By RICARDO CASTILLO
Ever since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) made public his receiving of the anonymous document BOA (initials in Spanish for Broad Opposition Bloc), talk about his suggestion that the country adopt a two-party political system has broke loose. As in all things, there are those in favor and those against, but most agree that the president’s statement was the flag down for the 2021 midterm political race.
AMLO’s rationale for wanting to consolidate Mexico’s democracy into a two-party system is there are, in his view, only two types of voters: conservatives and liberals. His party, the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), represents the liberals, but the conservatives are divided into a myriad of little parties that do not represent a true opposition.
AMLO praised the author or authors of the alleged BOA movement, claiming that they have the right vision as o where the political system is heading. Currently, the opposition is led by the second force National Action Party (PAN), which nets about 25 percent of the vote. The other opposition parties, which share the remaining 25 percent of non-Morena votes are: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Citizens’ Movement (MC), the Green Party (PVEM) and the Labor Party (PT). At present, the PT and PVEM usually vote along the lines of Morena, so the “conservative” vote is really that of the PAN, PRI and PRD. The latter two are functionally defunct.
In recent comments about BOA and its potential as a political force, AMLO said: “This is not the time for simulations. Either you are conservative or yo are liberal. There is no in between, There is no side to move to. Either you are for the transformation of the country or you are against it. Either you are for honesty and the cleansing of corruption out of Mexico, or you against the Fourth Transformation.”
The Fourth Transformation, is the words AMLO, describes his style of governance, which has almost all the opposition parties up in arms and plotting for his exodus.
Last weekend, Mexico’s nine PAN governors (a group known as GOAN) met for two days at the historically symbolic town of Dolores Hidalgo, in the state of Guanajuato, coming up with united statements referring to BOA and dismissing AMLO’s two-sides claim.
Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral said: “Those of us associated in GOAN are not the opposition. But we are one of the balancing powers and counterweights the Mexican republic needs in our federated system. both in positioning and in the facts.”
Corral added: “We’re not a part of BOA.”
Aguascalientes Governor Martín Orozco, who is the current GOAN president, also denied belonging to any opposition group.
“We’re focused on governing, in the construction of this nation, and are not being distracted by these themes that no doubt don’t sow anything positive,” he said.
“Simply put, we want to contribute to the federal government in the making of a team. We will put our grain of sand to continue building the nation” in accordance with the PAN way.
In other words, the PAN governors do not pay attention to what AMLO is saying and about the only thing they are demanding now is money, lots of it, from the federal government to make up for the unexpected expenditures the covid-19 pandemic is forcing states to make.
On the other hand, the PRD’s Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo had a different point of view. He said: “Everyone could foresee that under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico was not going to do well, but we did not expect this to come so fast. That’s why it is feasible to build a potential scenario for a great alliance that agglutinates the PAN, the PRI, what’s left of the PRD and even the MC. The president gave us the idea, mapped out the route, and I think it’s possible to take that course (of a two-party system). The conditions are there for it to happen and I believe it’s necessary to do so because the political situation is extremely complex.”
However, pasting together the “agglutination” of parties will be even more complex than the current political situation. At the end of June, the National Electoral Institute (INE) will announce the approval, or not, of several new political parties. which will come to splinter the anti-Morena vote even further.
That is where things stand today, but the up-and-coming electoral fray is just beginning to take shape, with one truth as outlined by AMLO: “Either you are for or you are against the 4T.”
Nevertheless, from saying this to expecting a two-party system to be established for the next two elections, in 2021 and 2024, there is a long way to go. But, as many have always claimed, a two-party system made up of liberals and conservative is not a bad idea.
In fact, this is something the United States government seemed to be dreaming of when it was confronted by the ancient one-party system that prevailed in Mexico for nearly seven decades.
And a one-party system is where Mexico appears to be heading for if Morena keeps gaining ground.
As is now, AMLO’s Morena is already the ruling party, dominating the Senate, the House of Deputies and, of course, the presidency.
…June 16, 2020