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BushCo Wins Mexico Loses

by XicanoPwr Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 03:16:52 PM EST

PAN's Felipe Calderón declared victory in a bitterly contested election over as official returns show him ahead of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), 36% to 35% with 96% of the votes counted.

But like a thief in the night, what seemed like a win for López Obrador, turned out to be just a dream. At 11:20PM CT López Obrador had declared victory with the current numbers dwindling for Calderón, which he told his supporters that it was confirmed by the Federal Election Institute (IFE).

"Tenemos información de conteos rápidos en donde estamos cuando menos 500 mil votos arriba. Vamos a seguir informando a los ciudadanos", subrayó el candidato izquierdista.

Confirmó su respeto a los resultados del IFE el próximo miércoles e hizo un llamado a las instituciones electorales a que respeten los resultados.

Oddly, within a few minutes, Cardenas declared victory too.


How was it possible for López Obrador to make such a claim of victory?

Ana Maria Salazar Slack at at Mexico Today provides a link to parametria.com.mx which provided hour by hour exit polling for the Excelsior newspaper. According to the exit polls, López Obrador won.

(I saved the pic just in case it mysteriously disapears.)

Here are the last poll numbers before the election via boz at Bloggings by boz. Only three polls have Calderon winning the election, while the rest point to an AMLO victory.

El Universal: AMLO 36, Calderon 34, Madrazo 26
Milenio: AMLO 35, Calderon 31, Madrazo 22
Mitofsky: AMLO 36, Calderon 33, Madrazo 27
Reforma: AMLO 36, Calderon 34, Madrazo 25
Zogby: Calderon 30, AMLO 27, Madrazo 24
Excelsior: AMLO 36, Calderon 34, Madrazo 27
GEA-ISA: Calderon 33, AMLO 31, Madrazo 20
Marketing Politico: Calderon 31, AMLO 29, Madrazo 22

Guadalajara University: AMLO 36, Calderon 34, Madrazo 25
After seeing two elections get hijacked in the United States, the events that occurred in Mexico is beginning to resemble the past two US Presidential elections. (see here and here)

Washington Post's Ceci Connolly, Campaign Conexión, the Post's blog on the elections, wrote an interesting post - Shades of Bush-Gore 2000?

Was the election hijacked too? Was Greg Palast correct? This morning Palast weighed in on the recent situation and wrote:

As in Florida in 2000, as in Ohio in 2004, the exit polls show the voters voted for the progressive candidate, but the race is "officially" too close to call.

But they will call it -- after they steal it. Reuters News agency reports that, as of 8pm Eastern time, as voting concluded in Mexico, exit polls show Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the "left-wing" Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) leading in exit polls over Felipe Calderon of the ruling conservative National Action Party (PAN).

We've said again and again: Exit polls tell us how voters say they voted, but the voters can't tell pollsters if their vote will be counted. In Mexico, counting the vote is an art, not a science -- and Calderon's ruling crew is very artful indeed. The PAN-controlled official electoral commission, not surprisingly, has announced that the presidential tally is too close to call.

Many will consider this just being very coincidental, and doubt that there is a possibility of this election being rigged, however, there was another major coincidence that also occurred last night and that has to do with the news media.

In Connolly's, Shades of Bush-Gore 2000?, she writes:

Televisa, the 800-pound Mexican media gorilla, was also holding off on projections, announcing the presidential contest was within the margin of error. These guys weren't going to make a mistake like their U.S. counterparts.

Similarly, El Universal was playing it safe. But Reforma, with less than 2 percent of the vote counted, was showing Felipe Calderón comfortably ahead. (Warning: Do not go to the bank with that.)

Erwin C. at The Latin Americanist provides a timeline of events that occurred last night after the polls were closed.
[Key to initials: AMLO = Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. RM = Ricardo Madrazo. FC = Felipe Calderon.  IFE = Mexican electoral board]

11:40pm- CNN en Español reports on the results of the election before the IFE's official preliminary report, a move the broadcaster on Azteca America deems "irresponsible." (Mind you, the broadcaster did not name CNN en Español directly, but that was easily inferred in his snarky comments). CNN en Español latest numbers (with about 20% of votes counted) is FC in 1st with 38.9%, ALMO 2nd with about 35%, and RM in 3rd with 28.9%.

