Editorials | July 2009
|The Return of the Dinosaur|
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The return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) as the leading political force in the nation is baffling, to be mild about it.
Back in 2000, the PRI had ruled for 71 consecutive years in what philosophers called "the perfect dictatorship." It controlled the presidency, the governorships, both houses of Congress, state capitals and leading municipalities. It was a perfectly-oiled political machine.
Yet when the PRI first allowed a free election in 1997 under President Ernesto Zedillo, the power of the National Action and Democratic Revolution parties was felt through what is now detectable as voter backlash against a corrupt government. And the PRI was indeed corrupt.
After losing the presidency two consecutive times to the National Action Party, the last one in 2006, the party was taken over by the present leader, Beatriz Paredes, a woman who dresses in colorful Mexican costumes, and who has managed to bring squabbling inside the party to a virtual standstill.
Peredes opted for paying attention to the new cadre of politicians, who have given the party, not a facelift, but a revamped ideological structure, which is proving to be most acceptable to rural and small city voters.
The return of the "dinosaur," as the PRI is known, was very much in tandem with the disappointment over poor government policies under the National Action Party and the ludicrous internal squabbling of the Democratic Revolution Party. Both are paying a price, and though people are looking at smaller parties as a choice, the PRI's experience at organizing looks portentous, once again.