and not in Mexico.
Let Mexico choose its own leaders and work out its own problems.
If we had a pro-sovereignty, pro-American government in Washington, it wouldn’t matter a hill of beans what any Mexican president said or did about our immigration policy.
Plus, say what you will about any of these Mexican candidates, but not a one of them is overseeing a national plan to dramatically transform the population of Mexico. They aren’t trying to elect a new people.
But north of the border, that’s exactly what our government is doing.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A in 2008, after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.