Trust, the INE's challenge

The INE acknowledges winning the people's trust is its biggest challenge ahead of the 2018 General Elections

Woman & voting booth - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 23/10/2017 09:00 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:42

In societies where democracy has been consolidated, a vote is enough to make the difference during election times, and the defeated have no more choice but to accept the results. Unfortunately, in Mexico, a difference of thousands of votes is enough for a runner-up to refute the final count and have a good portion of the citizenship casting doubt on the entire process.

This discredit doesn't even need to be grounded on hard facts, yet the mistrust permeates so many layers of society it stains the final results.

The National Electoral Institute (INE) acknowledges wining the people's trust is its biggest challenge ahead of the 2018 General Elections. At a round table called by EL UNIVERSAL, attended by the president of the INE and several journalists and columnists of this newspaper, Lorenzo Córdova stressed next year will be the last chance to prove Mexico has a feasible democratic model.

He's not the only one to express that point of view. A few days ago, Enrique Krauze claimed the 2018 elections will be the third and final proof of Mexican democracy in this century, and if it passes the test, national consolidation will be irreversible.

The country has gone from one reform to the next, seeking to perfect the democratic system, in a trial-and-error sort of way. There's been nothing wrong with this method, yet the country cannot spend any more years looking for the perfect model –  further adjustments should be minimal.

Political parties have also contributed to the mistrusts and disillusionment with the democratic model. In their search for power, they fall on ruses and tricks to try and avoid complying with he law and hide their campaign expenses as much as they can. With such a performance, political parties are the first to contribute to the uncertainty which pushes the population further away. Regarding debates, for instance, they have always agreed to inflexible formants, far removed from the agile discussions and proposal presentation models.

To win back the trust, all the INE has to do is enforce the law thoroughly.

Nevertheless, at the bottom lies something a more pressing matter. As long as people don't perceive democracy doesn't have an effect on the improvement of their quality of life, they will continue to feel disillusioned with this form of Government and with electoral processes. 2018 can effectively be our last chance to consolidate us as a democratic society.