Tuesday, July 6

Somewhere over the rainbow in Mexico's elections

Trust the Washington Post, that megaphone for State Department's view of the world, to scare up the silliest observation about the country-wide state and local elections in Mexico on July 4:

"Perhaps the greatest take-away from Sunday's elections is that democracy is surprisingly healthy in Mexico, perhaps more so than many analysts recognize," said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Ah, the glass is always half full at the think tanks that uphold the Washington Way.

Mexican political scientist Leo Zuckerman, whose glass is always half empty, has a different take on the greatest take-way: "The stamp is very clear: crime has exercised its veto power over the power of the vote."

Zuckerman needs to look on the bright side:
Only a third of voters showed up in the country's most violent state, Chihuahua, where drug gangs hung four bodies from bridges on election day. Less than 40 percent voted in Tamaulipas, where gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre was assassinated last week.
And from the same AP report that quoted sourpuss Zuckerman, a Mexican voter contributes another wet-blanket comment: "Why should we vote if we don't believe in the government, if the ones who rule our state, the ones in charge here, are the narcos?"

Indigenous polling officers wait for voters in one of the polling stations in San Bartolome Quialana, Oaxaca state, Mexico. (JUAN CARLOS REYES, AFP/Getty Images / July 4, 2010, via The Los Angeles Times report on the election. Take the morose expressions with a grain of salt; those people in Oaxaca are always teed off about something or other.)