Saturday, March 24, 2012

10 arguments for legislative reelection

In the Mexican state of Puebla, 10 local legislators, or 25 percent of the entire state legislature, is leaving their current office to seek a seat in the national congress as federal legislators.

There is nothing illegal or even unnatural of politicians seeking to "move up the ladder" politically - indeed, it lies at the very heart of representative politics.

Yes this case shows the very perversions of what is very likely a product of Mexico's no-reelection practice:
The legislators took office just one year ago! They have barely found the time to learn the workings of the legislature, get informed of local matters, deepen ties to constituents, and so forth, and then barely a third into their term, they bail ship. It may partly be a reflection of excessive personal ambition, but certainly the practice is awarded incentives by 1) only having three-year terms, and 2) not having reelection.

An illustrative and rather funny story on the matter from a couple of weeks back:

PRI's Ivonne Álvarez García, mayor of Guadalupe, was elected mayor two years ago in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, had promised and sworn and pledged she would sit out her full term. Yet as Mexico's parties are now choosing candidates for national office, she forgot about her election promise, changed her mind, asked for a leave of absence, and left town

Yet now so fast! One of her constituents complained  that she had broken a promise, and managed to secure a writ of amparo, forcing the senator hopeful to return to the pueblo. Kudos to Dinorah Cantú Pedraza for keeping her to her promise!

The saga continued for a few nervous days, as this might have enormous consequences for candidates elsewhere, who might be refused similar pedidos de licencia or requests for "leaves of absence." Álvarez huffed and puffed and was "very angry" at this pesky citizen, and found an amparo for herself and her candidacy, and finally a federal judge rejected the earlier decision, clearing the way for her candidacy.

Oh, and merely days after, she was again in trouble as she promoted her candidacy on Youtube via a raffle, breaking at least 3-4 electoral laws, where she from her municpal office called on voters to "like" her Facebook account, in return for the chance to win - an Ipad!

Perhaps the citizens of Guadalupe, NL, are better off with their mayor far off in Mexico City.

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