AMLO to down size National Electoral Institute [INE]

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, October 29, 2022, 17:42 (100 days ago) @ hromero

It is curious to me that one can say that the organization responsible for running "exemplary elections" has somehow not performed well. I have no doubt that there is room for improvement but it seems like an odd priority to be tackling if one is interested in strengthening our democracy. It seems to be more in line with a president who is unhappy with an organization that has not bowed to his every whim. While it isn't something for tourists to necessarily be concerned about, as a Mexican citizen I am quite worried about another independent branch of the federal government being downsized while the military continues to be expanded. I am not impressed with this move by the president.

Want to know what "whim" INE didn't bow to? When AMLO became president, one of his first proposals sent to el Congreso and part of his mandate was to reduce the salaries of all government officials so that no one earned more than the president. A reasonable and admirable goal. There were two points of resistance: The Corte Suprema de la Nación and the head of INE. Seeing as the Corte Suprema is one of the checks and balances and a separate arm of the government, their resistance was understandable and allowed. But INE had no such excuse and cannot justify the money it administers, and if I recall accurately, at the time this law was being discussed the head of INE was on some worldwide tour at the expense of the taxpayers. His justification was lame as is the justification for most of the money spent on political campaigns, which as we all know, either ends up as campaign trash or on commercials including practically subsidizing many newspapers and other mediums. There is no need for INE money to be keeping failing mediums afloat. If it weren't for politicians spending fortunes of the taxpayers' money on their political image, many newspapers simply wouldn't exist, and since they DO receive so much of their funding from INE and politicians, that is why there is very little true investigative journalism (none locally since the founder of Despertar de la Costa was murdered during the administration of Silvano Blanco: his murderer was recently honored by the current municipal government).

The point being elections don't need to waste so many millions of pesos. It should be easy to find and cut the waste, starting with the bloated salary of the INE's director. Our electoral system worked just fine before the current INE director came along. What works about the electoral process itself is not what is threatened by cutting its budget. The director shouldn't have opposed the president on the salary matter.

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