The Current State Of Mexican Democracy

1132 words - 5 pages

According to Stoner and McFaul when the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was defeated and voted out of office in 2000 this turnout allowed for a completion of a successful transition to democracy in Mexico (264). Although a transition did occur and Mexico does have solid democratic foundations, bewildering corruption, poor rule of law, and narco related violence have halted Mexican democratic consolidation.
The current state of Mexican democracy is seemingly difficult to analyze because Mexico is still a relatively new democracy. The Mexican government has come a long way and still has a lot to work on order to improve its democracy. The Mexican government has been successful at upholding substantive and procedural methods of government yet it has been failing in participation and responsiveness. The current government allows elections and reforms to be implemented when civil society has called for them, but civil society, although becoming more active,has not been able to keep the privileged elite political class accountable (Nytimes 1). The electoral reform laws that took place in 1994-1996 allowed for better transparency and fairness while voting (Stoner and Mcfaul 263). These laws as well as the devaluation of the peso had voters turn against the PRI which inevitably let voters to form a new party (Stoner and Mcfaul 262). The success of a new party in 2000 allowed for a democratic transition but the inertia has been lost and democratic consolidation isn’t possible unless certain problems are addressed.
The PRI party that had run Mexico for 71 years by using an unfair system of corruption was defeated, but the remnants they left behind are creating more challenges for democratic consolidation. In 2000, after the PRI was voted out of office,the two parties that filled the gaps from 2000 to 2012 have created a very unstable and uncertain political environment (Nytimes 1). Vicente Fox took power in 2000 but actually did little government reform to change what the PRI had left behind(NYtimes 1). The next president Felipe Calderon took office, and had to deal with corruption and widespread violence from the drug cartels that were spreading and competing for control in Mexico. Another problem that these the Mexican government has failed to rectify is that the governing institutions are accountable only to the private elites that do not respond to middle and lower class problems. The former oligarchic rule and government corruption, have allowed wealthy elites to have much say in Mexican politics, with the help of the neoliberal reforms that require massive privatization and in turn even more privilege that lower and middle class cannot afford(O’Neill 1). This can cause representatives to pay little attention to the middle and lower class and cause democratic consolidation to have more of a top down effect and once again slow down democratic consolidation.
It is also important to remember that the democratic transition is...

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