Democracy in Mexico has been a construction of generations. Starting from the principle of non-reelection as a result of the Mexican Revolution, passing through the democratic opening of the 80s and the democratic transition at the beginning of this century, our institutions have been governed by an inalienable principle: the government, no government, not even those of before. , neither the current one, nor those to come, should put their hands in the electoral process.
Democracy in Mexico had achieved stability since 2000, achieving the qualification of a robust electoral democracy. This thanks to a series of democratic institutions built on the principle of citizen participation, as well as the autonomy of the National Electoral Institute and the electoral courts.
According to different international indices, Mexico’s situation begins to deteriorate starting in 2006 and this year reaches its lowest point so far this century. Latinbarómetro’s 2023 report shows how President López Obrador’s intentions to unilaterally change the electoral rules to benefit his party caused an 8% loss in the quality of our democracy in just three years.
His behavior is framed as personalism, in which a president considers himself indispensable for his country and seeks to modify the re-election rules to access a new electoral period, contrary to what was previously established. If he fails to do so, there is a risk that he will declare electoral fraud, weakening the incoming government in particular and democracy in general.
One of the clearest symptoms of the deterioration of democracy in our country is the abrupt increase of 11 percentage points in social support for authoritarianism between 2020 and 2023. This data should set off a national alarm, since the president’s intentions to modify the laws to improve conditions for his party he could count on the support of a little less than a third of the electorate.
But not all is lost. Just as the president has an electoral base in favor of entrenching his regime, more than a third openly supports democracy. Where we should direct our message and that is who I seek to reach with this column, is the 28% of indifferent Mexicans, those who responded that they do not care about living in a democracy or under an authoritarian regime.
Despite this division, seven out of ten Mexicans are satisfied with the functioning of democratic institutions, the INE and the electoral courts. We are that 70% of the electorate who took to the streets in November 2022 in support of the INE and expressed ourselves in more than 100 cities in February of last year in favor of the Court.
Now it is our turn to get ready again to take to the streets next February 18 in defense of our democracy because, as Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo, founder of the National Civic Front, said, in democracy you can win or lose an election. What we must not allow is for democracy to be lost in an election.