The gap between political parties and Mexican society

The lack of improvement in public services leaves in the general population a sense of being used and abused by the political class
Ballot papers in Mexico - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
23/08/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Why is it that only during election times political parties remember housewives, students, ordinary people? How do citizens feel when they realize health, transport and education services keep deteriorating further and further as times go by and improvement attempts don't provide results fast enough? What remains in the general population is a sense of being used and abused by said political parties. Citizenship is just an instrument more to achieve power.

Considering this background, it's not surprising political parties increase in unpopularity and that many Mexicans have lost their faith in them, because they are supported by the voters to achieve power or public positions, but citizens never see an improvement in their pockets or the services they use. The percentage of poverty in Mexico has remained practically the same in 20 years. Almost half the population earns 5 thousand pesos per month ($ 280 USD, approx.) and there are no signs in the foreseeable future that this situation will change.

Despite all this, the political class has decided to allocate a budget whose like has never seen before for an electoral campaign: 6 billion 800 thousand Mexican pesos ($ 382 million USD, approx.). This amount will be requested by the National Electoral Institute to the Legislative Branch, but the figures were calculated according to the Law on the matter. Perhaps we should remember that in Mexico, any prospective modification to the Law to reduce the millionaire resources political parties receive has to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies (Lower Chamber), that is, by the members of the political parties themselves. Thus, they become a partial party when discussing increases or reductions in public expenses.

The negative perception Mexican society has on political parties is validated once more in a survey published today by EL UNIVERSAL regarding political party preferences. The survey asked whether the respondents had a positive or negative perception of the nine official political parties. Only three out of the nine managed to have a positive score, but the higher number was +5. Negative perception seems to be the norm.

Sticking with the same practices, without showing the slightest bit of empathy with the citizenship, won't reduce the gap that has formed between society and the political parties in Mexico. Political parties need to change internally; otherwise, the country will continue towards a generalized disillusionment with politics, which may even lead to the collapse of democracy Mexico is still struggling to consolidate. And this is an outcome that benefits no one.

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