The second confusion [behind the null vote movement] has to do with the idea that politics can function differently simply by getting rid of the politicians. This supposes that the problem is the people, not the institutions. Furthermore, it supposes a deep contempt for those who dedicate themselves professionally to this activity. Contempt that I don't believe has any basis: Mexican politicians aren't different from politicians from other countries, nor are they different from Mexicans from other professions. This moral superiority that the pontificators embody is pure and simple pride [in the Seven Deadly Sin sense of the word].
What we do have are deep failures in our rules of interacting, because we haven't been able to adequately undo the structures of the previous regime. Presidentialism disappeared, but the almost absolute power was reincarnated in the 32 viceroys; corporatism stopped being a support of the regime, but it turned into an autonomous power; and the revolutionary myth didn't end up dying. We don't have an adequate institutional design for the powers of the union, nor for their relationship among them, nor between them and the orders of the government.
But these institutional failings aren't going to be resolved through annulling votes. It will be resolved when we have decided if we want to give revolutionary nationalism a new opportunity or if we want to abandon it definitively. And that, as we saw last week, has a direction relationship with the political parties. Which is to say, votes matter, they matter a great deal, in this national definition. But if you think that it's preferable that the philosopher kings are the ones that guide us, annul your vote. In any event you'll have opted for a political option, obscure but political.
Our problem is us, not just the politicians. And we will be able to solve it when we decide to recognize teh size of our failure in the twentieth century. When we accept that corruption, inefficiency, farse isn't just [something which we can blame on] them. There is no them. There is us.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Schettino on the Null Vote
Here's another point of view I find convincing: