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Mexico's Liberal Record

Courtesy Reuters

In his response to my article, "Mexico's Perfect Dictatorship," Enrique Krauze misquotes me as saying that a delegate assembly passed a liberal constitution "in 1910." I said a delegate assembly passed a liberal constitution “during the 1910 Mexican Revolution.” I might have worded that phrase more precisely, but I well know that the revolution lasted a decade.

It would be strange to argue that the 1917 Constitution is not liberal—on paper. For example, the distinguished Mexican sociologist Pablo González Casanova wrote in Democracy in Mexico that its attempt to specify a separation of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial branches and to create checks and balances derive from ideas of the U.S. founding fathers, the French enlightenment, and the Federalist Papers. In practice, of course, in the context of a “semi-feudal society” (González Casanova's phrase) and a state powerfully dominated by one ruling party, the government proved anything but

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