Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sr Pena-Nieto will succeed as president if he is willing to "de-PRI" the PRI

Let me make an easy prediction:  Sr Pena-Nieto will win the election in Mexico.  The PRI will be back in power after 12 years in the bleachers. (I don't know how the PRI will do in other federal or state elections)

Frankly, Mexicans had very bad choices for 2012.

Sr Pena-Nieto is a very telegenic man with a "TV star" wife plus experience as governor of a very important state.  His biggest challenge will be to convince Mexicans that the new PRI is different than the old PRI.

Sr. LO is just more LO.  Let's hope that this is the end for him.  The PRD has to take a hard look at itself and come up with serious candidates who want to do more than just blame everything on Calderon.

Sra Josefina Vazquez-Mota is a very weak candidate.  It appears more and more that PAN just set her up for defeat.  She never had a chance.  PAN would have been a lot more competitive with a stronger candidate.

Sr Gabriel Quadri sounds good.  However, it's hard to see how he can govern without any governing experience.   Quadri is a like a Mexican dream rather than a serious alternative.   He makes people feel good but governing is very hard.

So Pena-Nieto will win by default.  Mexico will have its 4th consecutive president elected with less than 45% of the popular vote because of so many parties.

Here are my suggestions for Pres Pena-Nieto:

1) Blow up PEMEX and let professional "oil men" run Mexico's energy.  PEMEX is everything that is wrong with Mexico.  PEMEX is one of the old PRI's worst legacies, a corrupt bureaucracy that does everything except manage the nation's energy resources.

2) Take a page from Wisconsin and bring the public teachers' union down to earth.  Mexico can not compete in an international economy with its current public schools.  Furthermore, check out how Republican governors have tackled public sector unions in Indiana and the aforementioned Wisconsin. 

3) Get the politicians out of agriculture.  Let farmers run farms.  Empower farmers by promoting more property rights in Mexican agriculture.  Perhaps Pres-elect Pena-Nieto can sit down with economist Hernando de Soto before he assumes the presidency.  He'll learn a thing or two about the importance of "property rights" and farming

4) Stop blaming US immigration laws.  Blaming US immigration laws has turned into a cynical distraction from the reality that Mexico is not very friendly to Mexicans who want better opportunities.

5) Make it very clear that the PRI is not going to cut a deal with cartels.  This is critical because there is an international perception that the PRI had a deal with the cartels and Pres Calderon blew it up.

Pres Pena-Nieto will go down as a great president if he starts to "de-PRI" the PRI.  He can be a reformer and move Mexico into the 21st century.  

He can prove that he is different by reforming the PRI's worst creations, from PEMEX to a "campo" that it grossly inefficient.

Good luck to our Mexican friends. 

On a positive note, Mexico has come a long way from the days when the PRI just reelected itself and governed without accountability.  

It looks like Mexicans will give the PRI the "keys" to the office!  Let's hope that the new president and the PRI understand that this is a different Mexico than the one that they governed for 70 years. 

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