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Ruling Party Leads, 1st Independent Wins In Mexico Elections

June 8, 2015 1:08 p.m.

Ruling Party Leads, 1st Independent Wins In Mexico Elections

GUESTS:

Lorne Matalon, reporter, Fronteras Desk

David Shirk, professor of political science, University of San Diego

Related Story: Ruling Party Leads, 1st Independent Wins In Mexico Elections

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

TOP STORY MIDDAY EDITION, THE RESULTS ARE IN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT COMPLETE AND IT LOOKS LIKE MEXICO'S RULING PARTY, THE PRE-HAS HELD ONTO ITS MAJORITY IN CONGRESS . EVEN THOUGH IT DID LOSE . PRI RULES IN COLLUSION WITH THE SMALLER GREEN PARTY, MANY PEOPLE SAW THE SELECTION AS A REFERENDUM ON THE PRESIDENT'S -- PRESIDENCY OF HENRIQUE PENA NIETO WHO TOOK OFF 3 YEARS OF PROMISES OF REFORM . ASIDE FROM CONGRESS, THERE ARE GOVERNORSHIPS UP FOR GRABS . THE BIGGEST STORY OF THIS ELECTION MAY HAVE BEEN THE GUBERNATORIAL VICTORY OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE JAMIE RODRIGUEZ CALLED RON WHO HAS TAKEN THE NICKNAME EL BRONCO . LONG METAL JOINS US FROM TEXAS WHO IS A REPORTER FOR THE FRONTERA'S DESK . THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU, TOM . LAUREN, YOUR MEXICO IN THE RUN-UP TO THE ELECTIONS . WHAT KIND OF THINGS WHERE YOU HEARING FROM BOATERS? BE BACK IN A WORD, DISENCHANTED. THERE WERE SO MANY HOPES AND PROMISE WHEN TO MAKE A PENA NIETO ASSUME POWER 3 YEARS AGO . HE SAID HE'S -- RETURNING HIS RULING PRE-PARTY TO THE MEXICAN EQUIVALENT OF THE WHITE HOUSE, LOW SPINOSA MEXICO CITY AFTER TROUBLE YEARS ABSENCE AND THE PROMISE THAT HE BROUGHT WITH HIM WAS THE ABILITY TO TAMPER IS NOT TOTALLY CONTAINED VIOLENCE AND ALSO TO PUSH AHEAD ON REFORM, REFORM EDUCATION OF A FORM OF ENERGY, PERFORM AGAINST MONOPOLIES DOMINATING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET . AND SO MANY OF THE PEOPLE FELT SO DISENCHANTED BECAUSE THE NARRATIVE THAT HE WANTED TO IMPOSE ON THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION, THAT BEING THE GROWTH AND POTENTIAL FOR MEXICO'S ECONOMY WAS SCUTTLED STARTING REALLY THAT YOU CAN PINPOINT THE DAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2040 . NOT THAT LONG AGO WHEN 43 STUDENTS WERE ALLEGEDLY AT THE HANDS OF AN ELECTED MAYOR TURNED OVER TO HIS MUNICIPAL POLICE FORCE, THEN IT TURNED OVER TO DRUG GANGS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN NOT -- MAY OR MAY NOT BE TOLD THAT THE STUDENTS WERE TO DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE PUBLIC'S STRIP THE MAYOR'S WIFE, THEY MAY HAVE BEEN TOLD, THAT IS THE ALLEGED KILLERS THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE MEMBERS OF OUR RIVALS DRAW AGAIN . THIS NEXUS BETWEEN ORGANIZED CRIME AND THE POLITICAL CLASS ARE SOMETHING THAT EVERY -- ANYBODY WHO WATCHES THE MEXICAN POLITICAL SCENE UNDERSTANDS IS 2nd NATURE . IT IS A BLIGHT ON MODERN MEXICAN HISTORY AND SO IT IS PARTICULARLY -- POINT . RIGHT NOW, FRANKLY, FOR THE MEXICAN ELECTRIC BECAUSE I HAVE SO MUCH HOPE THAT THE PRE--- PRI RETURNING TO BAR WOULD EFFECTIVELY CHANGE THE ECONOMY. IT'S A FAIR ARGUMENT IT'S BEEN SUCCESSFUL AND ALSO CONTAINED VIOLENCE AND THAT HAS NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL.
