The political talk of the day is for sure the 12 races for governor that is picking up speed now and will be a focus of attention until the end of May, when candidates will have to stop proselytizing a week previous to the June 5 election day.
Though there are nine parties contending, most have concluded that at this point in the nation’s democratic life the general vote is so badly splintered that no particular party can win on its own. The name of the game nowadays is coalitions.
Today, I will only talk of one of the joint ventures now running for governor in five different states. And the reason for this is because it is indeed “The Odd Couple” of the fray.
The National Action (PAN) and the Democratic Revolution (PRD) parties have formed an alliance in spite of their many ideological frictions because as you know, PAN is a right wing organization with deep Catholic roots while PRD is a coalition of mostly atheist left-wingers.
That brings about an abysmal ideological difference but when it comes down to being politically pragmatic, both organization are keenly aware that in many of the states where elections are being held neither of them has a chance to beat also coalesced Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) and Green parties, now joined by several other minority organizations.
The joint ventures are being repeated during this election because they have paid off in the past. In fact, at present the states of Oaxaca and Puebla are governed by a PAN-PRD coalition governor which is bound to repeat its victories at least in these two states.
But they are also presenting joint-candidacies in the states of Durango, Quintana Roo and Veracruz where their proposed persons — José Rosas Aispuro, Carlos Joaquín and Miguel Angel Yunes — respectively for each of the states are doing very well in the polls and stand a good chance to beat the PRI and its cronies.
One noteworthy observation everyone is making is that four of these five candidates were originally PRI members and they resigned from the PRI to join one these two parties based principally on ideological principles.
In fact, the two parties and their candidates found more issues in common such as social justice for the poor and honesty in government administration and backing anti-corruption crusades.
The greatest difference between PAN and PRD are clearly present in the Federal District Legislative Assembly which is currently reshaping the political map of Mexico City and where the PRD has been kingpin for the past 19 years.
Ironically, these differences have more to do with morality than with politics. In Mexico City, PAN sternly opposes abortion and same-sex marriage while the PRD has used its political clout to legalize both issues much to the chagrin and scandal of PAN prudes, who consider both issues amoral. PAN wants to topple these laws while the ruling PRD has vowed to keep them under the new Mexico City constitution.
The two parties are also having rifts in the state of Chihuahua where PAN is running former deputy Javier Corral as its candidate, and since the PRD had no candidate it opted for backing Corral.
A major scandal is going on in the Ciudad Juárez district where PRD candidate for state assemblyman Patricio Medina runs his photo next to that of Corral proposing the legalization in the state of Chihuahua of adoption by same sex couples.
PAN filed a complaint against the PRD for breach of advertising content as Medina is presenting a picture of him next to Corral proposing abortion and adoption by same sex couples in a case where Corral has clearly repudiated both abortion and same sex marriage, let alone adoption.
What’s even worse for PAN officials in Chihuahua is that Medina looks positioned to win a seat in the state Chamber of Deputies or assembly.
This is where things stand between these two unlikely bedfellows, but it is a fact that in the five states where they are running joint candidacies things do look good for them.