Hypocrisy? Now Azteca America's Armando Guzman acknowledges that so far the ballots counted "may" favor FC, but warns that "this is a horse race" which is far from over.

12:55am- A whirlwind of action over the past twenty minutes:

-Azteca America returns to its diatribe against "television networks from the United States" that "lied and bluffed you" by giving preliminary results.

Now go back to November 2, 2004. One of the major complaint regarding the US election was how the news media were impatient on holding off on announcing the winner.
Time after time, nervous television presenters in the US hedged on whether to call states for President George W Bush or John Kerry, invoking lessons from the mistakes of the 2000 election. ... But the networks split, with Fox and NBC calling the key swing state of Ohio for Mr Bush in the middle of the night, long before ABC, CBS and CNN felt comfortable calling the race.
There will be those who will doubt these assumptions as evidence of election fraud, and choose to ignore the coincidences between Mexico's and the US elections. I think this is a foolish attitude to take considering there are many similarities that occurred in Mexico that just happened to occur in the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections.

As of this writing at 13:32CT only 97.84% of the votes counted
Calderón - 36.35% - 13,944,924
López - 35.37% - 13,570,593
Madrazo - 21.57% - 8,274,051

compare to the last update I gave at 8:13AM with only 95% of the votes counted. Sort of odd how slow the last 5% of votes are being counted.

As of 08:13AM CT with 94.99% of the vote counted
Calderón - 36.52% - 13,730,646
López - 35.44% - 13,323,686
Madrazo - 21.34% - 8,022,590

(xposted on Para Justicia y Libertad)

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The difference between the USA and Mexico is that whilst few Americans believe the election results are seriously rigged (whether that is true or not), many Mexicans are all too ready to believe the count is fixed (whether that is true or not).
by Gary J on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 03:49:44 PM EST
few Americans believe the election results are seriously rigged

Oy, where do you get this stuff????  Ok, I know where...  

Can you just take my word for the fact that everyone I know who is not a Republican (and some who did vote for Bush) thinks 2000 was stolen.  There is huge debate in the Dem. Party about whether pursuing such a charge is beneficial.  But I know Kerry supporters, moderates, not crazy lefties like me, average midwestern folks, and pretty much all of my peers talk about stolen elections as if they were just facts, consensus views.  This might speak to how "divided" the country is, but I promise you 50%+ of Americans believe our elections are rigged.  It may have taken them 6 years to realize it, but they are catching up...

I just have to tell you how twilight-zonish it is to come here everyday to read claims made about America that are reflected in NO way in my life here in ... America.

Come to America sometime and check us out.  We're pretty screwed up, but good luck fitting all of us into one of your stereotypes...

You all need to stick to making claims about our government.  You are usually correct about those.  Your ignorance about the American people is astounding, though entirely understandable.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 04:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I can safely say that what you describe is a sea change from 18 months ago. [did I say safely? <ducks and runs>]

So instead of being so hard on people as you have (understandably) been today, you could write a diary or two about your view of the political climate in the US.

The view one gets from the press is dominated by the US mainstream which not so long ago [I don't know about now] would be loath to give credence to "conspiracy theories" about Florida and Ohio. Even foreign correspondents posted in the US are totally clueless, limiting themselves to translating agency wires and digesting the MSM. I was absolutely appalled at the El Pais' correspondence description of Judith Miller as a martyr for freedom of the press, for instance. If professionals paid to go out and scout the situation on site drink the kool-aid...

Like I say, my views are probably 18 months out of date, so I would appreciate it if you updated us [read: me]. We're going to need a series of diaries on the midterm elections anyway, hopefully a few from you and MfM as well as others.

Let's try to be constructive and not get too defensive. We're partly here to correct each other's misperceptions in a good spirit and I detect a certain edge in your recent comments that you might want to let off in a poem... er... diary.

