Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The view on illegal immigration from the south just got fuzzier...

It looks like the conservative (in relative terms) Pan candidate, Felipe Calderon has eked out a slim victory (not to be confused with a majority) in our southern neighbor.
The preliminary results issued by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) gave Mr Calderon 36.38% of the vote compared with 35.34% for Mr Lopez Obrador.
It will be interesting to see if this type of Gore-Bush non-mandate will go down as poorly as our version did in 2000. At least they have a paper trail to document results, unlike our current "virtual" votes.
"It's going to be very difficult to have a Florida here," said Alejandro Trelles, an IFE adviser, referring to the protracted Bush-Gore legal battle in 2000. "The election was impeccable--no serious incidents, no elements to impugn." Unlike in Florida, Mexicans just mark ballots with an "x."
What this election does not mean is much change in direction for Mexican attitudes towards illegal US immigrants. The tricky part here is keeping in mind our friends to the south have more influence on our oil prices that Saudi Arabia. Of course, we are their only customer, but they still control how fast and much oil is pumped. So strong words from Washington will likely be laughed off south of the border. I mean, whadda we gonna do - bomb them?

In fact, the presumption of Mexican politicians of immunity from US unilateral actions is so strong they are thinking of making the US another Mexican voting district.
AMLO has also proposed that the Mexican Congress be enlarged to include legislators who specifically represent Mexicans living in the United States. This idea has been proposed before, and would establish a sixth circunscripcion. Mexico is currently divided into five electoral super-districts, each called a circunscripcion” or constituency subdivision. The proposal would add a sixth - the U.S.A. Mexicans living in the United States would vote by absentee ballots in Mexican elections - not for Members of Congress of a Mexican state such as Chiapas or Chihuahua, but for congresspersons specifically representing Mexicans in the United States.
Boy - the idea of a "nation" is undergoing some remodeling in this century!

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