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Up for debate?

2 June 2012

… Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI), has refused to participate in any other debates. EPN’s decision to avoid any unnecessary debating makes strategic sense, since he is already ahead in the polls by around 20 points, and gains little from additional public appearances. And, since he has already demonstrated that he can’t think on his feet, and will likely embarrass himself if he deviates from the campaign script, his campaign managers are doing everything they can to keep him away from the media.

Yann Karevel, “The First Mexican ‘Debate’ of 2012“, Americas North and South, 7 May 2012

Now that EPN is NOT leading by 20 percent (if he ever really was) and it appears the PRI candidate MIGHT have an issue… or be able to deflect criticism from his own (rather thin) record by pointing to the “pass the plate” scandal (such as it is) … AND… since “Yo soy #132” are pointedly not supporting the candidate
… does it make any sense that Peña Nieto is the first of the candidates to come out in favor of a third debate?

Yes.  what EPN said was a masterstroke of evasion… saying that a third debate was  theoretically possible (and at the same time hinting that it was somehow illegal), but it was up to the Secretaría de Gobernación to make the call:  which, of course, it won’t.

A third debate being one of Yo Soy 132’s demands, there are two ways this can be read.  Either “Yo Soy 132” — by raising the issue of the television networks collusion in trying to keep Peña Nieto from appearing with his fellow candidates — has scored a victory  or with the election a lot closer than the prevailing wisdom had it, and the networks under scrutiny, the Peña Nieto campaign needs to find a legitimate way to keep saturating the airwaves, even if the other candidates are also going to be present.

Of course, nothing is said about the format for a third (theoretical) debate.  The carefully scripted rules for the second debate seem designed not only to avoid the game show atmosphere of the first debate, but to make it as dull as possible.  One gets the sense that by appearing to agree to a third debate, what the Peña Nieto camp is hoping is that bickering over matters like whether the candidates stand at podiums or sit at a table, and the number of minutes and seconds allotted to each candidate (matters that took weeks to thrash out), they can just run out the clock, while presenting their candidate as one willing to listen to, and accept, criticism.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Allen permalink
    2 June 2012 10:41 am

    Good stuff ! Well, was Pinata ever leading by more than 4 % points? Here in Mazatlan, EPN is being referred to as Pinata, or something far less flattering. Pena, change that slightly and Nieto, grandson, and we think of baby.
    Surprising the number of women here who strongly support Josefina. This is a place where PAN is strong.
    Unfortunately, I just learned that “Mota” is a slang term, her last name.

  2. 3 June 2012 1:15 am

    Mota… yeah, that’s the usual term for that green stuff tourists buy retail, and is exported wholesale to the United States by … ahem… Sinaloa’s famed entrepreneurs of unregulated agricultural produce.

  3. 3 June 2012 8:28 am

    The papers here in Canadia are reporting that Pinata is ahead by a full ten points/percent. I saw this after reading your posts the past few weeks about him, and recoiled at the thought of him becoming President.

    PRI is set to take over, after reading Enrique Krauze’s book on the history of Mexico, the return of henchman to “secure” the political victory comes as no surprise to me; in Mexico the leftist opposition just doesn’t mess around, they fight back. Something we don’t have herein the US.

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