Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mexico: Presidential election photo-finish close

According to Bloomberg this is the status of the election for Mexico's President as held Sunday:
"July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican election authorities continued to recount ballots for a second day, with former Energy Minister Felipe Calderon leading rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the nation's closest-ever presidential vote.

Calderon, 43, from incumbent Vicente Fox's National Action Party, had 35.6 percent of the vote and Lopez Obrador, 52, from the Party of the Democratic Revolution, had 35.59 percent, based on 97.7 percent of ballots counted, according to the federal electoral institute.

The recount began amid fraud allegations levied by Lopez Obrador, who trailed Calderon in preliminary results reported the day after the July 2 election. Mexico's stocks, bonds and the currency tumbled yesterday on concern the final tally may show Calderon, who has vowed to maintain Fox's economic policies, lost the election."
An election this close is bad news for both Mexico and for the U.S. Whoever is finally certified as winning will have little legitimacy, and Mexico is not as stable as the U.S. Such an election that does not give the incumbent the legitimacy of a strong win will severely weaken the incumbent, whoever it is.

This will lead to economic uncertainty that will effect the U.S. economy negatively. It will also cause greater immigration by individuals who (very reasonably) want to raise their families in a more stable social and economic environment. This is the same motivation that led to the German, Bohemian, Irish and Italian immigration in the late 19th century. Probably also the Chinese and Japanese immigration on the west coast, but I am less certain of Chinese and Japanese history at that time.

In this case the U.S. border states, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, will be on the front lines of the problem.

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