The party’s over?
It hardly spells the end of PRIAN… the convergence of the two main parties, PRI and PAN… but while the decline of the PRD has been the focus of most public attention on the collapse of the traditional parties (“traditional” only in the relative sense… the present configuration only going back to the 1990s), what is emerging is either a rejection of the party system itself, or more likely, a reconfiguration of the parties that will leave PRI as the main party, but increasingly dependent on temporary coalitions that may or may not hold in the long run.
PAN and PRD’s internal disputes have been widely aired. That prominent defectors from PRD are going to the smaller leftist parties (a process underway for at least the last three years) is not surprising. PRD was always an ideological leftist party, but made “strategic alliances” with PAN (itself a unwieldy coalition of Catholics, fascists, and liberal capitalists) in regional elections that had the effect of either leaving the left out in the cold (as in Sinaloa, where the state governor is a former PRI official, and there isn’t any real difference in the governance as a result), or … as in Guerrero and Morelos… simply ending up with state governments less “pure” than their alleged ideological rivals. And just as crooked (if not more so). For their own survival, PRD officials have been jumping ship. Those who won’t ally themselves with AMLO and Morena have been going to the new smaller leftist parties (Citizens Movement, the Workers Party) or becoming independents. At least for now, it looks as if Morena and the Greens may be the “swing parties” in the next Legislature, although its difficult to imagine the Greens joining with any party other than PAN or PRI. The New Alliance COULD join with MORENA (its been floated) as would the small Workers Party and Citizens’ Movement to form a loose coalition with a smaller PRD, to form a real opposition to PRIAN.
While there aren’t as many defections from PAN, the party’s internal disagreements are more public than they were, while PRI… supposedly the most disciplined (and ideologically mushy) of the major parties has not seen public defections in any numbers.
But behind the scenes?
Buendía and Laredo’s voter preference polls show a massive defection from PRI over the last few months. PRD only lost one percent between November and February, while PRI lost a whopping 12 percent. One would assume that the usual alternatives to the neo-liberal PRI … conservative PAN or the mushy Greens would capture those defectors, but between them, PAN and the Greens have only gained five percent. MORENA gained five percent (more than doubling the number of likely voters), while Citizen’s Movement and the Social Encounter both had modest gains. Presumably, the anti-AMLO PRD defectors went to those parties, which would suggest that MORENA could be capturing more PRI voters than had been noticed.
More interestingly, Consulta Mitofsky conducted a poll looking at which parties the voters are REJECTING… asking what party they would NOT vote for.
PRI, for the first time ever, led that pack, rejected by 44.3 percent of those polled.
All the parties have high negatives, the major parties most of all, though MORENA (identified with AMLO) is the only one of the new and minor parties with over 30 percent of voters rejecting it outright… but then again, AMLO’s negatives have always been at about 30 percent. What is surprising is even the unknowns like the Humanist Party show a nearly 30 percent rejection.
This could mean that voters are simply chosing “none of the above” or it could mean the real political struggle is NOT among PAN, PRI and PRD, but among the smaller parties (who need at least three percent of the vote to keep their registration) trying to downplay the negatives all political parties have earned in this country, while trying to appeal to the growing number of defectors from the majors.