Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Electoral reform in Mexico?

Via one of my Facebook contacts, the Financial Times is reporting that Mexican president Felipe Calderón has proposed some significant changes in elections to Mexico’s presidency and Congress, including the adoption of a run-off system for presidential elections and permitting members of Congress (but not presidents, breaking the regional trend of late) to seek reelection; the proposal would also cut the sizes of both chambers of the legislature quite substantially.

There doesn’t seem to be much to object to on the surface of the package—although I’m not convinced that either chamber needs a cut in its membership—but Calderón will probably need the support of many deputies from one or both of the major opposition parties for the proposals to succeed. Since the reforms would probably enhance the powers of deputies and senators at the expense of their party leaders, many Mexican legislators may find themselves caught between their partisan and personal interests.