In order to begin to understand Mexican politics (an impossible task), it’s important to learn some fundamentals of the political system in Mexico.
- There is no re-election for political officials for the same post in Mexico. Current office holders can sit-out a term and run again for the same office, or they can run for another political post.
- The political parties control the selection of party candidates who run for office, at Federal, State and local levels. Political parties, and their leaders are very important.
- In order to be remain in politics one must please both the party and the electorate.
- The term for the President of Mexico is for 6 years, with no re-election.
- The term for State Governor is 6 years, with no re-election.
- The term for Senators is 6 years, with no re-election for a consecutive term.
- The term for the Camara de Diputados (similar to the House of Representatives in the US) is 3 years, with no re-election for a consecutive term.
- The term for local mayor is 3 years with no re-election for a consecutive term.
- The term for State representatives and local elected positions is normally 3 years, with no re-election for a consecutive term.
- Changes in the Mayor, Governor or President, cause major reshuffling of bureaucrats and administrative officials. This causes a slowdown or “unofficial” shutdown of some government offices between the election date and the date of the new administration start-up.
- The lack of re-election encourages and favors the current politicians and parties in power to seek out projects with short term visible benefits. They are pushed to show successes, infrastructure projects or other tangible benefits during their term of office in order to get promoted and elected to future political posts.
- In the Mexican states with stable, well defined political party tendencies and majorities, there is more focus on medium and long term projects and planning as the benefits can be attributed to the party.
- If selling a long term project to the government, it should include short term benefits, or tangible results, so that the politicians involved can claim credit.
- Never try and initiate the sale or negotiation of a major project to the State government during the last 6 months or year of a Governors term. It will be stalled, and you will have to “resell” it to the new administration.
- Get to know as many local and State and Federal political officials as possible, in 3 to 6 years they are all sitting in different positions of power and influence in the government.