By ALEJANDRO ENVILA FISHER
The integration of all the federal deputies of Mexico’s Green Party (PVEM) into President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, with the subsequent disappearance of the party as a whole, would, if it were to come to pass (and it very well might), constitute the biggest fraud against the nation’s electorate in the history of the country’s multi-party system.
Although all Mexican federal deputies, both those elected by majority and those of proportional representation, have the same powers once they take office, they have a very different origin and mandate. The multi-member councils are assigned based on the number of votes received by each party and the majority delegates are assigned according to the number of votes received by each winning candidate. Thus, the multi-member deputies represent a citizen current favorable to a specific party that, generally, is a minority. Consequently these seats should tie the multi-member deputy to the party for whose proportional representation list he or she reached the Chamber of Deputies.
Under these conditions, any change in party affiliation is clearly illegitimate, albeit not necessarily illegal according to parlimentary rules. The majority deputies, on the other hand, won the seat by the votes they received, directly from the electorate. That is why they can migrate freely between parties, since they have a direct representation and mandate from the voters.
But the switching of affiliations from the PVEM to Morena by multinominal legislators would be a betrayal and a fraud against all those who voted for the logo, the name, the partisan institution and the environmental political ideology of the party.
It is true that the law does not expressly prohibit legislators from changing their factions once they have the quality of popular representatives, but that is a tricky interpretation of the constitutional electoral norms because voters did not vote for them, but rather for the party they are supposed to represent.
It is also a betrayal of Mexico’s fragile democratic culture itself because the multinominals exist just to give a voice to minorities within the two legislative chambers.
When the representatives of a parliamentary minority sell themselves off to the majority, the parliamentary fraction of the party that they are supposed to representation disappears, nullifying the system and the purpose of these delegates.
If the voters had wanted Morena to have more legislative representatives at San Lázaro and the opposition none, they would have voted en masse and uniformly for the ruling party, but this was not the case.
The plan by these PVEM delegates to switch parties is not simply a new example of the Green Party’s greedy ambition and political corruption. It is an operation that, when it materializes, will detroy the balance of legislative action within the Mexican Congress, since it will modify the integration and operation of the governing bodies of the Chamber of Deputies.
The negotiation to achieve this massive act of political transvestism, led by PVEM Senator Manuel Velasco, is a confirmation of the feudal nature with which politics are carried out in the parties and in their respective parliamentary groups.
The PVEM showed its true colors — far more yellow than green — with its grotesque violation of the electoral ban just days before the June 6 midterm elections, when it hired influencers to campaign on social networks in stark violation of campaign rules.
Had the National Electoral Institute (INE) sanctioned the party by banning it from participating in the elections, it would have lost precisely the multi-member deputies that today it is using as a bargaining chip and selling off to Morena for the next few three years the illegitimate but absolute control of the Chamber of Deputies’ Political Coordination Board
But instead, Lorenzo Córdova, Ciro Murayama, Carla Humphrey and the rest of the members of the INE General Council who voted for the intermediate sanction (a fine), left the door open for further political crimes by the PVEM.
In just a few short weeks, that green monster returned to show Mexicans that its ability to think up ways to distort democracy, and take advantage of it, has no limits.
Mexico’s new legislature was installed on Sunday, Aug. 29 and although it started without the super majority that would overrepresent Morena, there is nothing to prevent, at any given moment, that the PVEM and Labor Party (PT) deputies become turncoats and further erode yet another of the pillars of the country’s young and still-fragile democracy.
ALEJANDRO ENVILA FISHER is a lawyer and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s (UNAM) School of Law. He directed the political magazine Cambio and Radio Capital for 15 years. He also founded and directed GreenTV, a cable television channel specializing in sustainability and the environment, for five years. He has been a commentator and host for various radio and television shows and has written political columns for the newspapers El Día and Unomásuno, in addition to publishing articles in more than 20 regional newspapers in Mexico since 1995. He is the author of the books “One Hundred Names of the Mexican Transition,” “Chimalhuacán, the Empire of La Loba” and “Chimalhuacán, from Lost City to Model Municipality.”