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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mexican Election Update

El Universal continues to update the tally. Currently 99.75% of the votes are counted, and Calderon is .51% ahead. Calderon's got 35.85% of total votes and Obrador's got 35.34%.

Update: 99.95% of the votes are counted. Calderon is .56% ahead of Obrador. Total vote: Calderon has 35.87 and Obrador has 35.31% of the votes. This morning Obrador said he was disputing the election and called on his supporters to gather this coming Saturday at the Zocalo:
El candidato de la coalición Por el Bien de Todos, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, informó este jueves que impugnarán la elección presidencial y convocó a sus simpatizantes a congregarse en el Zócalo capitalino el próximo sábado.
I think you can pull this sort of thing off better if you have more support overall; as it is I am not getting a favorable impression of this dude. No matter how this ends, the winning candidate does not have a strong base of support and will have to deal. Newsday has conceded to reality, although you can feel their pain. If you are in the mood to laugh at lefty suffering here's a DU sample. This is cool logic:
34. .51 with 99.72 counted
Looks like Calderon will end up with the same .6 margin he started with. Which proves fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. FULL RECOUNT!
In another thread, a DU'r gives a course in DU logic, brilliantly explicating why it is obvious that Bush had his terrifying (yet stupid! very stupid!) tentacles in this one:
48. "IT MEANS NOTHING HERE"? I recommend a course in logic for you.
Probably the main reason that Obrador's election was "Bushed" is that he threatened to nullify the NAFTA and CAFTA agreements. "And how" the curious mind could ask, "would that effect us here in King Georgeland"?

Obrador's intent to nullify NAFTA and instate fair pay and working conditions for the poor was a direct threat to all the corporations doing manufacturing in Mexico. It would have removed the main reason for american business to offshore labor to mexico: cheap labor.

With most of central and south america now moving to the left, that would mean that the oligarchy would have to start paying decent wages to labor and - heaven forbid - a real middle class might just get started in those nations.

It would also mean that with good wages and working conditions the Mexican poor would no longer have a reason to cross the Rio Grande and look for lousy paying and illegal work here. And that would certainly piss off the american corporations that depend on cheap labor to pocket the big profits, like agriculture and construction, which use a lot of 'day labor'.

So you see, Pavulon, with a little knowledge and a smidgen of logic we now can see that far from Obrador's stolen election meaning nothing here, it HAD to be stolen, else his policies would have had huge effects on the people of Mexico, but more importantly, they would have had bigger effects on the people of the United States.
End update.

I think Calderon will be given the official thumbs-up, but I don't think Obrador's going to give up quickly. According to El Universal, opponents are still asking for a vote-by-vote recount. I believe only the courts can order that, but it certainly looks like Calderon's total vote lead will wind up being less than 250,000 out of 41 million.

On the other hand, the good news for Mexicans is that their electoral system seems to work quite well in terms of consistency and reproducibility, and that's quite an endorsement. The first count really varies very little with this one.

A couple of things:

1. the consistent returns are a positive sign, regardless of the outcome.

2. I've thought for some time the "move to the left" mantra that so many had assigned to Latin/South America was overblown. I don't know Mexico as well, but a lot of weight was placed on Bachelet in Chile (a place where I do sorta know what's going on). I know I'm cynical, but I honestly think many in the U.S. that should know better had never noticed that Latin/South America are just to the left of us. It's not a move further left, it's where they've been.
Tommy - I agree about their position. They have been and they will be. It reminds me of the studies showing how little change there is over the decades in the US on issues like abortion. People know what they think.

I think the extremely consistent results and what seem to be very careful procedures are a testimony to a good election. It's just a CLOSE election.
Remember Indecision 2000 Florida?

Incredibly close election.

Loser calls upon all Party Cadres: All Comrades and welfare bums from the Projects into the streets for Spontaneous Peoples' Demonstrations (TM).

Party Line for all Comrades, repeated until it becomes reality, how the winner Really Stole The Election (TM).
You have summed it up.

There's an additional factor in Mexico, however. There are large groups of people who aren't benefiting at all economically, and in some cases are really hurting. So you have a class/region divide that may become very strong.

My guess is that Calderon will steer a middle course in that regard. The congressional returns are really more important in terms of Mexico's future course.
What I'm trying to point out is that Saturday could be very interesting. Obrador seems to be sort of a McCain on speed character. He might spark real trouble.
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