Boz wonders if Mexico's next president will come from outside the three major parties:
Putting to one side the legal obstacles that would face anyone seeking to mount a fourth-party challenge (which, as Jorge Castañeda can attest, are all-but-insurmountable for the time being), I just can't see it happening. First of all, as much as Mexicans dislike the three major political parties (they are consistently among the least respected institutions according to surveys of the Mexican public), they haven't shown much love for any of the smaller parties. Furthermore, the PAN, PRI, and PRD may be hated, but they aren't weak; in this sense, the Mexican parties are much more like their North American counterparts than the historically weak parties in South America. And much as some Mexican commentators like to dispel the notion, they do offer a real governing choice. Despite high abstention rates and persistent corruption in every major party, the gigantic vacuum of ideological legitimacy in the ruling class that allowed, say, Uribe to swoop in is absent in Mexico.
This leads to a question: What are the chances of a presidential candidate coming from outside these three parties in 2012? Looking at recent polls, there is definitely space for someone to run from outside the current party structure.
Then again, this is a pretty good example of a black swan scenario, wherein an event seems impossible until it actually happens, at which point we have to remind ourselves that unlikely or unprecedented doesn't mean impossible. I can't think of any obvious candidate (except for maybe someone like Alejandro Martí, who has an enviable combination of wealth, fame, and moral stature) who could pose a serious challenge to Enrique Peña Nieto or Marcelo Ebrard, but of course it would have to be someone out of left field.