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Contemporary Politics and Economics in Mexico Essay

Over the course of Mexican history, the governmental and economic state of Mexico has been largely unstable. The nation was marked by dictatorial shifts in party-list (and their candidates) and their constant bickering with each other; the deformed presidency, the elite and the political group controlled the economic fervor with constant insurgencies from the lower classes; the shift of the informal traditional ‘relatively’ closed market system to an international open trading system as a form of ‘globalization’; and finally, the drastic environmental events, like the 1985 earthquake which had shaken up the nation.

In the following paper, there is an attempt to elucidate the static forces that govern the Mexican politics and economics from 1980s to the contemporary times. Mexican politics was largely determined by the ‘evolution’ of the ruling party Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), their gradual shifts or hold in power from a hegemonic- (1929 to 1979), bipartisan- (1979 to 1985) and finally, the pluripartisan stage (1988-2000).

The bipartisan stage marked the initial infiltration of the opposing party Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) and the strong comptetion between the PRI, PAN and the PRD (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica during the pluripartic years. PRI had a hold on presidential seat for 71 years until it was put to a stop in the 2000 elections. The presidential monarchy from 1970 to 1982 coincided with a period of shared development in political organization with the emergence of the bourgeoisie in governmental positions and puts an end to the ‘sustained’ economy that Mexico originally enjoyed under the Echeverria .

To combat the economic crisis and peso devaluation, the State attempted to intervene with the entrepreneurial activities, thus sparking State-Entrepeneur dissent; the private businesses erected Entrepreneurial Coordinating Council (ECC) institutions as a protective mechanism. Portillo delivered his counterattack by nationalizing bank systems and increasing the interest rates. Mexico experienced general economic quagmire — inflation, external inequity, currency devaluation, peso flight, mounting unemployment and low purchasing power — in 1976, 1982, 1987 [ e. g. 59 % inflation] and 1994-95 with middle periods of mild economic recuperation.

The September 19 1985 earthquake, which killed approximately 6,500 to 30,000 individuals, aggravated the economic crisis. The 80s were dominated by neoliberal (semi-democratized state implementing free election rule) over the freemarket system, as a result of mounting external debts and the ‘Washington Consensus’. The freemarket system/informal market system originally dominated by local ‘street market vendor’ types, became an open humdrum to international financial organizations like the World Bank to ‘negotiate’ for the debts.

The State Restructuring generally involved administration modernization, openness of the national market/participation with free trade with the State neighbors (e. g. 1986 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs), privatization of public enterprises, and introduction of radical social and political reforms to the relatively ‘traditional’ State. The ‘Restructuring’ debilitated the State with most of the reforms resulting to dispersed control in politics, loss of ethics in politicians and political institutions, and mounting economic problems.

The Neoliberal State, 1982-2000, demonstrated a stunningly low GIP per head of 0. 3 %. With income distribution becoming more unequal. The year 1994 marked the participation of State to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Inequality in income and devaluation of the market price coupled with the global inflation of prices created insurgencies from the lower classes and the emergence of anti-political groups like the Zapatista Army of National Liberation from the State of Chiapaz.

The peso devaluation, increased exchange rate volatility and meltdown of stocks will persist up to the current state of economic affairs. This was naturally fueled by distrust of external investors to the weak form of governance. Federal Electoral Institute, mediated by ordinary citizens was erected in the early 90s to ensure that elections are ‘clean’ compared to PRI unfair appointing of offices in the past. Quesada won the 2000 election due to the insurgency and popular voting but have few votes from the Congress.

It was the former President Zedillo who officiated the electoral results thus stunting the chance of PRI to question the results. The administration of Fox signed up with the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America with the hope of modernizing the reforms and the pre-existing labor laws, opening investments in the energy sector, and improving the infrastructure. The 1994 NAFTA agreement’ beneficial effects were apparently not agreed upon by participants.

Whereas the US reiterates that there is ‘speeding up’ of the economic activity of the free market system of Mexico as indicated by the thrillion dollar class, the quick economic growth did not improved the standards of living of the lower and middle class. Calderon, the current president of the Mexico and also a PAN member, experienced many oppositions from the PRD; the attacks were on post-electoral and on ‘Banobras-borrowing’.

Calderon attempted to reduce the economic crisis of the country by producing reforms like Tortilla Price Stabilization Pact, salary caps, security policy and first employment program. The current presidents waged an active advocacy against drugs. The contemporary politics and economic changes in Mexico are centered on neo-liberalism with opening of the State to globalized free trade. The drastic results of the State restructuring persisted up to now and the reforms enacted by the current government will hopefully resolved the problems.


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