July 10, 2006

Mexican election rigged? About a quarter of a million people chanting "Fraud! Fraud!" jammed Mexico City's central square Saturday to back leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's bid to overturn his narrow electoral defeat with court appeals and mass marches. More here and here. Here, you can get one democracy-focused NGO's pre-election take on the state of affairs in Mexico. Here is a look at Mexico's version of red states vs. blue states. And here and here are a bunch of links to other articles about the election.
  • That LA Times article seems biased against Lopez Obrador, painting him as little more than a rabble-rouser. Mind you, there's so much spin and muckraking going on that it's hard to know what AMLO is really like, given how PAN seems to have attacked his character. Here's an article from the unfortunately-named Narconews, which includes photos of precinct results where numbers have apparently been switched (halfway down the page). Here's a blog by a local who talks about the many ways the election was tampered with, and some in-house gossip about the electronic first count:
    Yesterday we learned from some whistle blowers, as suspected, that they had been instructed to delay the data entry for data that was not favorable to the PAN.
    He also talks about hacks, vote purchasing, "invalidated" ballot boxes, and so on. He conducted his own informal exit poll (about quarter of the way down the page) where voters said the PRD would take their house, the PRD called for a popular uprising, the PRD killed the voter's brother(!) and the PRD candidate never graduated from university. Yeah, I'm thinking rigged. Just when we thought the one party rule was over, I guess.
  • I'm thinking rigged too, and I support Lopez too.
  • It will be interesting to see if the left in Mexico 'means it', instead of just putting on a show of pretending to want to win long enough to make the system look legitimate like in the US.
  • It's good thing that can't happen in the U.S., huh?
  • *cries*
  • A quarter of a million people in the streets? No, that doesn't seem to happen in the U.S. We just grumble about our election fraud and then go back to cueing up a tune on our iPod.
  • It will be interesting to see how this plays out, whether mexicans accept their rigged and broken electoral system the way 'muricans accept theirs. Oh look, sale at Macys! The day 'consumers' start demanding they be addressed as citizens again in this country will be an unusual one indeed.
  • Mexicans act more American than Americans. I guess that's Americans celebrate Mexico's Independence Day harder than they celebrate their own.
  • Oh yeah right, like people are actually interested in "stealing elections" or "invading oil-rich countries". Pfft. Neeerrrrrrrrrrds!
  • ...I guess that's why Americans...
  • So, is comparing any possibly crooked election to the American ones "the new Godwin?" 'Cause I'm OK with that.
  • Oh well... Speaking from down here in the D.F., I can tell you it's quite a muddled mess. Yes, the election campaign was a mudslinging feast where low-blows were the norm. Obrador is a very complex character; his main perceived qualities, honesty and courage ('stubborness', some would call it) have been tarnished by the attitudes of some of those around him. Calderón is a party-man right-winger whose task is to keep the course. Which makes him to investors and industry leaders more acceptable that Obrador's flaming speeches against the excesses of capitalism. There is an overall feeling of uneasiness over the past weekend's voting mess. There was the sincere hope in many that we had advanced, after 2000's election showed an old entrenched system could be kicked out. Now, with this strange, photoshopped photo finish, there is the doubt again. And now, after several heads of state have given their approval, it's quite unlikely that there will be a 'vote-by-vote' recount. The left in Mexico has shown it walks the talk. Many sympathizers have shown it by ending up killed. I doubt there will be any major uprisings; it would be the perfect excuse for the PRD to be ostracized, after a smear campaing based on their 'intolerance and violence'. But still, the few that had some faith left on the electoral institute and in the promise of real elections are quite disillusioned.
  • Ah... D.F. = Mexico City.
  • D.F. = Mexico City Obviously.