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Mexico: Government


Mexico: Government & Politics GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE PROMOTING ECONOMIC GROWTH &REDUCING POVERTY Mexico has experienced impressive economic gains, some credit should ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mexico: Government

MexicoGovernment Politics
  • Mexican Revolution had a great impact on its
    political culture and the Constitution of 1917
  • It has a Presidential system with a legislature
    that features a mixed PR and a single-member,
    Federal System of Gov.
  • One party dominated for 70 years (PRI)
  • Multi-party system now PRD, PRI, PAN
  • Single 6 year term
  • Fraud was rampant in Mexican politics
  • Had a corporatist system PRI distributed
    benefits to key groups
  • Camarilla system network of PRI supporters in
    federal positions
  • PRI dominance came to an end in 2000 ( Fox won)
  • Unstable economy, illegal drug trade, emigration
    to US
  • Developing country.NIC ( Newly Industrialized

Overview The Big Picture
  • System of Government Presidential
  • Distribution of Power Federal System
  • Electoral System Mixed System SMDP and PR
  • Constitution Constitution of 1917
  • Legislature BicameralChamber of Deputies
  • Current Head of State Enrique Pena Nieto
  • Head of Government Enrique Pena Nieto
  • Current Ruling Party PRI
  • Major Political Parties PRI, PAN, PRD

December 1, 2000 Vicente Fox became President
  • Why is that important?
  • For the first time in 71 years, the President of
    Mexico did not represent the Institutional
    Revolutionary Party (PRI)
  • Fox is from the National Action Party (PAN)
  • The other major party in Mexico is the PRD
  • Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

PRI rule was called the perfect dictatorship. Why?
  • Conflict was limited to internal struggles within
    the party.
  • What about those who disagreed?
  • Dissenters were co-opted with promises or just
  • So why the change?

  • Mexicans questioned the right of the PRI to
    monopolize political power
  • Wanted fairer elections, more responsive public
  • Demanded the right of opposition parties to
    compete with the PRI on an equal basis
  • Said the president had too much power and the PRI
    was corrupt
  • Not ready in 1994 when Ernesto Zedillo (PRI)
    easily won, but by 2000 they had had enough
  • In the last two decades, reformers wanted Mexico
    to have a market-oriented economic system to
    replace the state-dominated one, but

  • But, it caused problems for citizens
  • New policies and economic crises affected people
    adversely. How?
  • Incomes fell, bankrupt businesses, jobs lost,
    services cut
  • But Fox has stuck with these policies, resulting
  • More inequality. The elites are richer, but four
    out of every ten Mexicans live on less than two
    dollars a day.
  • What are the implications of this for the U.S.?
  • Given this inequality, why has there been no
    revolution in Mexico?

Mexican Geography
  • 100 million inhabitants makes Mexico the second
    largest country in Latin America
  • Largest Spanish speaking country in the world
  • Over 70 live in urban areas
  • Mexico City has over 20 million people

  • Borders U.S. 2000 miles, Guatemala 600
    miles, Belize 160 miles
  • Migration is a major issue economic
    opportunities in the industrial cities of the
    north lead many men and women to seek jobs in the
    maquiladoras, or assembly factories. Some go on
    to the U.S.
  • Problem repeats in reverse in the South, as
    poorer Central Americans look for jobs in Mexico.

Geographic Influence
  • Never underestimate the power of simple geography
    to explain (or create) internal differences in a
  • Mexico is one of the most geographically diverse
    countries in the world
  • Mountains and Deserts Regionalism
  • Varied Climates size creates different
  • Natural Resources create disproportional wealth
  • A long border with the United States shadow
  • 111,000,000 People huge influence on
  • Urban Population great impact on political

Mexican History
  • The Porfiriato 1876-1911(Porfirio Diaz)
  • The Revolution of 1910
  • Reformers end the dictatorship
  • Constitution of 1917
  • Guaranteed agrarian reform, social security,
    right to organize in unions, minimum wage, eight
    hour workday, universal secular education, adult
    male suffrage. Women do not get the right to vote
    in national elections until 1958.
  • Lazaro Cardenas 1934-1940
  • Land reform
  • Established the tradition of the sexenio

Pancho Villa (right) and Emiliano Zapata meet in
Mexico City to discuss the revolution.
More Mexican History
  • From clientelism to oil 1940-1982
  • PRI and Patronage
  • Oil in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Fluctuating prices
  • Crisis and Reform 1982 to the present
  • Presidents Miguel de la Madrid (1982-1988) and
    Carlos Salinas (1988-1994) introduce major
    reversal of the countrys development strategy,
    limiting the governments involvement in the
  • NAFTA 1993
  • Economic crisis of 1994 and bailout
  • Mexican economic reforms
  • Rebellion in Chiapas 1994
  • Assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio (1994), PRI
    candidate for President, and Jose Francisco Ruiz
    Massieu, secretary-general of the PRI.
  • Election of Fox in 2000
  • Election of Felipe Calderon in 2006, narrowly
    defeating Lopez Obrador of the PRD.

