What does the Electoral Reform in Mexico propose?

This is how the Mexican legislature would be chosen if AMLO's proposed Electoral Reform were to pass and plurinominal senators and deputies were eliminated.

What does the Electoral Reform in Mexico propose?
This is the plan put forth by the Mexican Electoral Reform. Credit: Senado

The Electoral Reform, sent by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), seeks to reduce the cost of democracy in the country and this includes the slimming down of a robust Congress, with hundreds of plurinominal deputies and senators. In this regard, AMLO declared: "They do not care if there are 500 deputies when there can be 300".

In AMLO's proposal for Electoral Reform, the number of deputies is reduced from 500 to 300 and the number of senators from 128 to 96, although the proposal would eliminate direct elections.

"The President says that the plurinominals are going to disappear. And on the contrary! There are going to be plurinominals in 32 states of the Republic. That strengthens the parties!", declared German Martinez, senator of the Plural Group. PAN Senator, Damián Zepeda, detailed this item of the Electoral Reform initiative.

"Yes, I am in favor of changing the mechanism for the integration of the Congress. But I do not believe that the President's proposal is correct he is not proposing to eliminate the plurinominals, but rather he is proposing that all of them be plurinominals and he also takes away the right to vote directly for your candidates", he explained.

What would be the effect of removing plurinominal candidates as proposed by the Electoral Reform?

What sets alarm bells ringing is that the parties will go to the legislative elections with lists of candidates per entity, as suggested in the initiative. That is to say, each entity would have several seats in Congress, according to the number of its inhabitants, for example, Mexico City would have 22 seats in San Lazaro; the State of Mexico, 40; and Guanajuato, 15.

However, such a voting system would have a harmful effect, since the citizen would be obliged to vote for a political force and not for a specific candidate. According to the Electoral Reform proposal, the citizens of each entity will elect their representatives through a list system, which guarantees a plural representation, according to a Morena senator.

"That the plurinominals are not elected by handpicking or by designation, but that it be the people directly so that we are more accountable," explained Morenista Gabriel García. However, the lists of candidates to be deputies and senators will be endorsed by the same political party.

What Electoral Reform does Mexico currently need?

"Democracy is the least bad of all political systems", the phrase is attributed to Winston Churchill, what is there and what democratic system is needed in Mexico? Is an Electoral Reform necessary? Currently, there is an expensive, obese, democratic-electoral system controlled solely and exclusively by a political caste that clings to power again and again and again.

Yes, an Electoral Reform is needed, one in which political parties do not cost the citizens. Do they want money? Let them scratch with their fingernails, although there is always a but. "What we are not willing to do is to hand over the financing of political parties to private parties and even less so now that we have totally and documented... the interference of drug trafficking in electoral processes", said PRD Deputy, Elizabeth Perez.

What elements are necessary for Electoral Reform in Mexico?

Lowering electoral costs

An Electoral Reform is needed to lower the cost of elections, fill the bottomless barrel of the political parties, and lift the basket of golden eggs from the golden bureaucracy embodied in the INE and the Electoral Tribunal.

Next year, Mexicans will spend more than 26 billion pesos on these items alone. To this figure must be added that of the local electoral bodies, which "suck" another 11 billion pesos. "The initiative implies many aspects: reduction of legislators, in the town councils, in the local congresses, the elimination of the local courts. It is a threshold close to 50 billion pesos", explained Hamlet García, Morena deputy.

Legislative reduction

Legislative reduction is undoubtedly necessary, but it is dangerous as proposed in the Electoral Reform initiative because integrating lists of candidates would give all the power to the parties and take it away from the citizens. "I don't like that. Minorities must also be represented in parliament. This is the secret of social stability: that minorities are well represented", said Germán Martínez, senator of the Plural Group.

Digital voting

An Electoral Reform is needed that is not afraid of digital voting, since it would reduce the cost, would give certainty and speed to the counting of votes, and would save tons of ink and paper, in addition to the ease with which citizens would be able to exercise their right to vote.

Autonomous electoral body

An Electoral Reform is necessary to guarantee an autonomous institute in which there is no interference from political parties, much less from the government. "I am an enemy of quotas and quacks, I think it is right that Congress should elect them. Congress is the represented citizenship", said Damián Zepeda, PAN senator.

There is also a need for a body that is in charge of organizing and counting votes and is no longer pending on what political actors may or may not say, nor spending millions of pesos in monitoring spots. Are these features possible in the Electoral Reform? Let's think so because, despite all its disenchantments, democracy is still the least bad of the political systems.