Mexico moved one step closer to a social explosion with the Federal Election Tribunal's decision to crown conservative Felipe Calderon as the victor in the hotly contested presidential elections of July 2. The tribunal acknowledged Calderon's campaign had "violated the norms of public order," particularly with the role played by the business associations in airing rabid TV ads attacking leftist candidate Andres Miguel Lopez Obrador. But it refused to question the fundamental legitimacy of the elections or to recount all the votes as demanded by the leftist opposition. [...]
The campaign slogan of Lopez Obrador was straightforward: "For the good of all, the poor first." His program during the campaign was actually quite reformist. In a country where half the population lives below the poverty line Lopez Obrador pledged to provide a stipend to the elderly and healthcare for the poor. Millions of jobs would also be created, particularly by undertaking large construction projects to modernize Mexico's dilapidated transportation system. He also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States, particularly the clauses that allow the importation of cheap subsidized grains that undermine Mexico's peasant producers.
More importantly Lopez Obrador pledged to break up the corrupt economic relationship that exists between the business class and government bureaucrats. Everyone in Mexico knows that bribes and kickbacks are commonplace throughout Mexico as much of the country's wealth is skimmed off at the expense of the workers and the poor. This system existed under the previous governments of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). It became particularly insidious under the incumbent President Vincente Fox and his National Action party (PAN) because it more than the PRI, is the party of an entrenched business elite. And not only is Lopez Obrador threatening to break up the system of inside favours and corruption, he is also proclaiming that the rich will have to pay the income and business taxes that they routinely avoid.
The rich pulling their own weight — what a concept.