LAUREN, TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE RESULTS IN THE CONGRESS AND THEN ALSO IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICES. HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP THE SELECTION AT THIS POINT?
I THINK IF YOU ARE IN -- YOU FEEL GOOD NOW . HE NEEDS THE CONGRESS AND JUST SO WE'RE CLEAR FOR LISTENERS IT'S CHANGED EVERY FEW YEARS BECAUSE OF TERM LIMITS, YOU CAN ONLY STAY AS A SITTING MEMBER OF THE LOWER HOUSE OF CONGRESS, THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, EQUIVALENT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OR IT FOR YEARS WHICH MEANS EVERY SINGLE MEMBER WHO WAS SELECTED FOR YEARS AGO IS NOW GOING TO STEP DOWN FORMALLY ON SEPTEMBER 1 WHEN THE PEOPLE ELECT DID YESTERDAY HOURS -- ARE SWORN INTO OFFICE . THEY ARE RETAINED WITH COALITION PARTNERS, THE GREEN PARTY HAS RETAINED THE ABILITY TO MAKE SURE THE LEGISLATIVE REFORMS THAT HE WAS THROUGH, A BUNCH OF LEGISLATIVE COHORTS IN HIS FIRST 3 YEARS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED AND, AGAIN, WE'RE SO, THE VICTORY, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REFORM, EDUCATION AND OF COURSE ENERGY, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THAT ENERGY PACKAGE INVOLVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE WHICH HE -- ENRIQUE PENA NIETO AND LOBBY SUCCESSFULLY LOBBIED FOR FOR FOREIGN EXPERTISE INTO MEXICO FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE OIL AND GAS WAS NATIONALIZED IN 1938 TO COME IN AND HELP RESCUE FRANKLY MEXICO'S BADLY UNDERPERFORMING OIL AND GAS SECTOR.
LAUREN I THINK YOU TOLD US IN THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT IN MEXICO THE PRI HAS EITHER A MAJORITY OR PLURALITY . THEY CONTAIN LESS CONTROL THE HOUSE. WHAT ABOUT THE UPPER HOUSE? DO THEY ALSO HAVE CONTROL THEIR?
THAT'S A BIT OF A MIXED BAG . AGAIN, THERE'S A BIT OF A DIFFERENCE THERE BECAUSE EACH SENATOR SINCE FOR 6 YEARS BUT THE ELECTIONS ARE STAGGERED . EVERY 3 YEARS YOU WILL HAVE SOME NEW FIGURES IN THE SENATE . RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF HIS LEGISLATIVE STITCHING IF I CAN USE THAT TERM, WOULD NOT SAY IT IS CONTROLLED BUT HE HAS A VOICE IN THEIR -- THERE . THE MOST RECALCITRANT PEOPLE, THE POTENTIALLY MOST DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO CONVINCE TO BRING ALONG FOR EXAMPLE WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TO ALLOW FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR IS IN THE LOWER HOUSE AND SO HE HAS RETAINED THE ABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY MAKE SURE THAT WHAT HE -- THE SEEDS IMPLANTED IN THE FIRST 3 YEARS WILL COME TO FRUITION IN A 2nd. MOVING TO GOVERNOR. , THE MOST IMPORTANT -- I BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS ELECTION IS THE ELECTION IN MONTELEONE, WHERE MONTEREY IS OF AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE . HIS NAME IS EL BRONCO, JAIME RODRIGUEZ, A FORMER POLITICIAN WHO USED TO WORK FOR THE PRI FOR ENRIQUE PENA NIETO , HIS PARTY . A LOOK THESE WILL NOT BE FINALIZED TILL 10 JUNE ACCORDING TO MEXICAN LAW BUT IT LOOKS LIKE HE'S ONE GOVERNORSHIPS AS AN INDEPENDENT. WE SHOULD POINT OUT THAT INDEPENDENTS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO RUN IN ANY MEXICAN ELECTION UNTIL THIS YEAR AND NOW IF WE TAKE AS A GIVEN THAT HE IS ONE, IT CERTAINLY LOOKS LIKE HE HAS, IT COULD SPARKED A WAVE OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES -- CANDIDACIES FROM MEXICO IN THE RUN-UP TO THE 2018 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE . SO THAT IS A DEVELOPMENT THAT COULD THREATEN TRADITIONAL PARTIES GRIP ON POWER.
