I’ll be moving to http://faustasblog.com in the next few days and am presently working on that.
Please bear in mind that the process is truly a learning experience as I have no idea how to go about it in an expeditious way.
The apparent victory of Felipe Calderon, the candidate of incumbent President Vicente Fox’s PAN party in Mexico, is the latest in a series of defeats for the hard left in Latin American elections. It also means there will continue to be a trio of center-right North American governments. Leftist Evo Morales, with help from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, did win in Bolivia, but Chavez’s candidate lost in Peru, center-right incumbent Alvaro Uribe won re-election by a huge margin in Colombia, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, former Mexico City mayor and candidate of the leftist PRD party, lost after leading in the polls for most of the past two years. The cry has been going up that the “Washington consensus” favoring free trade and free markets is dead in the region. But that consensus is not threatened by responsible center-left presidents like Lula da Silva of Brazil and Michelle Bachelet of Chile. And the defeat of Lopez Obrador, who called for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, shows it’s still alive in Mexico.
That doesn’t mean Calderon can solve all of Mexico’s problems. His PAN will be the largest party in the Congreso but without a majority in either house. For one thing, oil production will most likely continue to lag if PRI, the ruling party from 1929 to 2000, keeps joining PRD in resisting any change in the monopoly status of government-owned Pemex. Government corruption and urban crime will probably persist. But Mexico’s economy, in tandem with ours thanks to NAFTA, is now growing robustly, inflation is low, and there has been no peso devaluation since 1994. And in the Congreso, legislators may be developing the knack of compromise and negotiation that was never necessary when they were just rubber stamps for PRI presidents.
I’ll blog more later, both here and at the new address. Thank you for your patience.