Monday, October 26, 2009

The PRI and Coherence

Carlos Loret de Mola had some interesting things to say about the PRI last week:
Manlio Fabio Beltrones overwhelmingly supported the federal government's decision to extinguish LyFC, Enrique Peña Nieto half endorsed it while he maintained dialogue with the union leader Martín Esparza, Beatriz Paredes continues acting as though nothing has happened.

The PRI national leader and the Veracruz governor, Fidel Herrera, wanted to reject all of the taxes proposed by President Calderón, the governor of the state of Mexico wants them approved didn't dare to voice support, and Senate leader of the PRI declared from the beginning that he saw the VAT on food and medicine in a good light, a position with which he charms businessmen.

Two recent events --the discussion of the 2010 budget and the takeover of LFC-- have put in evidence that the PRI unites in times of famine, but it divides with abundance: they lost as they never had before the presidency in 2000, they came together and recovered ground by beating back Fox in 2003; the failure united them and this July they rolled; three months have gone by and the fissures --motivated by the fight surrounding the 2012 presidential candidacy-- begin to show.
I'd add that the infighting may be motivated by the presidency, but it is made worse by the lack of ideological coherence. I don't think the other parties are a whole lot better, but if the PRI was a party that, for example, had a 40-year tradition of advocating for lower taxes, or for supporting unions against all opposition, or what have you, the voices would probably be a lot more uniform. Not that I'm not arguing for litmus tests, mind you, but this is the downside of the PRI's ideological flexibility.

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