Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mediocre Folks

Alfonso Zárate is angry about the mediocrity that prevails among Mexico's political leaders:
The logic of mediocrity continues alive and well. In the recent election of the president of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), the Senators overlooked the candidate with the most complete profile: that rare mix of experience, knowledge of the issue, strength, and serenity that Emilio Álvarez Icaza has. The political interests didn’t dare to elect an uncomfortable ombudsman, although this is the reason for being for a defender of human rights: to be uncomfortable to those in power.

The same thing that happened in the CNDH and in the IFE repeats itself in other crucial spaces of the republic, the brown-nosers arrive, those who assure the interests of those who put them there, that’s why the organizations have decayed and very little is left of their autonomy.

Another practice that prevails is that of quotas and exchanges between the parties. That’s why, when we are on the brink of settling other crucial elections --namely, those of the two ministers of the Supreme Court and the governorship of the Bank of Mexico—there are bad signals.

But if that is, irredeemably, the logic of the powerful, we citizens focus on watching them, scrutinizing, verifying the fulfillment of their responsibilities…
He has an interesting historical explanation for it, one I'd not heard before. In the years of the presidential dedazo determining who would rise to power, docility and quiet competence were the ideal qualities for an ambitious pol, not standout performance. In effect, there was a system-wide reward for mediocrity.

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