Just a though.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 04:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow your very good suggestion seems a bit daunting even for my tastes...  Sum up the political climate in American in a diary or two?  Impossible.  Will stick to troubleshooting until I get some insane amount of time and energy ...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 05:52:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was listening to NPR today and most panellists agreed the 1988 elections were certainly fixed.

Candidates were Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Felipe Calderón - well whadda ya know!

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 05:10:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I defer to your personal knowledge of American attitudes.

I formed the view I did because on reading various DKos diaries about election fraud allegations (perhaps more about 2004 than 2000) even the Kossacks did not seem to be unanimous on the point. That rather suggests to me that the general population is probably not bothered. After all if the population did believe that the last two Presidential elections were stolen surely they would have done something about it?

by Gary J on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 06:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After all if the population did believe that the last two Presidential elections were stolen surely they would have done something about it?

What can be done about it?  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 06:17:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about demonstrating in the millions for a month?


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 06:46:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know plenty of people who aren't Republicans who don't think the 2000 election was stolen. Lost by lousy campaigns run on specious platforms, manipulated by locals taking advantage of stupid local election managers, and screwed up by inaccurate and premature press coverage, yes, but not "stolen."

There are plenty of arguments on both sides, but it's worth noting that some of the arguments on the Republican side would support a charge of incompetence by anybody that lost. Does anybody claim that Al Gore ran a sterling campaign? What about all the stuff about lousy ballot design (by local Democratic election officials)? How about the press reporting in the heavily Republican Florida panhandle that the polls were closed--an hour before they actually were?

The argument should not be re-hashed here, but it should be noted by our European friends that there is plenty of controversy on both sides of the argument...

by asdf on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 07:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gore lost the election all by himself (like Kerry did 4 years later), but I am still convinced that there was fraud. It's just that if Gore had not debated Bush with one brain hemisphere tied to his back he would have carried some additional state (like, for instance, his own) and made the Florida irregularities irrelevant.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 07:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Next fight will be for parliament.
by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 03:57:20 PM EST
Mexico doesn't need any lessons in stolen elections from the US. The last time the PRD was poised to win, 1988, the same thing happened:

Reuters: Nightmare scenario hangs over Mexico election

In 1988, the government infamously claimed "the (computer) system went down" just as leftist Cuauhtemoc Cardenas was headed for victory in a presidential vote. When the computers came back, government candidate Carlos Salinas was winning.
by TGeraghty on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 05:38:10 PM EST
Looks like we learned how to rig elections from Mexico. If I recall, that is what happened over here too with the Central tabulators. Wierd.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 06:27:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and so is the official vote, so I'm not sure you can say there's a discrepancy there.
by Upstate NY on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 10:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course that doesn't mean it wasn't stolen but the exit polls are not providing much insight there.
by Upstate NY on Mon Jul 3rd, 2006 at 10:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently hundreds of thousands were kicked off the voter rolls in a manner reminiscent of florida 2000, or at least that's what al giordiano over at narco news is claiming (see comments in thread for details).
by wu ming on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:26:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It just so happens that IFE has a contract with Calderón's brother-in-law, Diego Hildebrando Zavala Gómez del Campo's company Hildebrando, which will supply IFE with the vote-counting computers.

I wonder what that sort sounds like here in the US.

But this one that is very interesting: From Narco News.

Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, who hosts the nightly talk show Aristegui on CNN Español, dropped a political bombshell on her popular morning program on XEW radio in Mexico City. There, live on the air, she used the Internet to enter a restricted area on a Calderón campaign website, with the username of Hidebrando117 and a password she received from an unnamed source. There, Aristegui found proof of the electoral cyber-fraud of the century: the entire national IFE voter list cross-referenced with supposedly confidential government information about which voters receive government assistance or contracts from all the federal agencies. Live and on the air she found information about herself, her family members, about the IFE president, and about the PRI presidential candidate.
And anybody feels that this alternative news site is legit, well, maybe this small video will finally make believers that election fraud took place.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:26:25 PM EST


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