Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Watch What the People Do - In Mexico, as in the U.S., This is How Bush & Republicans Win

It's up to the people, every time. Will they let their elections be stolen, will they allow their votes to not be counted?

For the next few weeks, the media outlets (which are mostly corporate) will publish pieces to discourage the people (Obrador supporters) who are calling for a nationwide recount of all legal ballots that were cast in the July 2nd election from taking to the streets, calling strikes, and stopping commerce until that recount takes place.

The media will do everything that they can to make it seem that the conservative Calderon's (the Bush candidate) ascension to the office of Mexico's President is a fait accompli, resistance useless. We shall see: It's now up to the people.

Today, Globe and Mail takes a swing for the Establishment:
It's official: Calderon wins Mexican vote

Felipe Calderon formally became Mexico's president-elect yesterday, but his leftist rival wasn't accepting defeat, threatening the nation of 107 million with continued political uncertainty.

Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal announced that Mr. Calderon, a conservative former energy minister and political ally of President Vicente Fox, had won the July 2 election by 233,831 votes of the 41.6 million cast, a margin of just 0.56 per cent.

In a unanimous ruling, the seven-judge tribunal acknowledged there had been irregularities in the election, but said they were not significant enough to upset the result.

The panel's ruling is final. Mr. Calderon is due to be sworn in for a six-year term on Dec. 1.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mr. Calderon's populist rival, has argued for the past two months that the election was stolen from him, and vowed to continue a campaign of civil disobedience to overturn the result, including a blockade of Mexico City's main commercial thoroughfare that began in late July.

"I express my decision to reject the ruling of the electoral tribunal and refuse to recognize the one who presents himself as the holder of federal executive power," Mr. Lopez Obrador told a few hundred supporters in Mexico City.

But analysts believe that his street protests are in the process of fizzling as Mexicans tire of the disruptions, including last Friday's incident at the Mexican Congress when legislators from Mr. Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) prevented Mr. Fox from giving his annual state of the nation speech to a joint session. Mr. Fox instead gave the speech on TV.

"My guess is that his movement will lose momentum during the following weeks and after the decision of the tribunal, many of the political allies of Lopez Obrador will say that's enough and won't accompany him in his movement any more," said Jorge Chabat, director of international studies at Mexico City's Centre for Research and Education in Economics.

Mr. Chabat said opinion polls had shown that up to 70 per cent of Mexicans believe the July 2 vote was fair. He predicted Mr. Lopez Obrador would continue to be an irritant, but said he is not a fundamental threat to Mexican democracy.

"He will be a pain in the neck, he will be bothering for a while," Mr. Chabat said, but he will not succeed in making Mexico ungovernable.

George Grayson, a political scientist at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and author of a critical biography of Mr. Lopez Obrador, also believes that the movement to overturn the election result is losing speed.

"Preventing the President from giving the Sept. 1 speech was just another black eye for the PRD," Prof. Grayson said. "It reinforces their image of being irresponsible, violence-prone rabble rousers. Mexico is an extremely conservative country."

Mr. Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, has said that if he was not declared the victor, the election result should be overturned. He has threatened to set up a so-called parallel government.

His party has rejected suggestions of opening a dialogue with Mr. Calderon and his National Action Party (PAN). "The only possibility for a dialogue with the right's candidate would be for him to refuse the gift of the presidency, which he did not earn at the ballot box," said Gerardo Fernandez Norona, spokesman for the PRD.

In its ruling, the election tribunal criticized Mr. Fox's comments during the campaign, which were clearly aimed at boosting Mr. Calderon's candidacy. The tribunal also stated there was "no logical connection" to the contention by Mr. Lopez Obrador that TV ads by businesses backing Mr. Calderon had subliminal messages favouring the candidate.

Daniel Lund, a Mexico City pollster who takes a more sympathetic view of Mr. Lopez Obrador, agrees that Mr. Calderon's challenge will be to reach out and seek support from his ideological rivals while distancing himself from Mr. Fox and from the private sector.

"Felipe Calderon comes into office filled with invoices," Mr. Lund said. "He has to figure out whether these invoices tie his hands or whether he can rule as a creative executive.

"The election didn't divide the country but the election sharpened and clarified historic divisions and unhappiness. This is an unhappy country."

Learn how the Mexican people's election was stolen, with the help of Bush and U.S. Republicans' tactics:
There's something rotten in Mexico. And it smells like Florida. The ruling party, the Washington-friendly National Action Party (Pan), proclaimed yesterday their victory in the presidential race, albeit tortilla thin, was Mexico's first "clean" election. But that requires we close our eyes to some very dodgy doings in the vote count that are far too reminiscent of the games played in Florida in 2000 [and in Ohio and other states, 2004] by the Bush family. And indeed, evidence suggests that Team Bush had a hand in what may be another presidential election heist.

Only a partial recount to come after Mexico's disputed election:
Notes economist and sociologist Jorge Zepeda Patterson, penning an op-ed piece in Mexico's El Universal: "At PAN headquarters, they've been obsessing over how to avoid having the electoral tribunal call for a total recount of the votes. [The PAN's] television-ad campaigns, announcements and all kinds of lobbying assure [us] that [a recount] would be an offense to the 500,000 citizens who worked in the polling stations....That seems like an absurd argument to me. What would really be disrespectful would be [to find out] that the vote had been manipulated after the fact."


...although it calls for only a partial recount, the tribunal's ruling "at least" and unmistakably "puts the election in doubt...." She adds: "[I]t's a first step in favor of... López Obrador, because he was the first to say that the election was not clean, that there was fraud." Poniatowska calls a total recount of the presidential vote the "only solution" to put to rest any doubts Mexicans might have or will have in the future about the character of this year's election. "To not do it opens the door to ungovernability and to the absolute discontent of the people," she says.

Observes art critic Raquel Tibol: "It would have been a miracle if the tribunal, after receiving such direct pressure from the [president] and all of Calderón's team, had conducted itself with the kind of objectivity that, legally, would have been appropriate" to its task. She adds: "This country can't go on [living under] conditions that give special privileges, as it has under Fox and will continue to do under Calderón, to the sector of bankers, industrialists and foreign investors."

Many people don't realize that uncounted ballots not only change who will represent them at the top of the ticket, but also who is going to perform oversight and do the people's bidding in the other offices that are decided on that same ballot. If your vote isn't getting counted for President, who you voted for for Congress and the Senate isn't getting counted either.

With Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress, that's meant no oversight whatsoever of what Bush-Cheney, the most secretive and criminal administration in the history of the country, are doing in all of our names.

No comments: