Mexico's presidential elections: What about candidates and political parties?

01 Dec 17 - 12:00

Mexico's presidential elections

What about candidates and political parties?

By Francisco Alberto Castellanos Sosa

Mexican political parties use to choose their presidential candidates either by direct nomination (what in Mexico is used to be called "dedazo") or by a primary election (with participation of the party followers). However, most of the parties in Mexico during the last three presidential elections have fallen into a sticky trap. They have chosen popular candidates instead of the best to take the charge; hence both the parties and the elected candidates have earned bad reputation.

Beside this, we can generalize political parties choose any mix of controllability, popularity, and preparedness for the charge to choose their candidates. The first is related on how easy is for the party to control the candidate's decisions in case of elected as president is. Popularity stands for the reputation the candidate has with voters and private groups. And the third feature is based on the professional experience and how well-skilled the candidate is for the position. Since this decision is supposed to be passed for fair elections it is often also influenced by polls on people's perception about preliminary lists of possible candidates.

Subsequently, we can notice the way parties chose candidates has not been always reflected in prominent results for the country. Thus, citizens' trust in political parties have drastically fallen and it is a matter of time for parties to change their recipe on how they choose their presidential candidates.*

Nowadays, it is possible to identify two different types of candidates in Mexico; the popular and the more prepared. Meanwhile, the third one is going to be chosen on a sort of alliance of some relatively "disadvantaged" political parties which does not decide yet who to choose for candidacy nor the method for choosing (either by “dedazo” or by primary election).

Unfortunately, this is not always crystal clear for voters and political parties. Undoubtedly, we will realize, after next July election's results, whether people still prefer popularity and false promises or they are ready to choose the more prepared candidate to be the new Mexico’s president.

*I will write later about candidates with no political party.

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