Prague Twin

Friday, July 07, 2006

Democracy's Dirty Secret

The Washington Post reports Calderón Wins Mexico Presidential Election.

With all votes now counted, Calderón has topped Andres Manuel López Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, by half a percentage point, or about 200,000 votes. The final count shows Calderón with 35.88 percent and López Obrador with 35.31.

In Mexico, votes are counted locally and then sealed in boxes which are sent to central counting centers, only boxes with evendence of tampering are opened and counted individually...

This has enraged López Obrador and his supporters. They want a vote-by-vote count of every packet. But Luis Carlos Ugalde, head of Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute, said Wednesday that López Obrador's request is illegal and that opening all the packets would amount to a violation of Mexican law that would annul the results of not only the presidential race, but also thousands of other races, including contests for Mexico's legislature and a host of governships.


PAN, Calderon's party, has been stealing elections through this process for decades. There have been instances where boxes from areas dominated by the PRI have been counted as 90% for PAN. It isn't ironic that PAN doesn't want the packets opened: the law favors the ruling party that has control over the vote-counting process.

I don't think there is a better system for choosing our leaders than by open elections. However, democracy is such a fragile thing, so easily corrupted, it must be gaurded like a small child in a busy marketplace.

It is a hard thing to accept that elections are stolen all of the time. In the United States, especially in the early days, voter fraud has been a way of life. Clearly it is improving, but in tight elections, the better cheater just might win.

In this case, PAN once again proved themselves to be the better cheaters.

8 Comments:

  • "guarded like a small child in a busy marketplace"..good read,thanks for posting it :)

    By Blogger dusty, at 2:00 AM  

  • This hasn't played out yet. It is places like Mexico where people power can really take hold.
    The early signs are there, I guess it depends on how pissed off the people really are.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 2:21 AM  

  • don't you need some kind of proof? it's that obvious to you? not to me, sorry, I favoured Obrador as well, but unsupported allegations are really nothing, except maybe for the followers of correctitude, it's up to Obrador to show something convincing to Ugalde, and the press of course, the next few days will tell the tale, be well.

    By Blogger David Wilson, at 2:35 AM  

  • We will see if Ugalde's people really push.

    David,

    Welcome. It is that obvious to me for two reasons.

    First, I spent some time covering the elections in the early nineties. 80 years of corruption doesn't go away over night, or even in 15 years.

    Second, I am rather cynical and I believe that everybody cheats (just look at the Dems and Reps in the U.S.). Therefore, in a tight election, the guy who wins is usually the better cheater.

    They should open some packets from the remote areas of Oaxaca at random and see what is inside. Then you have your answer.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:46 AM  

  • Sorry, I mean we will see if Ugalde's people really hold out.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:48 AM  

  • PAN, Calderon's party, has been stealing elections through this process for decades.

    Uh, the PAN-istas never made it to national power until the Election of Vincenti Fox. Did you mean at the local or regional level?

    The PRI, or Partido Revolucionario Institucional ruled mexico from 1929 through the loss of Francisco Labastida to Vincenti Fox Quesada in 2000.

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 1:06 AM  

  • I was a president for a voting booth last Sunday, July 2nd. There was also a secretary and a counter (escrutador). We had at our table one person representing PAN, one from the PRI and 2 for PRD. They watched the whole process. Every citizen over 18 has an id, specifically for voting. The id has a picture, fingerprint, signature. birthdate and address. We had a list with a copy of the id´s of the people voting at our booth. Every time someone arrive to vote, we check his id, put a stamp over the copy we had, pounched his id at the date 2006. We vote the traditional way, paper and crayons, and we kept every paper. After voting averyone had his right thumb mark with a special ink. I knew a lot of the people who came to my booth, they are my neighbours. At 6 pm we closed the booth and the counting started. At our booth PAN won everything, by much. At 10:00 pm we packed all the documentation, sealed and signed everything and every party representative received a copy of the oficial papers with the final numbers. If they had any comments they could have writen them down and we should had to add them to the rest of the documents without any questioning. This didn´t ocurred. They all had cell phones and called their party headquarters to send the final numbers. At 10:30 I was at another address which was a center where the insitute gathered the documantation. We were like an army of presidents of voting booths all carrying the same white, heavy box with all the papers. We were all wet because on top of everything, it was raining. It was so much work, at 11 pm I had breakfast. I checked the numbers that we got in the internet, the IFE and the IEDF have them on their web pages and anyone can see the numbers gotten from each voting booth in the country. The numbers of my booth were correct. Ther is no place for fraud. This elections was carried out by the citizens.

    By Blogger krizantah, at 6:28 AM  

  • Please see "Stand Corrected" up today.

    PT

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 6:00 PM  

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