Political Culture
  • Strong Sense of National Identity Mexicans
    share strong sense of national identification
    based on a common history, dominant religion and
  • The Importance of Religion
  • Catholic Church power has been reduced..kind of
  • Patron-Clientelism (Camarillos)
  • This system of cliques based on personal
    connections and charismatic leadership has served
    as glue that has held agrarian Mexico together
    through practicing you scratch my back, Ill
    scratch yours.
  • Elite Spanish model of governing
  • Erodes sense of responsibility to people and
  • Breeds corruption
  • Democratization and industrialization have put
    pressure on this system.
  • Economic Dependency
  • Always been in someones shadowSpain then U.S.

Political Economic Change
  • The 20th Century after Revolution (1910-2010)
  • The Influence of this Era
  • Patron-Client System (caudillos) From revolution
  • Constitution of 1917
  • Conflict with Catholic Church (losing power)
  • Establishment of PRI
  • PLAN All Caudillos under one party
  • Agreement to pass around power
  • Sexenio of President
  • All other leaders would have major govt
  • Instutionalize the revolution by stabilizing
    conflict between leaders

Political Economic Change
  • The 20th Century after Revolution (1910-2010)
  • The Emergence of Technicos and the Pendulum
  • Pendulum Theory
  • Neoliberalism
  • Mexican Miracle

Political Parties in Mexicoleft to right
  • PRD---------- PRI----------------PAN

Political Parties PRI
  • Institutional Revolutionary Party
  • Established with the goal of reducing political
  • Cardenas transformed the party into a mass-based
    political party that could be used to build
    popular support for government policies and
    mobilize participation in elections
  • Cardenas merged local, state and national
    organizations of peasants and urban workers that
    had been created during his presidency
  • Party became appendage to the government itself
  • Party enjoyed unlimited access to government
    funds to finance its campaigns.
  • President enjoyed a slush fund authorized by
  • Many of the advantages were challenged when the
    Salinas administration introduced electoral
    reforms, and the PRI had to adjust form being an
    official party to being a party out of power

Political Parties PAN
  • National Action Party
  • Party that represents the views on the right of
    the ideological spectrum.
  • Established in reaction to the leftward drift of
    public policy under Cardenas, especially his
    policies to support socialist public education
  • Founders included Catholic intellectuals and
    urban middle class
  • It also attracts votes from socially conservative
    peasants and the urban working class

Political Parties PRD
  • Party of the Democratic Revolution
  • Represents the left of the ideological spectrum
  • Members believe in moderate socialist political
  • Some who lean toward a communist ideology

The Shifting of Mexicos Parties
  • After 2006 election, social basis of support for
    parties shifted dramatically
  • PRIs base was once rural, but in 2006 it was the
    PRD who took the rural and poor vote
  • PAN retained its support with urban voters and
    young voters
  • Region played the biggest role in determining the
    outcome of the vote
  • PRD is weak in northern and central states, but
    strong in Mexico City
  • The North-South split proved to be biggest
    cleavage in Mexican politics

2000 Election
  • Vicente Fox Wins! Partido Accion National (PAN)
  • This changed caused political scientists to be
    optimistic about democratic rule in Mexico
  • Mexico has been able to take control of its
    economic system in a way that most developing
    countries have not.
  • It has raised the standard of living of most of
    its citizens

2006 Election
  • PAN won. PRD second. PRI last.
  • Felipe Calderon (PAN) won.
  • Andres Lopez Obrador (PRD) lost, but challenged
    the results
  • PRD, the leftist party in Mexican politics
    challenged the election
  • Obrador vowed to protest and vowed to set up a
    parallel government in which his supporters would
    answer to him.
  • Obradors supporters and others declared that the
    election was not free and fair, calling into
    question Calderons ability to hold power
  • Judicial branch validated electionAND it was
  • Liberal democracy in Mexico?

Calderon Wins the Presidencyin the closest Race
in Mexican history
  • Obrador lost some in part due to
  • - he did not show up for 1st debate
  • - negative ads turned middle class against him
  • Results
  • Calderon 35.9
  • Obrador 35.3
  • Madrazo 22.2

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  • Vicente Fox (PAN)
  • Felipe Calderón (PAN)
  • Andrés Manuel López Obrador (PRD)

Mexican Governance
  • Mexico is a federal republic
  • Under the PRI, the executive branch concentrated
    almost all power, and the legislative and
    judiciary were rubber stamps.
  • Currently, it has multiparty competitive
    elections, and power is less concentrated in the
    executive and national government.
  • Constitution of 1917
  • Three branches of govt with a system of checks
    and balances
  • Congress is composed of
  • Senate with 128 members. Three are chosen from
    each of Mexicos 31 states (two are determined by
    majority vote, and the third is determined by
    whichever party receives the second highest
    number of votes), three from the federal district
    (Mexico City), and 32 are elected nationally by
    proportional representation.
  • Chamber of Deputies with 500 members. 300 are
    chosen by majority vote and 200 are chosen by
    proportional representation.

  • The president, governors, and senators are
    elected for six years, while the deputies and
    municipal officials are elected for three years.
  • The Congress has become more active as a
    decision-making arena and as a check on
    presidential power in the last few years. Why?
  • The Executive
  • The Mexican presidency is the central institution
    of governance and policy-making.
  • Until the 1990s the incumbent PRI president
    always selected who would run as the partys next
    presidential candidate, appointed officials to
    all positions of power in the government and the
    PRI, and often named the candidates, who almost
    always won elections as governors, senators,
    deputies, and local officials.

Executive Bureaucracy
  • Mexican Presidents have many formal powers
  • Initiate legislation, lead in foreign policy,
    create government agencies, make policy by
    decree, or through administrative regulations,
    and appoint a wide range of public officials
  • Informal powers include
  • Managing a giant patronage machine
  • Under the PRI, presidents were almost always
    members of the outgoing presidents cabinet
  • Since the mid 1970s, candidates have had
    impressive educational credentials
  • Appoints cabinet
  • Follows traditions
  • 1.5 million in the federal bureaucracy, most in
    Mexico City
  • 1 million work in the state-owned industries and
    semi-autonomous agencies of the government
  • 1.5 million work for state and local governments

Elite Recruitment
  • Revolution caused a hostile attitude toward
    serving multiple terms, so political leaders are
    restricted to serving one term
  • Cabinet filled with tecnicos
  • People who spend their entire careers in the
  • Kinship ties
  • Political inbreeding

Interest Articulation Political Control
  • Corporatist
  • A system of interest representation in which Each
    citizen is expected to relate to the state
    through a single structure licensed by the
    state to organize and represent themselves
    (peasants, teachers, etc.)
  • In sum, a number of PRI-controlled interest
    groups dominate politics
  • Result Patron-client networks in which favors
    were exchanged between citizens and members of
    the government.

  • Para-statal sector is very large and powerful
  • Composed of government agencies, many producing
    goods and services Why so many?
  • Numbers have decreased in recent years, from a
    high of 1155 to 215 by 1994 Why?
  • Military is clearly subordinate to civilian
    control Why?
  • Military has dealt with domestic unrest
  • Heavily involved in recent years to combat drug
    trafficking, but still tainted by scandals
  • Judiciary Federal and state courts in Mexico
  • Federal courts are topped by the Supreme Court,
    whose justices (11) are appointed by the
    President and approved by the Senate and serve
    terms of up to 15 years Judicial review???
  • Judiciary traditionally supported the President,
    and even though that is changing, it remains the
    weakest branch

  • The policy-making process
  • Good legislation is not always translated into
    practice What does this mean?
  • Role of Congress in policy making
  • Legislation
  • Committees
  • Political Parties
  • PRI
  • PAN
  • PRD

Government Performance
  • Promoting economic Growth Reducing Poverty
  • Mexico has experienced impressive economic gains,
    some credit should be given to government
  • Foreign investment and the privatization of
    national industry led to massive public
    investments in infrastructure
  • This has led to a stimulation of the economy,
    economic growth, and low inflation

Government Performance
  • Promoting economic Growth Reducing Poverty
  • Neoliberal economic development
  • Describes the idea of allowing free markets and
    foreign investment
  • Standard of living of middle class Mexicans has
  • Dark side of economy
  • The poor remain desperately poor
  • Much lower living standard than the poor in
    industrialized countries
  • Income gap between urban and rural lifestyles
    remains great
  • Suffered through periods of very high inflation

Rule of Law and Mexicos Future
  • Lacks rule of law that one finds in many
    industrialized nations
  • Crime is rampant
  • Justice is infrequently served
  • Police are corrupt (in part because of low pay)
  • Prospect of Democracy in Mexico
  • Elections have become as free and fair as
    industrialized nations
  • Economic performance has been mixed
  • Rule of law is lacking
  • Jury still out on whether or not Mexico will
    successfully transition to democracy

Current Policy Challenges
  • Playing catch up! with international trading
  • To modernize it must modernize its agricultural
    sector to allow it to survive competition from
    countries that have subsidies to make their goods
  • Maintain job growth
  • Renovate energy sector
  • Accommodate aging population
  • Politically Maintain fair and transparent
    election process

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