Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anti-Monopoly Legislation in the Offing?

Ezra Shabot, fresh off a personal interview with Calderón, points to the goals for the home stretch of his presidency:
For Calderón, 2011 is the year of decisions on the path to the end of his administration and the handover of power. It's time to take account of the war against crime; to emphasize areas where there was an advance, and finishing the task of opening the road for greater competition, especially in the area of telecommunications, where the monopolies continue to run the show. The fear that these interests will be able to define the upcoming election with their media strength can't condition the labor of the government, which is obligated to break down the barriers that limit competitiveness, even though that implies losing the election 2012.
I'd prefer to be wrong, but any substantial achievement in the anti-competition realm seems exceedingly unlikely under Calderón, and the reason is summed up concisely enough in Shabot's final sentence, which he then unconvincingly dismisses with the high-minded rhetoric about government's labor. The problem is that a political coalition, which would be certainly be needed to pass any significant anti-monopoly legislation, won't simply spring to life as a result of a shared appreciation of public servants' duty. Such legislation necessarily implies offending powerful interests (i.e. people who can make it hard on politicians in retaliation), as Shabot implies. If Calderón couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it right after his election, when Congress was in a reforming mood and his prestige was at an all-time high, why would he (or how could he) do so today, with Calderón's popularity significantly lower and everyone in Congress scheduled to change jobs in the foreseeable future?

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