Por: Ricardo Pascoe Pierce
The National Civic Front (FCN), founded Today, July 2, puts forward three proposals for the opposition in Mexico. It is an organization that brings together long-standing political leaders who are contributing their knowledge and experience alongside the citizenry that has recently entered the battle for a democratic Mexico to achieve a national reconstruction without dogmatism while simultaneously seeking to banish polarization from the national discourse. The foundation of this new grouping of citizens responds to a specific logic.
Along this path, the FCN presents three proposals to be considered when facing the presidential and congressional elections in the year 2024. The express objective of the three proposals is to create the conditions for a unified agreement of the entire opposition that rejects Morena’s governance model.
The first proposal that the FCN makes to the opposition, both partisan and non-partisan, is that it must unite around a single presidential candidacy in 2024 to compete in that race successfully. Likewise, the opposition must build a platform of common candidacies in the case of federal deputies and senators. Experience indicates that when the opposition supports a single candidacy, it dramatically increases its chances of victory. Of course, nothing is certain in politics, but competitiveness comes from the sum of efforts of a diversity of sectors of society.
It is true that on many occasions in the past, the unions did not necessarily obtain a satisfactory result. A recent example was the candidacies of Ricardo Anaya for president and Alejandra Barrales for the head of government in 2018. Apart from the dynamics AMLO built for himself in that process and Peña Nieto’s sabotage of Anaya’s candidacy, it is also true that neither of the two candidates-Anaya and Barrales-were able to conceptualize the historical significance of what a government headed by them would have meant. In fact, both saw the union as a simple addition of their supposed votes without giving the coalition agreement more weight or importance. A PAN-PRD-MC government, had it won, would have had a long-range and far-reaching historical significance. Presumably, it would have meant the formation of a center-right and center-left cabinet with a social-democratic component, which would have represented a complete break with Mexico’s governance traditions.
But neither of the two candidates of that coalition had the intellectual or theoretical capacity to give it the explanatory twist required to make the agreement crucial and historically significant.
Today, the justification to reach a unitary agreement is of such importance that it goes far beyond the current conformation of Va Por México, formed by PAN, PRI, and PRD. It is necessary to create a new space, such as a Broad Pact for Democracy and Freedom, to incorporate Movimiento Ciudadano and representative citizen groups that ensure the mobilization of citizens to the polls, such as FCN, Sí Por México, Sociedad Civil, México Unido, as well as feminists, academics, trade unionists, peasants organizations, indigenous peoples, LGBTII+, among others.
In conclusion, the proposal of the single candidacies is not simply an arithmetic sum; it is intended to be a statement on the governance model for the country, based on plurality and tolerance of different points of view, as in any human endeavor.
The second proposal of the FCN concerns the method of selection of unitary candidacies. Specifically, in the case of a presidential candidacy, the FCN proposes a method of open primaries to select the sole candidate of the opposition. The preliminary candidacies will be defined according to parameters to be determined by the parties and citizen organizations. Rounds of debates and “town-hall” type presentations will be included for them to present their proposals and debate among themselves. Finally, it is proposed that the National Electoral Institute (INE) will conduct and carry out the election in agreement with pre-candidates, parties, and citizen organizations.
The democratic primary method is also intended to be developed in stark contrast with the Morenista method of the “dedazo” (finger pointed) form disguised as polls. The history of Morena’s “surveys” is well known: it is never known which companies carried out the surveys, nor what their methodologies were, much less the exact results of the measurements. Each method of selection of its presidential candidates will speak of the quality and commitment of each government proposal with democracy, transparency, and respect for freedom. Morena is going the way of the dedazo; the opposition is using that of liberty and respect for the adversary.
The third proposal, which will serve as an element of cohesion between forces, will be the creation of a coalition cabinet. Along with a balanced integration of a government with women and men, it will be necessary to agree on the guaranteed incorporation of the representative forces according to their votes.
For this conjunction of forces to be more than a simple arithmetic sum, it is necessary to go back to the campaign and its government proposal. This government program should serve as an assemblage that consolidates the capacity to work in the same direction, regardless of a diversity of visions and opinions.
Let us learn from Latin American experiences. If the Chilean Concertación defeated Pinochet at the polls, made up of a right, center, and left, and was able to govern that country for six periods of government successfully, it is perfectly feasible to imagine that the Mexican opposition forces forming a coalition government could bring stability, direction, and democracy to Mexico.
The National Civic Front points the way forward. We only need to add women and men of conviction and determination to walk that road to the conquest of peace, democracy, and freedom.