Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The State of the Electorate - Mexican Election Post #27

I spent Monday in Aguascalientes and had the chance to talk with a lot of people about the current political situation. One should note that AGU is not a MALO stronghold. The PAN controls almost all of the municipals and the Governorship. But I think in many ways it represents the new Mexico. There are problems here. I spoke with one of the Governor's assistants yesterday and he talked about their efforts to promote better public health, to improve the situation on both water and education. I spoke with a friend who is a priest who has started a school for very poor children - the model of which is a very good idea. But I also had the chance to speak with a lot of other people on the street.

The general concensus was pretty clear. #1 - Even those that did support the PRD are growing tired of AMLOs antics. #2 - There is a lot of concern about this weekend (although while I was there AMLO and his supporters suggested that they would move out of the Zocalo so that the Independence Day celebrations can happen). But there was also a lot of chatter that the President might move the Grito (the traditional Independence Day speech) to the city of Dolores Hildago - where the 1810 revolution began). That would be an interesting symbolic move. Many of the people I spoke with thought Fox had changed as President but that he still retains some tremendous rhetorical skill. #3 - There was both concern and interest about the President elect's staff comments about "social concerns" - clearly a majority of Mexicans think there needs to be changes which will make the economy more accessible to a larger fraction of the population but does not move to the extremes that AMLO proposed.

There is a measured optimism here. Not of the bubbly kind that was present in 2000 with Fox but a growing support that this new president will be able to move the country forward.

No comments: