According to the latest National Survey on Political Culture and Citizen Practices in 2008, 54 percent of Mexicans feel that the deputies represent the voters' point of view only a little or not at all. Only 11 percent consider that, when passing laws, legislators take into account the interests of the population. A mere 5 percent say that they have asked for the help of a deputy or senator. And all of the polls demonstrate that the two houses of Congress are, together with the police and the parties, among the institutions with the least trust granted by the citizenry. Against that backdrop, it seems to me that many Mexicans are asking themselves, why should we give these men who represent us and so bother us the right to reelect themselves?[Break][Those of us] who believer in reelection have ahead of us the task of persuading public opinion. We must explain the benefit of this modification. It's not easy in a political culture where the word "reelection" has a negative connotation. That is, therefore, the challenge that I think requires the coordinated efforts of politicians, academics, intellectuals, journalists, and citizens that are in favor of legislative reelection, not as a magic process that will solve all of the nation's problems, but that will demonstrably improve the performance of our democracy.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
A while back, Leo Zuckermann addressed the failure of legislative reelection to win approval from anything approaching a majority of the public. He wonders if the lack of support for reelection comes from a broader dissatisfaction with Congress, and agrees with Gancho that right now reelection advocates should focus on public opinion rather than enacting such an unpopular (if well intended) reform: