Voices of Mexico no. 53

Our Voice

Vicente Fox’s July 2 victory at the polls has many implications. It leaves no room for doubt, for example, about the consolidation of Mexico’s transition to democracy. Regardless of the debate about whether the transition concludes with parties alternating in office or whether other steps must still be made before the definitive arrival of democracy can be declared, what is beyond discussion is that the political actors involved in the elections —including, of course, the losers— demonstrated their solid democratic culture. The immediate recognition of the victory of one of the candidates by everyone, including President Zedillo, with no loud voices raised in protest was a major step forward. The electoral machinery operated almost perfectly, proving that the organization and endorsement of the elections by the Federal Electoral Institute —with its non-partisan citizen representatives as its only voting members— was a success. There are still some doubts, however, about whether a Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) win would have prompted different reactions.

Fox’s victory can be explained in different ways. Some consider it mainly a “punishment” vote; others attribute it to Fox’s charisma and excellent media strategy. Still others, of course, chalk it up to a significant reduction —and even disappearance— of most patronage-system practices, pressure on voters and other fraudulent activities that have plagued Mexico’s electoral history. Most probably, it was a combination of all this, plus the steadfast opposition tradition of the National Action Party (PAN), the discourse of democracy that has permeated the last decade of Mexican politics, the exhaustion of the official party’s profile, with its 71 years in office and the very harsh economic adjustment policies that it implemented in the last admi nistration. Naturally, some highly polemical and unpopular political measures like the bank bail-out —better known as Fobaproa— also took their toll.




Our Voice
Paz Consuelo Márquez Padilla


The Xochimilco
Archaeological Museum

Hortensia Galindo Rosales


The Struggle for Survival

Iván Trujillo


The Establishment of Minifiction
As Literary Canon in Mexico

Lauro Zavala

Passion in the Desert
José de la Colina

Mónica Lavín

Under My Breath
Felipe Garrido

Rainy Season
Guillermo Samperio

An Ongoing Fiesta

Joaquín Praxedis Quesada

Colonial Religious Architecture

Enrique Martínez Troncoso

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