AND JOINED BY LORNE MATALON WHO IS REPORTING FOR KPBS JOINS US FROM TEXAS . JOINING ME NOW IN THE STUDIO IS DAVID SHIRK POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO AND DAVID, THANK YOU FOR COMING AND
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
DAVID, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON YESTERDAY'S ELECTION IN MEXICO?
WELL, I THINK IT REALLY WAS A REPUDIATION OF MEXICO'S CURRENT POLITICAL STATUS QUO . I THINK A LOT OF VOTERS EXPRESSED LEADING UP TO THE ELECTIONS A LOT OF DISCONTENT WITH THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION OF ENRIQUE PENA NIETO BUT I DON'T THINK THEY HAD MUCH COMPANIES AND THE OTHER 2 MAJOR PARTIES , THE NATIONAL ACTION PARTY ON THE RIGHT OR THE PARTY OF THE DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION ON THE LEFT . AND SO WHAT WE ACTUALLY SAW WAS A MUCH BETTER PERFORMANCE THAT WE MAY HAVE OTHERWISE EXPECTED AMONG SMALLER PARTIES, IN PARTICULAR, THE MARINA PARTY OF ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR.
WILL GET TO THAT IN A MINUTE BUT WE JUST HEARD LORNE MATALON SAID THAT THE PRI CONTROLLED THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT . DOESN'T THAT SOUND LIKE A VICTORY FOR THE PRESIDENT?
THEY CONTINUE TO HAVE THE LARGEST SHARE OF SEATS AND THEY HAVE HAD THE LARGEST PLURALITY VOTES BUT THEY HAD A SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER PROPORTION OF THE VOTES THAN THEY DID IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN 2012 . THEY SAW SLIPPAGE OF THEIR PERCENTAGE OF THE VOTE AND LOSING SEATS . THEY WILL STILL HAVE A MAJORITY BUT ONLY WITH COALITION, WHICH IS ALSO TRUE IN 2012 . SO YES, THEY DIDN'T LOSE ENTIRELY THEIR MAJORITY, BUT THEY LOST AROUND SO I THINK THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT SIDE . IT'S OF COURSE TRUE FOR VIRTUALLY EVERY MIDTERM ELECTION WITH THE NEW MEXICO SINCE THE 1990S AND ALSO TRUE OF MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN ANY PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM.
AND LIKE IN THE UNITED STATES, THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN MEXICO DO NOT GET A LOT OF MODE -- VOTER TURNOUT IS THAT RIGHT?
THAT'S RIGHT . VOTER TURNOUT IS USUALLY SIGNIFICANTLY LESS BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE A STANDARD BEARER THAT YOU ARE TURNING OUT FOR AN EXCITED ABOUT . YOU ARE GOING OUT TO VOTE BASICALLY FOR A PARTY OR FOR SOME CONGRESSMEN WHO VERY LOW -- YOU BARELY KNOW BECAUSE THERE IS NOT AN ELECTION . SO, YES, WE ALSO SAW A DROP OF THE TURNOUT IN THIS ELECTION . WE ALSO SAW A LARGE NUMBER OF NO VOTES . MANY VOTERS WENT TO THE POLLS AND WE DON'T HAVE THE FINAL FIGURES, BUT MANY VOTERS WENT TO THE POLLS AND SIMPLY MARKED NOBODY . IN PROTEST VOTE BECAUSE THEY ARE UNHAPPY WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE MEXICAN LEFT? IS MY UNDERSTANDING THE PRD WHICH WAS -- USED TO BE THE PRIMARY LEFT-WING PARTY AND MEXICO HAS LOST QUITE A BIT OF SUPPORT.
