The Mexican by-elections for several thousand positions including a few Congressional seats, several hundred Municipal Presidencies (a cross between Mayor and County Judge in Texas, depending on the community and whether or not the County Seat is overwhelming the predominant community in the County), and State Congress representatives. Thirteen of the 31 States were holding these elections.
We shall concern ourselves with Tamaulipas, which is a border State with the Republic of Texas. It is also an ethnically complicated and complex State, with a wide range of geographic and historical characteristics. Furthermore it is the place wherein one might encounter a little mud hut with the name of Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre.
During the last presidential elections in Mexico, last year, it was this writer's certain opinion that my favoured candidate from the Partido de Accion Nacional was very probably going to win the national election. Surrounded as we were by people who have ALWAYS voted Partido Revolucionario Institucional in presidential processes....it was amazing to note that the scuttlebutt was overwhelmingly in support of the female PAN candidate....and amazingly she carried the State convincingly. My failure had been in projecting what was surrounding me onto the rest of the nation.
This time around, once again, it seemed to El Gringo Viejo that the PAN was poised to do "pretty well" in these more localised elections, and they did. They actually carried the major cities/counties of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, barely missing the premio gordo (first prise) in the biggest city, Reynosa, and the Capital, Victoria)....but then carrying 6 other counties. These last named six counties are real rural....hillbillies, rustics, small farmers, traditionalists....but historically pr0-PRI. Attitudinal studies place these people almost totally within the Tea Party - Fundamentalist American equivalent grouping.
So, there was some surprise, but then an acceptance, that we may have seen a final, radical rupture between this heretofore dependable PRI voting bloc from these counties into the more conservative PAN. Call it the revenge of the Reagan Democrats a la Mexicana. Oddly, of these six, five had names that began with the letter "M"....Miquihuana, Morelos (Antiguo), Miquel Aleman, Mier, and Mainero....and one with an "X" which is Xicotencatl. That was interesting, but there is always "....rest of the story". (Xicotencatl is Alvaro's home area, by the way.)
For the last five or six election cycles, it is never quite over until it is over. Before, everything was better because everything stunk. The people were allowed to vote....even urged and forced to vote in some cases. But there was little point behind the effort because the victor was already known, even before he had been named as a candidate. It would be a member of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional. That day is gone.
We tire of the already written story (before every election) about how these by-elections and even the Presidential and Gubernatorial elections do not engender any real interest. The Mexicans are apathetic, according to the Obsolete Press, regarding all candidates as corrupt...and most Mexicans do not even bother to register, much less vote. Knowing looks by the Euro-reporters and their American counterparts are exchanged along the bar at the 3rd best saloon in Mexico City....(safely removed from the real wealthy, middle, and working class neighbourhoods known as reality)....safe in their notion about the Mexican attitude and action. "I know it is true because a Mexican professor told me all about it. And he teaches at the National Autonomous University, he is the deputy dean of the College of Sociology." This is a statement that should read, "I know it is true because I'm a pinko and the professor is a pinko and we agree with each other".
There is only one problem. The Mexicans have a much higher registration and participation in their elections of the same or similar level than do the Americans. And the Mexican Credencial Federal Electoral is the most zealously guarded personal document held by a Mexican. And it is all but un-duplicatable. We have written about this matter before, even if before an incredulous audience. In my son's lifetime, Mexican elections have gone from laughable exercises including the hauling around county employees in dump trucks to vote at various sites.....to what is now perhaps the best procedure in the world. Our procedures in the Republic of Texas pale...pale to bright white, compared to the Mexican process.
So, there is at least one last event in the panoplia de comicios of the last procesos electorales en Tamaulipas. That event is the rejection of the first count of the votes from last Sunday which showed the PRI candidate defeating the PAN candidate very, very narrowly in the city and county of Tula. El Gringo Viejo's team, the PAN, stewed for a few hours and then "hit the road" so to speak. They opted to resort to the common recourse used by communists and other leftists in the southern half of Mexico especially; the closure of highways and byways by the strewing of hundreds or even thousands of irregularly space large rocks and small boulders across the entire highway right-of-way and pavement.
So, on the same highway we used to go and come between Victoria and Mexico City a couple of weeks ago, at the exit for the town of Tula, Tamaulipas the passage to and from was closed. It was closed for two days. Four hundred first-class and deluxe busses were trapped. Three hundred departures both ways were cancelled, six hundred total. Nine-thousand transport trucks and almost five thousand private vehicles were trapped.
In these events one must think, "Should I wait here or turn around and find a comfortable place to wait?" There is no way to know. There is no news, only rumour. Even when the police and/or Army arrives to clear the area, there might still be several hours of negotiation. It is an abuse of third parties who have absolutely nothing to do about the issue.
|This is the scene just before the Federal Civilian|
Police, the State Police, and the Army came to an
accord with the protestors and moved out
the "highway invaders". It helps a little
to know that the candidate concerned
came into the mess early on
and urged his supporters
to desist and move on.
In 99.9% of the cases when this tactic is employed (thankfully less and less as days go by) it is truly done by extreme leftists who are proud of their willingness to cause misery to the "rich" who can afford to travel or profit from roads built to "exploit the poor". This time it is my guys. And this time, my guys are wrong....even if their complaint is justified. There is a reasonable arbiter for the resolution of this matter, with the State Election Commission. It has been used in the past and has functioned reasonably.
So, shame on my team. Technical foul.
El Gringo Viejo