I am trying, believe me I am trying. For someone so politically minded, used to shouting passionately at the TV at politicians and writing letters on pieces of legislation, I feel a little lost at times here in Mexico. It is not that there is a lack of political information here. On the contrary, the media is saturated with it - airwaves dicussing policies, mexican affairs always on the front page of newspapers before any world news...
Its just that it's a long process to figure out where I "stand" politically in mexico. Traditionally a lefty, I haven't felt much affinity in AMLO - Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador - the leftist candidate who lost the election last year and still calls himself the legitimate president. I am not denying that there was fraud in last year's July election, there probably was some underhandedness. But for his supporters, he is the president, so in fact according to them we are living in a country with two presidents. Hmm. Many people make fun of him, and others believe he has purely manipulated the people. And as for PAN (Partido Action Nacional), the centre-right party that has won the last two elections, I am in a similarly dispassionate position. Yeah, so Vicente Fox and the now current president Felipe Calderon are your more conventional "righties", sleeping with big business etc.. but there have been some great developments from them. When Fox came into power in 2000, he was the most democratically elected president after 70 years of one party rule, and he ushered in an ambitious agenda of reform. He set out to make mexico a whole heap more transparent and getting serious on human rights. However a lot of his reforms have not been passed, and in many ways the mexican people were left feeling underwhelmed by Fox.
Similarly, Calderon seems quite a bland figure. But just when you have made up your mind to dislike him (the whole country hated him last month after the price of tortillas skyrocketed), he does something cool. Like last week he announced a program of mandatorily planting 150,000 new trees on mexican soil every year, and strengthened protection for wetland areas.
Sigh. So after this detailed overview of mexican politics, all I can say is that there are still so many factors that are lost in translation, and I dont find myself shouting passionately for any political party just yet. They all have a touch of the dodgy about them at times. And then the good old Zapatista movement, still going strong and expounding people power and anti neo-liberal ideas... well I admire the movement a lot, but to honest I still feel alienated by the confonting image of Commadante Marcos in his balaclava and the sermon-like declarations that emanate from their website.
Enough pondering for today.