Mexico's Disputed Election
Luis Rubio is President of CIDAC (the Center of Research for Development), in Mexico City, and a co-author of "Mexico Under Fox". Jeffrey Davidow is President of the Insitute of the Americas and the author of "The U.S. and Mexico: The Bear and the Porcupine." He was U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1998 to 2002.See more by Luis RubioSee more by Jeffrey Davidow
A WAKE-UP CALL
Mexico's July 2 election was not only a contest to select a president and a new Congress. It was also a referendum on the future of the country, and voters recognized it as such. The national question essentially came down to whether Mexicans wanted continuity with the reforms of recent years or a return to the past -- whether the country should keep pursuing the political and economic liberalization that started in the mid-1980s or go back the state-driven development model of the 1970s.
The first choice was represented by Felipe Calderón of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), the second by Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Although Calderón seems to have edged out López Obrador for a victory, both received about one-third of the vote. (López Obrador rejected the results and took his protest to the streets and the courts.) But neither Calderón's promise of continuity nor López Obrador's reactionary populism offers a solution to Mexico's deep and abiding structural problems.