YES, THEY WILL COME INTO THIS NEW LEGISLATURE WITH BETWEEN 50 AND 60 SEATS . BUT THEY HAVE LOST A SIGNIFICANT SHARE OF THE VOTE PERCENTAGE OF THE VOTE, THEY HAVE ABOUT 7%, 8% ACCORDING TO THE PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF THE VOTE NATIONWIDE, WHICH IS ABOUT HALF OF WHAT WE WOULD'VE EXPECTED HAD THEY NOT SPLIT AND SAW THE FORMATION OF THE NEW LEFTIST PARTY CALLED THE MOVEMENT FOR NATIONAL RENOVATION, WHICH I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE PARTY OF ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR . THAT ACTUALLY -- THAT PARTY CAN IMPORT IN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL PERCENTAGE OF THE VOTE, AVERAGE 10% OF THE VOTE . EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT THE RECEIPTS IN A SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICT CONTEST, THEY ARE CLEARLY A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH AND WE SHOULD CLEARLY SEE THE SPLITTING OF THE LEFTIST BOAT IN MEXICO . THAT ULTIMATELY MAY BE A BAD THING FOR PEOPLE ON THE LEFT AND THEY HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME GETTING PEOPLE ELECTED BUT IT DEFINITELY SEEMS TO ME TO HAVE BEEN A VICTORY FOR THE MARINA PARTY.
LET'S GO BACK TO TEXAS WHERE LORNE MATALON HAS BEEN COVERING THE MEXICAN ELECTION FOR THE PRINTER'S DESK . IS THERE ANYTHING DAVID SAID THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO RESPOND TO A COMMENT ON?
NO, PLEASURE TO TALK WITH YOU AGAIN . DAVID SHIRK . WHAT WAS INTERESTING WAS THE STAGE UPON WHICH ALL PARTIES WERE DANCING MAKING PARTIES EVEN MORE POPULAR WAS ALSO THE RESULT OF AN AGREEMENT KNOWN AS PACKED OUT -- BACK FROM MEXICO, IT WAS BETWEEN ENRIQUE PENA NIETO AND THE LARGEST PARTIES . HE WAS ABLE TO GRAB THAT TO STITCHING TOGETHER TO A ADVANCE AN AGENDA OF REFORMS, EDUCATION, ENERGY, COMMUNICATIONS WHICH WAS IN A PRESIDENT AND A -- ATTACK IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CASE . THE PACKED LEFT OF PERCEPTION AND THAT IS WHAT DOG EACH PARTY AND THAT IS THAT THE PARTIES WERE OBEYED THE CRASH OF BEING THE PRESIDENT WHICH WAS A POINT THAT WAS REINFORCED BY FRANKLY THE SILENCE OF THE OPPOSITION AFTER REPORTERS REVEAL THE PRESIDENT'S WIFE FINANCE MINISTER HAD PURCHASED HOME FROM PROMINENT FAVORITE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS. SO THE NET RESULT GOING INTO THIS ELECTION WAS THAT ALL THE PARTIES LOOK LIKE SHEEP . AND THERE'S PLENTY OF BLAME TO GO AROUND TO ALL PARTIES. PEOPLE ATTACKED THE PRI WITH JUSTIFICATION FOR ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION BUT THIS SHADOW OF CORRUPTION HAS TOUCHED ALL THE MAJOR PARTIES AS DR. DAVID SHIRK SAID .
LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE PRE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T FOLLOWED MEXICAN POLICIES MAY NOT KNOW A LOT ABOUT THE PRI BUT IT'S THE GOVERNMENT THAT WILL FOR DECADES IN MEXICO AND WAS CONSIDERED CORRUPT TO THE POINT OF BEING A DICTATORSHIP.
WHAT ABOUT THE PRI OF THE NEW PRESIDENT? IS THIS A DIFFERENT PRI? OR IS IT THE SAME OLD THING?
IT'S A LOT OF OLD WINE IN A NEW BOTTLE, I THINK . THE PRI I THINK MANY OF THE CRITICS OF THE PRI WAS SAY THE PARTY HAS NOT CHANGED . ENRIQUE PENA NIETO HIM HIM WITH NEW IDEAS AND NEW POLICIES THAT THE OLD PRI WOULD NEVER HAVE PUT FORWARD . BUT ULTIMATELY, AS YOU SAID, THIS IS A PARTY THAT GOVERN FOR 71 YEARS TO VOTER FRAUD, THROUGH MILITIA -- MANIPULATE THE BOW, MISUSE OF GOVERNMENT RESOURCES BUT WHAT PEOPLE SEE NOW I THINK IS THE PRI THAT REMAINS CORRUPT NOT IN THE SENSE OF DIRECTLY BUYING OR STEALING VOTES, BUT IN THE WAY THAT CAN MANIPULATE THE MEDIA IN CAHOOTS WITH UTILITIES AND OTHER BIG TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES IN MEXICO AND A PARTY THAT IS WHEELING AND DEALING BEHIND THE SCENES AND TAKING MONEY FROM SOURCES THAT IT SHOULD NOT, SUCH AS THE CONTRACTORS WHO HELPED BY A MASSIVE WHITE MANSION FOR THE PRESIDENT'S WIFE, WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF MUCH CONTROVERSY IN THE SELECTION . AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE PRI PARTY THAT USED TO GET 70-80% OF THE VOTE NATIONWIDE WALK AWAY WITH ABOUT ONE QUARTER OF THE ELECTORATE'S BOAT . THAT WILL GET FAR MORE SEATS THAN THAT BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEX PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION RULES IN MEXICO, BUT THEY HAD ABOUT 27% OF THE VOTE
I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN'T ASK THAT LAST QUESTION AND I WOULD LIKE TO GET A BRIEF RESPONSE FROM BOTH OF YOU . BEING IN SAN DIEGO, BEING IN TEXAS, WHAT DOES THE MEXICAN ELECTION MEAN FOR US? DAVID?
YOU KNOW, MEXICO'S FUTURE IS INHERENTLY TIED TO OUR FUTURE . AND WE WOULD BENEFIT OF MEXICO BECAME MORE LIKE CANADA IN TERMS OF THE SHARE OF GDP PER CAPITA, THE OVERALL CONDITIONS IN MEXICO, AND SO WE ULTIMATELY WOULD BENEFIT FROM MEXICO MOVING FORWARD AS PENA NIETO HAS TRIED TO MAKE IT DO BUT WE CAN SEE CLEARLY THERE ARE STILL SOME WAY TO GO FOR MEXICO AND UNTIL THERE IS A CLEAR POLITICAL DIRECTION WITH STRONG PARTIES AND PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THOSE PARTIES, I THINK MEXICO'S DEMOCRACY IS STILL FRAGMENTED AND FACING SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS
LORNE MATALON LAST WORD?
THIS IS WHAT AMERICAN COMPANY CERTAINLY HERE IN TEXAS ARE LOOKING AT . THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THE STABILITY THAT DR. SHIRK JUST DESCRIBE BECAUSE THEY ARE SALIVATING AT THE PROSPECT OF ENTERING THE NEWLY OPENED DOMESTIC ENERGY SECTOR, THE EXPERTISE FOR FRACKING FOR EXPLOITING THE SHALE DEPOSITS IN NORTHERN MEXICO ALONG THE BORDER IS IN TEXAS, IN THE UNITED STATES, TEXAS COMPANIES THAT PERFECTED THAT ART . AND SO MANY OF THE EXECUTIVES I SPEAK TO IN TEXAS ARE ANXIOUS TO GET IN BUT THEY ARE VERY, VERY LEERY OF THE SECURITY ISSUE AND FRANKLY OF THE POLITICS THAT WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING . THERE HAVE BEEN SOME VERY IMPORTANT PROGRESSIVE MOVES . A METHOD AND 3 -- THINK THAT LED TO 3 FOR 3 CAN TAKE AS CANDIDATES TO DISCLOSE ASSETS, POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST, PEOPLE PAY TAXES, FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CANDIDATES PARTICIPATED BUT THE FACT IS THAT THE VERY NOTION THAT AN EFFORT LIKE THAT COULD START IS AT LEAST A NOD TO GREATER TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY . HOWEVER, I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY THAT'S OKAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I'M SORRY.
THAT MAY BE A CONVERSATION WERE LATER DAVID WE ARE OUT OF TIME . SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO TRANSCRIBE, FRONTERA SUPPORTED JOINS US IN LORNE MATALON IN TEXAS . AND JOIN ME IN STUDIO HAS BEEN DAVID SHIRK POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO .