Michael Barone summarizes Mexico’s political landscape in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner:
Overdue reforms boost Mexico — and the United States
Some historical background is in order. For 71 years, Mexican politics and government were totally dominated by the paradoxically named Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI), which held the presidency and virtually all governorships from 1929 to 2000.
Under the PRI system, presidents served one six-year term and in their last year — usually a time of catastrophes — chose their successors, who paraded around the country and were elected without difficulty.
Once in office, the new president blamed all his problems on his predecessor, who often left the country. This system suited the sensibility of a nation whose culture is still at least partly Aztec: It combined elements of calendrical regularity, elaborate ceremony and human sacrifice.
This system worked tolerably well for 30-some years. But as time went on, it produced widespread corruption, periodic currency devaluations and massive outmigration. Mexico seemed to be falling further behind the United States.