Perry watches fight in Mexican Congress

Marion Lloyd reports in the Houston Chronicle on Gov Perry getting to watch

The fistfights between rival congressmen that spiced up Friday's presidential inauguration here are a sign that democracy has finally arrived in Mexico, said Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

"It's a natural progression in a democratic society, a free society," he told reporters several hours after attending the drama-fraught swearing-in ceremony for President Felipe Calderon.

In fact, Perry said, it's nothing unheard-of north of the border.

"It's not like there's never been a fight on the House floor in Texas," he said. "I'm just not sure there were any chairs that were thrown."


Perry went further, praising Calderon as a man of like mind on both economic and security issues. He said the two men spoke by phone in August, and that he hoped to meet within the next two months.

Calderon, a former energy secretary, favors opening the way for foreign investment in Mexico's energy sector a longtime demand of the Texas oil companies. Mexico's constitution currently forbids it.

"The fact is that there are substantial energy resources that could really help the economy of this country," Perry said. "And I hope they'll look to Texas as a source of expertise and a partner in whatever way they can. It would be good for both economies."

Perry said he and Calderon also share common concerns on immigration and skyrocketing drug violence.

Perry called for more cooperation on the drug fight, which he said is "the No. 1 negative that our two countries have."

"This isn't Mexico's problem," he said. "If you don't have a market for it, if you don't have the demand side, the supply side goes away."

I'm really only posting the story because I'm annoyed at the failure of the American media to report on the promise for democracy in Mexico.

Seven years ago it would've been unthinkable for the PRI to lose an election in Mexico. The PRI had ruled for almost a century as a non-ideological hierarchy dedicated to maintaining its grip on power. Then, PAN's Vicente Fox won. It was hardly assured that democracy would continue to blossom.

In 2006, it looked like socialist demagogue Obrador was likely to win the election, and make relations with the US frosty at best. Calderon wasn't even supposed to be the PAN's candidate, and primaries in Mexico were, um...not the norm. But nonetheless, Calderon plunged ahead and surprised people by winning PAN's nomination. Then, he came from behind for victory, on a pro-business, pro-US platform.

So, not only did we have a wide-open election that resulted in a good result (from an American perspective), but we had the development of primaries as a viable method of selecting party nominees. Considering that what happens in Mexico affects Americans greatly, the recent election in Mexico is good news indeed.

And good for Perry not demonizing Mexico for drug trafficking. The US has a tendency to sometimes act arrogantly vis a vis friendly Latin American nations about narcotics problems, when it is our own societal issues that fuel the drug trafficking.

Posted by Evan @ 12/03/06 07:32 PM


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