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I’m sorry, so sorry. I was such a fool…

12 March 2010

… please accept my apology…

One thing that makes multi-party politics so confusing is that rival are allies, except when one of the allies supposed rivals is also a ally… and if that confuses you, you’re not alone.

The lefty PRD and righty PAN are allied in several states against the PRI. However, the PRD is also making noise about the PAN/PRI “agreement” that, in return for PRI support of a tax bill in the Chamber of Deputies, PAN would not mount a serious challenge to PRI for the governorship of the State of Mexico. This is important, because the sitting Governor, Enrique Peña Neito is presumed PRI choice for their presidential candidate in 2012. PRI party chair Beatriz Paredes and PAN chair Cesár Nava both issued denials that there was such a deal … which, of course, no one believes.

I’ve always been impressed with Paredes as a politician. A large woman  given to wearing indigenous clothing she exudes the confidence of a woman who understands that she has to be twice as good to get half the respect of a man… and earns it the hard way. Of course, she’s going to play political games, and the disappointment that many felt when she supported restrictions on abortions in the states (in response to liberalization of abortion laws in the PRD-controlled Federal District) make sense if she’s playing power politics and making back room deals with PAN.

PAN’s Cesár Nava, by contrast, never has impressed me. I always think of him as the the nondescript baby-faced guy.  Cartoonists usually draw him with a piggy nose.   At any rate, after being comparing to well-known nasally endowed Pinocchio, or afraid his nose would grow if he and Paredes agreed to a lie detector test, as was suggested.

Paredes, was ballsy enough to just dismiss the idea as undignified.  Nava caved.  Of course, the political sin was not the backroom deal, but the discovery of the deal, and the complications for the proposed PRD-PAN alliance in state elections.  So, with his job on the line, Nava was grovelling before the Senate yesterday, saying his mea culpas.

It’s early in the Mexican political cycle for manouvering and double-dealing to become campaign issues (unlike the U.S., there aren’t “permanent campaigns” and at this time in the last Presidential election cycle, Felipe Calderón wasn’t even thought of as a candidate for PAN, nor for that matter did it look as if PRI would be still be around after the election, let alone rebuild its traditional role as the country’s main party).  Still, no one can afford mistakes, or to alienate potential voters in the upcoming state elections.

And, that PAN-PRD alliance is making some politicos very testy.  Senator Oscar Levín Coppel, a PRI deputy from Sinaloa and his party’s deputy coordinator (basically, the party “whip” for the largest party in the Chamber) sneered that the PAN-PRI alliance was “almost as perverse as being gay.”  Which went over like a lead balloon, coming the same day same-sex marriages started being performed — to no real opposition — in the Federal District.

Seeing his party is having to walk a very fine line between placating the PRD if it wants to avoid more embarassing questions about the backroom alliance, and at the same time keep it’s informal PRI-PAN agreements from falling apart completely, his own party wasn’t about to back him up publically.

And, of course, PAN — finding that opposition to same-gender marriage is not about to become a burning campaign issue (and needing PRD support in states like Sinaloa) wasn’t going to come to Levín Coppel’s rescue.  ON top of which,  the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (CONEPRED, for its long acronym in Spanish) filed a legal complaint against the Deputy.

Levín Coppel must be studying U.S. politicians.  He offered an apology to “the gay community” at large, saying his remarks “unfortunately acquired a offensive significance which was unintended. ”  Sure.

In a spirit of kiss and make up, even PAN Deputy Eduardo Robles Medina even apologized to the Green Party (which makes no bones about being a PRI ally) for throwing coins at them.  Tossing things is considered extremely rude in Mexican society, and was meant to suggest the Greens were just allied to PRI for monetary reasons.

After promising to “turn over a new leaf” regularly scheduled bickering and back-stabbing resumes today.

One Comment leave one →
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