It’s an interesting time to be in Mexico. Today’s election day and what people decide to do with their vote may bring about a lot of changes – good or bad.
Though there’re a lot of people here who say they’re voting for the lesser of three evils (whoever that may be), it’s still really important that they get out and actually use their vote.
The next 48 hours are going to be tense and I can’t wait to see what happens.
I completely understand the frustration and confusion my Mexican friends are facing over deciding who to vote for: Reuters describes the candidates as “a heartthrob, a leftist and a woman.”
The heartthrob in question, Enrique Peña Nieto, is the man running for PRI – the party that ran the country for 71 years before losing the election in 2000. Most people I know don’t want to go near this party when they vote thanks to the years of corruption they indulged in and the horrific state they left the country in. If you take a wander around the city it’s hard to miss the graffiti sprawled across Peña Nieto’s posters, declaring him to be some kind of devil.
The “leftist” refers to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the face behind PRD and Peña Nieto’s toughest competition. While AMLO seems to have grabbed the hearts of a lot of passionate and politically-minded university students, it’s tough to ignore the fiery temperament he openly displays while giving speeches. He’s passionate, yes, and he talks about change (don’t they all?) but his tendency to throw accusations and cause disruption when he doesn’t get his own way is notorious. After losing the election in 2006, he closed off a lot of the main avenues in the city and staged protests for days, claiming the vote was rigged. He’s said that if he doesn’t win this year, he’ll know the vote was definitely rigged.
And then there’s the “woman” – Josefina Vázquez Mota for PAN, the current ruling party. In spite of PAN’s muy, muy conservative ethics, I originally had some respect for Mota. If she won, she’d be the first woman President of Mexico and seemed to be determined to prove she was a strong female amidst the powerful, dominating male candidates. Then I heard about her “cuchi cuchi” remark and I lost all respect for her. In a passionate speech, she told the women of Mexico to persuade their husbands to vote for “the correct party” by withholding “cuchi cuchi” (sex) from them and threatening never to give it back to them unless they do the right thing. If they vote for the wrong party, no cuchi cuchi! Even if she meant this as a joke, I found this quite offensive. I didn’t think someone in politics should be implying that women are only good for using their bodies to get their own way. It’s revolting and backwards … but, then again, she’s extremely Conservative, so what did I expect? I also know that quite a few people really don’t want to vote for PAN thanks to Calderón’s War on Drugs.
I’m glad I don’t get the right to vote here. To be honest, I’d be stumped. Who would you put your faith in?
I want to wish all my Mexican friends the best of luck in voting today. I know most of them were still confused only a few days ago so I hope today they come to a decision that they feel is right for them.