What’s in a word?
One decent reform (that really is a reform) in Mexico lately has been the citizens’ initiative: I forget the exact number of petition signatures required, but citizens can write their own legislative bills, that MUST be taken up by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The first, now under consideration by the Chamber, is the “3×3 Law”… meant to curb both Mexican style corruption, and the “new improved” kind seen in the United States, where former office-holders immediately cash in by becoming lobbyists, or taking advantage of loopholes they wrote into legislation or regulations once they leave office.
The “3×3 Law” is a masterpiece of simplicity, complete with enforcement mechanisms already built in. It requires office holders and candidates for elected office to publish their, and their close relatives, financial data and disclose potential conflicts of interest, for the three years prior to holding office, and for three years after leaving office. All the Chamber had to do was say “Yea” or “Nay” and move on. Given the popularity of the measure, saying “Nay” is not really a option, but… there is a way.
The “3×3” is, for the most part, being incorporated into a new Ley General de Responsabilidades Administrativas (General Law on Administrative Responsibility)… with the wee change of making the word “must” (deber) into “may” (podrá) when it comes to disclosures.
No biggie… right?
SinEmbargo, 28 April 2016: “PRI y PVEM dejan fuera #3de3 y meten una palabra (“podrá”) que permite declarar bienes a medias“