Independent Candidacies in Mexico: Discontent, Citizen Representation or Democratic Deficiency.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Rene VALDIVIEZO-SANDOVAL, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico
Rene VALDIVIEZO-ISSA, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico
After the climax of the democratic transition process (1997 and 2000), Mexico fell into a democratic recession (elections 2006 and 2012), in which "electoral fraud" and the use of illegal resources were strongly present.

The decay of the political forces and of the electoral institution increased; simultaneously, citizen participation (1985) flourished once again.

Vicente Fox’s presidential term (2000-2006) had a strong civic presence, away from the formal partisan structure, and close to civil (business) organizations.

The elections of 2006 and 2012 revealed weakness and doubts about the electoral authority. In light of the irregularities of the process, the electoral authorities, parties, governments and political actors were strongly criticized by social sectors, which lead to the nth crisis of both the electoral system and the political parties.

In addition, in the local elections (2010), ideologically inconsistent alliances were formed between right and left parties. These alliances won three times.

In this context, and fueled by citizen demands, the immediate re-election of deputies (local and federal), mayors and governors, was approved, as well as the figure of independent candidates.

For the elections of 2015, 125 independent candidates were in the running for various positions (22 federal and 103 local). Only six won. In the local elections of 2016, 308 independent candidates participated, and only 10 of them won. The average percent of votes obtained was just over 3.0%.

Are independent candidacies an expression of the citizen's discontent with the political system and its actors? Are they an expression of citizen representation? Or do they only show enormous deficiency of electoral (partisan) democracy in our country?

This paper examines the general picture of the participation of the independent candidates, in the context of ever deeper democratic deficiency. The paper also approaches responses about what these candidacies express, both at local and national levels.