Hard it going anywhere, but Calderón has just sent congress a proposal to implement a second round of presidential voting akin to what exists in Chile, among other places. The idea is certainly interesting (NB: this is not the first time it has been raised) but I’m not sure it remedies Mexico’s electoral disfunction.  Congressional re-election seems to me a more important change, but one that would be harder to find the political support for since all parties benefit from the existing system’s tendency to reward party loyalty over representation of constituencies.*

Calderón’s proposal is hardly a quick fix. A second round would mean potentially staging another election when the country struggles with the institutional logistics of simply pulling off ONE scandal-free ballot. Election fatigue is a major issue, as are expenses, corruption, and fraud, and I see no reason why a second round wouldn’t double those problems.

*Without reelection, parties are effectively patronage engines ensuring that politicians can rotate between the Chamber of Deputies (3 year term), the Senate (6 year term) and bureaucratic party jobs. Emilio Gamboa Patrón, current PRI leader in the Senate is a particularly good example of such a career.

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