Topic V - Topic V Experimenting Between Liberal Democracy...

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Topic V: Experimenting Between Liberal Democracy and Communist Totalitarianism: Mexico, India, Iran, South Africa Mexico Random notes from textbook: Vincent Fox first peaceful transition of presidential power to an opposition leader since the late 1800s PRI like clergy in Iran BUT unlike clergy doesn’t have an actual office that has the power to overrun government legislations, among other things The legacy of the revolutionary era was the forging of a new mode of governance for Mexico-one that synthesized the basic political elements of liberalism (ex.: elections, popular sovereignty) with the corporatist mode of operation (top-down social organization, increased political centralization) Under Cardenas, Mexico finally achieved a strong national identity based on a unique blend of liberalism, corporatism and socialist ideas Mass mobilization : Cardenas structured the party around three organizational pillars, each representing an important social sector: 1. the Mexican Workers’ Confederation (CTM), representing urban industrial labor 2. the National Peasant Confederation (CNC), representing rural workers and the ejidos 3. the National Confederation of Popular Organizations (CNOP), composed of white-collar professionals, government bureaucrats, and small entrepreneurs o political loyalties based on ‘corporate’ vs geographic identities How PRI remained in power o the institutionalization of labor, the peasantry, and the middle class into he ruling party=crucial. By connecting each social sector to the party, Cardenas ensured enormous popular support for the PRI and set the stage for a single-party state. o The president, as head of the PRI, would nominate his successor. Patronage benefits to privileged groups, controlled almost exclusively by PRI officials, increased in the months preceding a national election. o reasonably fair elections were held, but real political competition was minimized o One-party rule-gave political stability o Corporatist system seems stable BUT actually fragile o With single-party rule and the president and his close advisers controlling the party, most of the formal constitutional rules of politics held little sway. The Mexican congress was largely a ‘rubber stamp’ for presidential decrees, and the judiciary served to bolster executive dominance by posing little challenge. o BUT with the breakdown of the corporatist control of the PRI and the rise of real electoral competition, the rules establishing these governing institutions will undoubtedly take on greater importance. Institutions o 1917 Constitution provided a federalist and presidential form of government o Mexico divided into 31 states and each has a relative degree of autonomy in setting policy relevant to regional interests o Political power divided b/w 3 branches: executive, legislative, and judicial-each was to retain institutional autonomy from the others
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o President = 6-year term o One-term limit on the president o No Prime Minister o
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