Friday, February 24, 2006

Nothing to worry about?

I don't get out much when I'm putting together a paper for my supervisor, but I was able to sneak out for a round-table discussion hosted by the Mexican Society at the LSE. The topic was the upcoming presidential elections in that country and academics and pollsters were present.

It seems that the standard bearer of the Left, Lopez Obrador, is in the lead and barring any mishaps will probably be Mexico's new president. Calderon, the candidate of the PAN, lies seven points behind, with the PRI a few points further back, in third place.

One of the academics had doubts and concerns about the Left; with a social movement behind him would Lopez Obrador be a 'responsible' president? I find this objectionable. After all, why on earth would the Left be irresponsible? With the questionable exception of Chavez - who seems to be more bluster anyway (his anti-US rhetoric hasn't changed the fact that his biggest oil market is still... the US) - haven't the last few years shown that the Left tends to operate in a fairly moderate fashion? In Brazil, Argentina, Chile and most recently Bolivia, we're seeing presidents elected who are restraining themselves - and frustrating their own supporters.

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