Electoral Pourdown

I just came back from voting both for federal and local elections. There hasn’t been a single sunbeam today, and at least here in Mexico City we have our very own electoral downpour in the most literal way. I’ve been out checking different spots where people are voting, and was pleased to see so many people getting in line to have their saying despite of cold and rain. However, the reports coming in from the rest of the country are far from being positive; there has been word of violence, of vote coercion, of voting stands sacked and/or blocked, and a big number of other democratic disgraces.

This reassures my worries expressed on one of my past posts: that the election could easily be corrupted. Well actually, that already happened and I have no doubt about it; I guess my concern today is that this is going to affect the result of the election. It’s just so sad to think we have an electoral system that’s very well designed but that it doesn’t because no one really protects it from being tampered with. Not even the institutions created for that. The EPN-Televisa media scandal is no such thing here in Mexico, and despite of all the coverage done in The Guardiannot a single institution has done something about it.

The other big scandal, also by EPN’s party, has been the distribution of so-called gift cards from a bank called MONEX, likely intended to either buy votes or give financial aid to coercion skims. Appropriate complaints were maid by the other two important parties (PAN and PRD) both at the Electoral Federal Institute (IFE) and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Electoral Crimes (FEPADE), and at least the PAN partie demanded that the MONEX account from which the plastics were being funded was frozen until the day after July 1st and further investigations could be done. The authority held an inquiry and concluded that the account was indeed being used for ilegal financing, but as it (allegedly) couldn’t be proved that this unauthorized budget would be used to buy or coerce voters, the account was not frozen and further inquiries will be made only after the election process is over. That is, until the ilegal money may and probably will have irreversibly affected the election. (You can read some more about it here)

So today, just as the weather, the election has been gloomy, and does not promise a single sunlight in the horizon. The sky cried all over us today, and it’s been the saddest election I’ve been witness of. To think about it only makes it worse because it reminds me that today should be a public festivity. We should be celebrating our obtained right and obligation of deciding what to do with our country, the only one we’ll have, the one we should be looking out for. But perhaps the gloominess is not so bad, maybe today we have been given a taste of our own medicine. People need to start realizing that democracy is not getting out on one day every six years to cross out a sign on a paper. That’s only a small part of what we should be doing.

The #YoSoy132 movement was enormous, but it seems like it  wasn’t enough or it didn’t have enough time.  Not that it’s its fault, because it’s only a reflection of the stupor on which the mexican electorate stood for the most part of the last term. If everything we hope does not happen our job will be to spread the knowledge and the awareness. On the other hand if everything, or at least some, of what we hope actually does happen, our job will be exactly the same.

P.S.

I found a nice blog to read more about mexican elections, check out The Mex Files and its post “Democracy Interrupted?

Also, I’m so glad to have been recipient of littleprince68‘s generousity, who nominated this still very new project for the The Versatile Blogger and Sunshine Awards.

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Overwhelmed

Tired of my ocasional but not uncommon complaints about all the different ways I feel sick, my mother said one thing I sure didn’t want to hear: “You should go get a general check-out”, to which of course I acted as if I hadn’t heard a thing. Not that unexpectedly, I now get to be nagged about this topic every now and then, even when I’ve been forced to keep all my ailments to myself.

Though I would indeed love the headaches and cramps and all of my weirder achaques to go away, I think I’m just not willing to do what it takes for them to do so. And no, I haven’t just tapped the center of my self-knowledge to realize this, but I got to be laughed at (one of the possible reactions I usually get when I forget to translate my thoughts into outer-world language) when after another unwanted motherly exhortation I simply added I would at the very least wait until election day is over AND I’ve come to terms with the result, whatever this may be (btw, that took about four years with last election).

So, after being momentarily puzzled about the laughter I provoked, I thought maybe I should take political matters out of my head for a day or two, and what do I get? Bam! Working on the-thesis-that-must-not-be-named like I hadn’t for weeks. Surely, that lasted until right about now, but still, it oughtta mean good news right?

Aaanyhow, today I woke up and realized that election day is only a week away, and we’re only four days away (thank you sweet lord!!) of stop being hammered with spots and adds and campaign lies promises, and that is supposed to be good news. Except it isn’t.

Of course I want some candidates to stop telling me why I should vote for them when I know I won’t. Of course I want other candidates to stop telling me to vote for them because I know I will! My decision was taken months ago and nobody scared me into it, which is what most of these people try to do and that’s the kind of votes most of this campaigns prey on.

However, the only thing I can predict for sure is that on July 2 there will be chaos. It can be happy chaos, or it can be angry, violent chaos. And the odds don’t look too good for different reasons. First of all, very few can honestly say they trust those odds, no matter what candidate or party they support, and that’s the same story for the institutions that are supposed to protect us mexicans from yet another fraud, nobody can honestly say they’re not vulnerable.

Secondly, and this is the reason that provokes my biggest concern, there could actually be a clean election and that could also mean we’re screwed. It’s been proven that the most the most educated people in Mexico, have supported AMLO; universities, colleges, academic institutes, and almost every intellectual leader have claimed their support the left party candidate (not his party though, but that’s another bedtime story I’ll save for later), and that should mean something very big for society. Not that they’re votes are more important than the ones coming from popular sections of the population, not at all. In fact it’s  just the other way around. However, when such a chunk of a society is backing one same candidate, and this chunk happens to be the most informed in the country, no matter its size, it should mean something, because these people should be leaders in their communities.

Quite sadly this is not the case… the real leaders are soap actors and their TV stations, journalists who act like soap opera characters, and millions of plastic box cases in which these people say and show what they were bought and paid to. These are the real opinion leaders, and the other section of society who is strongly persuaded of the dangers of EPN winning the election may write and talk and march all they want, and it will still be a miracle if they’re able to reach the millions who can’t open a newspaper, the ones who do but do’t go beyond the headlines, and specially the ones who trust Televisa and TV Azteca to tell them what’s happening, what’s good and what’s bad…and what they should be afraid of. The mystery is how many of those people really exist, how many will we be able to reach before it’s too late.

Sure, there are polls and surveys and all kinds of democratic measuring instruments, but it’s not likely that anybody would ask or respond honestly to questions like “Are you unable of forming a political opinion by yourself?”, “Do you believe everything you hear if the TV says so?”, and so on. So we can’t really know how many of these guys are really out there, and it looks that that number could make the difference on this election.

I’ll further my thoughts later on today, ’cause right now there’s a cat plot to keep me from working, and one gets eventually tired of pushing kitties away from the keyboard and erasing their mindful contributions off the screen.