Political Thermometer

February 22, 2019
Political Thermometer

The triumph of the National Movement for Regeneration (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional MORENA) in not only Mexico’s presidential election, but particularly in the two houses of Mexico’s Federal Congress, has led to an interesting political debate. Now, many in Mexico are asking if it is a good idea for a president to have a majority of congressional support on his side or, to the contrary, if democracy would be further strengthened by having strong opposition in Mexico’s legislative chambers.Those favoring a strong government that has the support of its legislative branch aver that such alignment allows for greater efficiency in the design of public policy, institutional change and obtaining expeditious results, without the wasting of time or effort by politicians. On the other side, proponents of a “divided government” argue that effective checks and balances among the various governmental powers are necessary. They are concerned that the risk of centralized power could stymie political development and democracy within the country.What is clear is that this analysis is not complete without taking into account Mexico’s judicial branch, which, in exercising its regulatory and judicial functions, has the authority to review the constitutionality of all government actions. For now, AMLO has proposed a significant number of reforms that were originally announced during his campaign, and it appears that MORENA party lawmakers in both chambers of Mexico’s Congress are taking up many of his initiatives.It is undisputed that Mexico’s political system emerged as a winner from the largest elections in history that featured very high voter participation, with all voters accepting the victories of the winning candidates. This strengthened Mexican democracy and should be celebrated. However, one should closely follow the advances of the new president’s initiatives and those promoted by legislators from his MORENA party, which now hold a majority in Mexico, as well as the effectiveness of opposition lawmakers and Mexico’s judicial branch.

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