Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: Got a Light, Mexico?

8.28.2006

Got a Light, Mexico?


Today the top electoral Mexican court discounted presidential candidate Obrador's allegation that massive fraud handed his opponent, Calderon victory. The judges, all seven, voted unanimously to reject the leftist candidate's suit for a total recount of every ballot. Takes you back, doesn't it?

What is very different in this case, is that their population isn't lying down and being told what to do. They are demanding democracy and no, democracy isn't clean and doesn't end when you cast your ballot. Obrador's followers are demonstrating nationally, threatening to shut down services and even suggesting armed, civil resistance. They are asking the question we should have asked in 2000: "If we call our government a democracy and our president isn't democratically elected, what are we?" Well, they asked that question and didn't like the answer, so they took to the streets and are fighting for a government for and by the people. Not one handed down by seven judges with their own motives.

Whether Obrador is actually in the end the winner, his claims need to be addressed: Each ballot box starts with a certain amount of ballots that get handed out to voters, so when you get that box back, there should be the same amount, only there weren't. But it wasn't just a few areas that this discrepency existed; it was for a majority of the country. A majority. That means that over 50% of the ballot boxes, and by extension votes, are not accurate. That alone is reason for a recount, but there's more. When the judges did manage to authorize a recount for one precinct, they found that Calderon lost nearly 13,000 votes or about 1%. Obrador didn't lose any. If you did just one box and found this to be true, wouldn't you press for a full recount? Finally, and to me the most damning reason why Obrador's voters (and really all Mexicans should be angry), the judges won't release the recount for the precincts that followed. If anyone reads this blog, does any of this sound familiar?

In America after the 2000 general election debacle, no one took to the streets, the media refused to defend our democracy and the country rolled over and said "who cares"? If you were a Republican happy with the outcome of the 2000 election, consider this: It doesn't matter what party you belong to if no one counts your vote and there may be some day when you actually want your vote counted. If, however, you are an American first, take a good look at to your neighbors to the south. Hopefully they're relighting the torch we extinguished six years ago.

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