Sunday, November 28, 2010

Only 44% think 2012 elections will be fair: El Universal

According to an El Universal poll, only 44 percent of Mexicans believe the 2012 elections will be clean. A majority of Mexicans, in other words, don't trust the IFE. While I can't find any more details on the poll itself, this number is disturbingly high. Whether to blame IFE itself, or people like AMLO who has toured the country constantly discrediting Mexico's institutions... that's another story.


  1. Yann Kerevel11/29/2010 5:54 PM

    Here are some more details on the poll:

    This is interesting though. For many years polls have found confidence in the IFE to be very high, one of the most trusted institutions in the country along with the military and church. But the question wording is different, something along the lines of, "how much confidence do you have in the IFE?" I'm thinking specifically of the Latinobarometro polls, but I'm pretty sure Mexican papers have periodically asked the same question. In most cases, a sizable majority of people have high confidence in the IFE. I wonder though if the question wording is key. I can imagine a scenario where individuals are asked in the same survey about the IFE and display high levels of confidence, but be asked specifically about the results of an election and question its validity. I can't think of a survey off the top of my head that looks at both of these questions, but I'm not sure there is a direct link in peoples minds between IFE and the cleanliness of election outcomes. The same El Universal poll shows that 57% of people didn't know who organizes federal elections, which is pretty astounding to me since having an IFE voter id is so widespread and necessary for just about any official transaction. If most people don't know the IFE runs elections, this makes me question whether or not their perceptions of the 2012 elections can be directly traced to their perceptions of IFE.

    In addition, it isn't exactly clear from the question wording what the ordering of the questions was, but it does seem likely that the 44% figure came right after they asked respondents about the 2006 elections. My guess is that that priming likely had an effect on how people thought about potential fraud in 2012.

  2. Thank you very much for the link! I think your points are very fair - if they don't know who is organizing the elections, then believing 2012 will be fraudulent is not necessarily an indictment of IFE per se, especially if question 11 is asked right after 9 and 10. Even so: If 44% think 2012 will be fraudulent, it may in any event be functionally equivalent to not confiding in IFE - and we have a serious issue at our hands in any regard. And this is first of all my own subjective impression, but hasn't there been quite a bit more open critiques of the IFE recently, from intellectuals and political commentaries? I wonder if they reflect an increasing critical attitude from sectors of the elite; indeed, given their handling of some recent issues, I personally tend to concur with some of these critiques, as I think far too many recent IFE decisions have been political in nature. As for the mass level, I hope this poll really does not reflect an increasing rejection of the IFE, and at the same time, I also hope that IFE's own behavior will not make some of it warranted.