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Last chance for politicians?

The 2018 General Election is expected to have the largest voter turnout in history
Last chance for politicians?
Ballots- File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
01/03/2018
08:51
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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The elections of this July 1st will be one of a kind. That is, in four months we will live a historic day. For the first time, over 3,300 public offices will be voted on, including (in addition to the President of the Republic and the Congress) eight Governors, the new Mayor of Mexico City, and dozens of members for state and local congresses.

With the exception of Baja California and Nayarit, the rest of the country will hold local elections in addition to the federal one – which translates into a double incentive for participation.

For these reasons, it's not hard to expect that the 2018 General Election becomes the election with the largest voter turnout.

In the previous presidential elections, according to the National Electoral Institute, voter turnout has been as follows: 77% in 1994; 63.9% in 2000; 58.55% in 2006; and 63.08% in 2012. For this year, this percentage may come closer to the one we had 24 years ago.

According to experts consulted by EL UNIVERSAL, there are several factors at play to have a low abstentionism rate.

Given the number of states that will hold local elections, the process to elect the new President of the Republic may become more attractive for citizens – since it's very likely they will also have to vote for the renewal of town hall mayors, local congresses, and even the Governor of their state.

It's also quite reasonable to expect a growing interest of the citizenship in politics during the upcoming weeks...unless politicians themselves wane it.

The campaigns to be launched this March 30 will become an excellent opportunity for political parties to reconnect with the electorate and begin to soothe the people's resentment towards the political class.

Millions of Mexicans want politicians to address every-day situations, such as insecurity, loss of purchasing power, and lack of job opportunities, instead of being bystanders in smear campaigns. They don't want to choose the “least-worst candidate” but someone who has, to their judgment, the best proposals to solve the most pressing matters of our country.

Political parties and candidates need to take politics to positive and civil levels to show they are willing to exchange ideas, not attacks. It may be their last opportunity to be heard by the Mexican people.

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