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Lecture 33 - Mexico Political System

Lecture 33 - Mexico Political System - Lecture Political...

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Lecture 11/30/07 Political System: Mexico MEXICO’S POLITICAL SYSTEM o On paper, Mexico’s government is structured much like the US A presidential system Three autonomous branches of govt. with checks and balances Federalism with considerable autonomy at the local level o Until the 1990’s, however, the system was in practice far removed from the US model Decision making highly centralized The president, operating with relative few restraints, completely dominated the legislative and judicial branches Until the late 1990’s, the overwhelming majority of those elected to public office were, in fact, appointed by higher up in the PRI-govt. apparatus These appointees were not responsible to any broad constituency, but simply to their higher-ups WHAT USED TO BE AND WHAT IT IS NOW… o Over the last 2 decades, however, Mexico has experienced a remarkable transformation o What used to be: a political system in which electoral manipulation was condoned by political leaders and cynically accepted by the public THE WIND OF CHANGE o Recurrent economic crises (1976-77, 82-89, 94-96) among catalysts for revolution in citizens’ expectations o Vast majority suffers severe economic pain, attributable to government mismanagement of the economy o Fundamental political changes took place “under veil of governmental continuity” Mexican transition=characterized by striking absences: of political collapse, foundational elections, big pacts, constitutional assembly, alternation of power o 1988 Presidential election: PRI avoids defeat through its control of the election machinery and the mass media o 1994 Presidential election
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