Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comments from Sicilia

Javier Sicilia reacted to the news that his son's killers had been caught with gratitude for the Federal Police (through his lawyer) and a plea to speak with the men (through his own mouth).

Sicilia also recently said, "We seek arms with which to pressure the politicians". I don't agree with a lot of his diagnoses regarding what is ailing the Mexican state, but I wish him luck on this point. This ability to continually affect policy-makers' decisions, and not just provoke a flurry of high-minded commentary, is the area in which pretty much all of the civic protest movements have fizzled out. And if you are looking for arms in a democracy, the obvious one is votes, which means turning civic protest movements into grass-roots interest groups, a la the Christian Right, and working to try to direct members' votes to one candidate or another. I get the sense that a lot of the civic movements like being above the political fray (one illustration is the frequent complaining about the partidocracia, which glosses over the fact that modern democracies need political parties to function), but it's hard to change policies without leaping in.

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