Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dangers of a new "cochinero": Electing the PRD et al's presidential candidate.

PRD declared it will decide shortly on how to elect the party's presidential standard bearer: Either as an open election through the urns - and not just PRD members, that is - or, through an opinion poll.
Both methods bring great dangers. Within the PRD, every single election for its presidential candidate carried out by mass party base vote has been an unmitigated disaster, and if this process is not carefully monitored, the party's election of its presidential candidate has a very high potential to become a disaster as well, in the process greatly diminishing the party/coalition's chances of winning in 2012.

Yet there is also a major problems with polls in Mexico: They are not only notoriously reliable, but also seen as highly politicized. The July 4 elections, for instance, showed an enormous disparity between what the polls said and what the outcome was, and in most cases this had to do with the PRI, which did far worse than the polls anticipated. This led of course to claims that the pollsters had been bought and paid for by the PRI to "fix" the polls in order to portray their candidates as all-but-invincible.

I recently had an interview round with several of the current IFE councilors, and most agreed that this was indeed a very serious issue that needed to be addressed ahead of 2012, through a new electoral reform or otherwise.

As for the PRD/PT/Convergencia, I still hope they will do it through a poll - an evil, yet still a lesser one. 

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